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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Future of Practice’

Welcome the Flipped Lawyer

Time and tide wait for no man” (Geoffrey Chaucer). Or for no lawyer [male or female]. 

Change is afoot in the legal profession, and lawyers are trying to figure out how to react to it. But the legal industry isn’t the only profession facing change.

Jonathan Reese of Colorado State University-Pueblo recently wrote about changes in the education sector on The Kernel. He describes the introduction of MOOCs and flipped classrooms as a form of “professional suicide.” The premise behind both of these is the responsibility for learning shifts to the students, who watch video lectures on . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Building a Culture of Wellness

I am always somewhat pessimistic about the response of any group of lawyers to a presentation on the subject of wellness. Though I’ve spoken more than a few times on what lawyers can do to increase their sense of personal wellbeing and maintain a greater sense of balance while doing the work they do, my expectation remains that there will be at least a little eye rolling and more likely, significant disengagement with a topic that both touches on the personal and sometimes tends towards good parental advice.

Last week I joined fellow Slaw-yer Dan Pinnington and lawyer therapist Doron . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Directive for Change, Straight From the Chief

This past weekend Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin addressed CBA members at the legal conference in Calgary, Alberta. A complete copy of the speech is available here via National Magazine, and my live broadcast via Periscope is available here.

She addressed her continuing concerns about access to justice, but focused on the change already underway in the profession. She told a lawyer joke, which she admittedly refrains from doing,

“How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb?”, it goes. The answer, “What’s change?”

I prefer the response to the question, “How many psychiatrists does it take

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

CBA Futures Twitterchat: Leveraging Mindfulness for Professional Gain

Being mindful means to pay attention – not just to stop and smell the roses but to be aware of the roses, their intricacies of their form and scent and the effect their presence has on their environment. How would you extend that analogy to the practice of law?

Last year around this time, the CBA Legal Futures Initiative issued its report (Futures: Transforming the Delivery of Legal Services in Canada) calling for a new legal order. The report suggests that we find new models for legal education, that we reflect on our practice in order to innovate, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Transforming the Delivery of Legal Services – a Year Later

Last year the CBA Legal Futures Initiative released its report, Transforming the Delivery of Legal Services in Canada, in St. John’s.

The Futures Initiative has been gratified by the largely positive and enthusiastic reaction to our report, which has had a much broader reach and impact than we could have hoped. We outlined a bold vision for the future of the legal profession, encouraging a crucial conversation that’s taking place not just within Canada, but around the world.

Here’s a taste of what we’ve done since the report was published:

We’ve been talking

In the past year CBA President . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Need for Emotional Intelligence (EI) When Deploying Artificial Intelligence (AI)

One year after the CBA Futures Report, the debate over ABS still rages on and appears to be the most contentious issue, even while foreign firms state they’re eyeing our territory for opportunities. Although there are concerns about professionalism, much of the resistance, especially by personal injury lawyers, is based in protectionism.

Yet ABS may be the great bait and switch of legal innovation. The alternatives to practice may not come in the form of other business structures, but in other technological structures which allow for law to be conducted in different ways.

Legal services rely on enormous amounts of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology

When Bloggers Get Appointed to the Bench

In 2015, practitioners in all types of firms blog. It’s a necessity of modern practice these days, and most have come around to understanding the importance of some social media presence.

If you don’t create your online footprint, someone else will for you – usually a disgruntled client.

One of the prerequisites to being appointed to the bench though is that you have to be a lawyer, usually for a good number of years. Although we’ve seen blogging lawyers appointed to the bench in recent years, and Slaw is one of the few sites where we’ve had guest judge bloggers, . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

The Winds of Change

A strong west wind is blowing across my prairie landscape this week. After weeks of heat and humidity warnings and near-daily thunderstorms, there’s a change in the air. The sun is nearly set by 9 p.m. Small flocks of Canada geese are beginning their flight training. The day lilies in my garden have lost their bloom and summer is passing before my eyes.

The winds of change are blowing across Manitoba’s legal landscape as well. The Law Society of Manitoba’s latest Communique 2.0 newsletter outlines some of the changes in legal governance on the horizon for Manitoba lawyers, including entity . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Legal Innovations: A Few of Our Favorite Things

Innovation means different things to different people – to some, it’s about a small tweak that makes a big difference; to others, it’s a complete disruption in the force.

In Canada, the discussion about legal innovation has lately become bogged down in the debate over alternative business structures (ABS). But that’s not where innovation begins or ends.

On July 23, Friedrich Blase of Thomson Reuters and Natalie McFarlane of LawLignment will host a CBAFutureschat to discuss favourite legal innovations – just what do you define as a legal innovation? What tools make your business model possible? What innovations have you . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology

The Cultural Shift Observed Post-Hryniak

The SCC’s decision in Hryniak v. Mauldin last year was expected to foster a cultural shift on the effective use of judicial resources, in particular in areas like Toronto where courts are cluttered with arguably needless motions. Justice Karakatsanis stated,

[2] Increasingly, there is recognition that a culture shift is required in order to create an environment promoting timely and affordable access to the civil justice system… [3] Summary judgment motions provide one such opportunity…

[5] To that end, I conclude that summary judgment rules must be interpreted broadly, favouring proportionality and fair access to the affordable, timely and just

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Drama at the Quebec Bar Association: Bencher Suspended After Shoplifting Allegations

On July 3, 2015, Quebec lawyers found out that the recently elected (63% of votes) bencher of the Quebec Bar Association, Me Lu Chan Khuong, was suspended with pay from her duties by the board of directors of said association. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Change Now

By Richard Susskind

In her introduction to ‘A Guide to Strategy for Lawyers’, a booklet that I have written for CBA members, Michele Hollins, the CBA President, quotes Jack Welch, the former CEO and Chairman of General Electric, who advises organizations to ‘change before you have to’. I had not heard this phrase before, but will undoubtedly use it again, because it so succinctly sets the agenda for practising lawyers in Canada and advanced jurisdictions around the world.

The legal marketplace, in my view, is in the middle of a period of unprecedented upheaval. Indeed I believe we . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice