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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Future of Practice’

New Fork, Old Road

When we come to a new fork in an old road we continue to follow the route with which we are familiar, even though wholly different, even better avenues might open up before us.

- George Manuel

Yesterday, the Canadian Bar Association invited us to join a conversation about the future of law. The CBA’s Legal Futures Initiative launched last summer and has been in a research and information gathering phase since that time, with the results trickling out now, and to be fully released next month.

In response to their invitation, a few conversations got started on Twitter yesterday . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

What Do Clients Want?

Not every case has a crisis at its core, but each one has its own raison d’être that by its very existence causes stress for the client, whether it’s someone buying a new house or a firm buying a new company or a class of plaintiffs wanting to sue someone for a real or perceived wrong.

Everyone has an issue.

A lawyer’s job is not just to deal with the issue, but also to deal with the client. So what do clients want?

That’s a question the Canadian Bar Association posed in an online study, with the help of an . . . [more]

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

The Legal Circle of Life

I was honoured to be a part of panel discussion at the recent Georgetown Law Center Symposium “The Shrinking Pyramid: Implications for Law Practice the Legal Profession.”

Several thoughts occurred to me while attending this event; one of which I’ll share with you now.

There was some discussion about the fact that lifelong partnership at one firm is a relic of the past; there is a constant merry-go-round of lateral partners moving from firm to firm to firm. We see this in Canada as well. Lateral hires typically move for more money (and sometimes for firm management reasons) but paying . . . [more]

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

Access to Justice Reports Released

Earlier this month, Kirk Makin of the Globe and Mail scooped an announcement of a major set of Reports on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters, an inititaitive that started with the Chief Justice’s challenge to the Canadian Bar Association last summer.

The four Reports from Working Groups chaired by Justice Thomas Cromwell were officially released this morning:
Report of the Court Processes Simplification Working Group
Report of the Access to Legal Services Working Group
Report of the Prevention, Triage and Referral Working Group
Report of the Family Justice Working Group

And a background literature review: Family . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Reading: Recommended, Technology: Internet

Bringing Lean Six Sigma Process Improvement Disciplines Into Legal Services: A CCCA Spring Conference Workshop

These are notes from a workshop by Patricia Olah and Andrew Terrett of BLG Adroit from Borden Ladner Gervais, on April 15, 2013 at the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association National Spring Conference 2013 in Toronto. Note: these are my selected notes from this session; any inaccuracies or omissions are my own and not the speakers’.

In this workshop, the speakers gave a brief introductory lecture about Six Sigma and then had participants work through a scenario. These notes are from the introductory lecture only.

Workshop 103 – Process Improvement: Bringing Lean Six Sigma Disciplines into Legal Services

Patricia . . . [more]

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

On-Line Dispute Resolution

Part two of B.C.’s white paper on Justice reform commits to the appointment this year of a chair for the Civil Resolution Tribunal, and commits to invest in the technology needed to launch Canada’s first “on line” tribunal. The Tribunal is to serve as an alternative to court for small claims and civil property disputes. It will permit citizens to deal with these disputes without having to take time off work for court attendance.

On-line dispute resolution systems are gathering steam. Private systems already exist in Canada for ODR: eQuibbly. The European Parliament approved legislation last month for a . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

What Kind of Pope Is Your Managing Partner?

Last month, the world was transfixed by the selection of a new pope for the Catholic church. Prior to the selection of Pope Francis, there was a great deal of discussion about what type of pope would the best choice as the church is running through some fairly turbulent times.

There were those who believed that a “no-nonsense CEO” or “tough-guy governor” as the Globe and Mail suggested on March 9, 2013 would be the best pope. The chief argument for such an individual was that the Curia, and other aspects of the church, needed to be reformed to deal . . . [more]

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

The CBA on the Future of the Legal Profession

For generations, Canada provided refuge and opportunities for individuals seeking a home where they could build a good life. Our strong legal system remains the foundation on which that home was built, offering protections to those who faced persecution for reasons such as the colour of their skin or their political or religious beliefs. On April 17, 1982, Canada enshrined those protections in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, declaring that equality under the law is fundamental to the quality of life of its citizens.

Since then, Canada’s commitment to equality and justice – a real source of pride . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Three Reasons Why the LPP Will Replace Articling Forever

The Law Practice Program (LPP) is about to change the way lawyers are licensed in Ontario.

The LPP is the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC)’s solution to “the articling crisis.” It’s meant to provide an alternative to law graduates unable to secure the 10-month lawyer-in-training jobs they need to become licensed in Ontario.

The gist of the LPP is that instead of 10 months of mandatory paid work at a law firm, the LPP requires only four months of paid or unpaid work experience and four months of coursework.

Starting in the 2014-2015 licensing year, the LPP . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Law Student Week, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

What Law School Omits to Teach You About Opening Your Own Practice

We began our respective legal practices within a year after finishing our articles; we both wanted to be able to express our personal ethics and practice law our way. We had to develop new skills, ranging from file organization to client management, grapple with unforeseen stressors, and learn to congratulate ourselves for victories big and small. Our biggest surprise was that neither law school nor former employers had ever taught us the things we needed most to run our business. So to that end, and in honour of Law Student Week at slaw, here are ten facts you may also . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management

50 Shades of Neutrality: A Review of “Professionalism”

With an uncritical eye the Chief Justice of Ontario’s report on professionalism makes a virtuous call for higher standards of professionalism for lawyers. It is a response to the reality of declining professionalism. The report, as well as the prevailing discussion on professionalism, does not reflect certain realities. The discourse bifurcates professionalism and morality in a way that the concept of professionalism is assumed to be morally neutral. The elements of professionalism are listed as: scholarship; integrity; honour; leadership; independence; pride; spirit; collegiality; service; and balanced commercialism. Not only does the list exclude a recognition of some fundamental attributes, but . . . [more]

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

The Ethics of 24/7 Lawyering

Lawyers work hard and play hard, except for the play part. This asymmetry is owed to the great demands on time and energy that the law profession features as it clings to the old adage that being a lawyer is not a job, it’s a life. With an air of resignation, this vision of the 24/7 advocate is largely accepted. After all, it’s the law profession. Forfeiting a balanced life is just part of the deal. Whether this vision should be accepted, however, is another question. Testing the ethical soundness of the lawyer’s exemption from a work-life balance begs examination . . . [more]

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