Canada’s online legal magazine.
Rogers OutRank
Canadian Bar Association

Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Future of Practice’

Quebec Bar Association Steps Into Election Campaign

The Quebec Bar Association has launched the Votre Justice (Your Justice) website to raise access to justice issues during the provincial election campaign. Quebecers will be electing Members of the National Assembly on September 4th, 2012.

The Association has identified four issues.

For each one, the website describes the current situation, outlines the Association’s position, suggests questions for debate, and (when available) summarizes the proposals of the 5 main parties (Parti libéral du Québec, Parti québécois, Québec solidaire, Option nationale, and Coalition Avenir Québec).

The issues are:

  • underinvestment in the justice system
  • changes to the tax system to increase accessibility
  • . . . [more]

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

Separating “essential” From “incidental” in Legal Practice

Next month I begin teaching a course on innovation in legal services at Western University Law School. I’m excited about teaching this new course, but I’m even more interested in the mood and thoughts of today’s law students. How do they perceive the legal marketplace given that 13% of Ontario law school graduates did not find articling positions this year? More importantly what do they think of the profession itself?

Do they feel the same sense of uncertainty about the future that many lawyers feel today? Or do they see themselves on the cusp of a new era with boundless . . . [more]

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

Law School Olympics: Canada Wins!!!

ABA Decision Not to Accredit Foreign Law Schools Means Canadian Law Schools and Students are Winners. . . For Now

Last week the ABA`s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar decided not to get into the business of accrediting foreign law schools. The vote was unanimous. However, sounding somewhat like the Federation of Law Societies of Canada in its report on accrediting the Common Law Degree, the Governing Council of the section acknowledged that it needs to establish sandards and procedures for licensing foreign lawyers who want to practice law in the United States.

ABA accreditation . . . [more]

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

Canadian Lawyers as Twitter Leaders?

Earlier this week, Tech Vibes reported that as worldwide Twitter subscribership crossed the half-billion mark, Canadian accounts were shown to account for 2% of that total, placing Canada at 8th spot among all countries in total Twitter subscriber numbers. Canadians, of course, were also among the early adopters of Facebook and routinely top the rankings of ComScore and similar reports for such things as time spent online, so our collective Twitter presence is not actually all that surprising.

The surprise comes courtesy of some recently completed but not-yet-released research conducted by CanLII. Over a 6 week period in June . . . [more]

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

July 2012 Issue of Connected Bulletin on Courts and Social Media

The July 2012 issue of Connected is available online.

The bulletin covers news about the impact of new social media such as Twitter and Facebook on court proceedings, the ethical implications of judges and court staff using new media, and court policy issues relating to these technologies.

It is published by the Virginia-based National Center for State Courts and the Conference of Court Public Information Officers.

Most of the stories are about the United States, but there is occasionally material about non-US matters. One of this month’s items is about a mistrial declared in a New Brunswick murder case because . . . [more]

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

Brilliant Innovation in Municipal in-House Legal Teams

As we legal writers drag ourselves through the dog days of summer, we sometimes hit lulls in finding topics of interest. Lucky for me the United Kingdom continues to provide fodder for those exhorting North Americans to change the way legal services are delivered. And I count myself fortunate to have been able to connect with a number of players who are truly shaking up the legal services industry across the Atlantic.

While the spotlight on innovation is focussed primarily on the private sector, one municipal in-house legal team is starting to cause a sensation.

Geoff Wild has written a . . . [more]

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

The Lost Art of Pricing for Legal Services

As readers are aware, I have been very vocal about the scourge of the billable hour.

Recently a lawyer asked me, if I don’t bill by the hour, then how do I charge for my services? It then struck me that the real reason lawyers bill by the hour is because they don’t know how else to charge for legal services. To a person in any other line of business this would be a bizarre question.

But for lawyers, the art of pricing for legal services has been lost to time.

There are now fewer and fewer lawyers who realize . . . [more]

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

Fastcase 50 Innovators and Leaders Announced for 2012

The Fastcase 50 for 2012 was announced on Thursday, earlier than last year presumably to coincide with AALL 2012, the American Association of Law Libraries conference currently taking place in Boston.

According to the press release, the Fastcase 50 “recognizes the smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders in the law” and were nominated by legal and legal technology industry leaders, law firm managers and other individuals.

From Ed Walters, CEO of Fastcase: “We get to recognize our heroes, the great thinkers, creators, and risk-takers who make this such an interesting time to work in legal tech. . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology

Juries and the Internet

The judge presiding over the UK trial of a police officer charged with manslaughter of a man at the London G20 protests in 2009, made a request that certain newspapers purge their online archived reports of the accused’s involvement in a 2001 road rage incident. The judge had ruled the jury should not hear evidence of this incident at the trial. The purpose of his request to the newspapers – with which they complied voluntarily – was to remove the risk that the jurors might read them.

The stories had been run by the papers legitimately, prior to any charges . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

The Return of Legal Apprenticeships

Following the report of the LSUC task force on articling, there has been a lot of discussion in Ontario about how entry to the legal profession will look in the future.

This is a hot topic in the UK too, but for a different reason.

Deregulation brought about by the UK Legal Services Act is reshaping entry to the legal profession there. More school leavers are now opting to enter the profession via the apprenticship route rather than through law degrees. School leavers can join firms as litigation executives and train to become lawyers on-the-job via the Chartered Institute of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

My Summer Reading List

I’ve seen other summer reading lists lately and thought it would be fun to put together my own list of books currently or recently on my nightstand. There’s quite a range here–management/leadership type titles, geek girl titles, and some challenging fiction. I’m not really one for light reading! And, there’s probably no way I can get through all of these in the summer, but I can certainly try. And of course in putting this list together I found even more new books, so I better get reading.

What is on your summer reading list?

Here is the list (with no . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Reading: Recommended, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

North America: The Next Emerging Market for Legal Services

I have been following an interesting blog and twitter feed (@LawSync) prepared by LawSync out of Sheffield Hallam University. LawSync has put the “wow” back into law school and is a project of that university’s Department of Law, Criminology, and Community Justice. According to its website:

The name of this project reflects our desire to see a better synchronisation between law as an academic discipline and professional practice, the expectations both of legal professionals and users of legal services, and regulatory influences. Law schools, law students, and legal professionals need to keep in sync with market needs and

. . . [more]

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