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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Future of Practice’

Legal Upstarts

Last Friday I attended a symposium on alternative business structures (ABS — and not to be confused with anti-lock braking systems, American Bureau of Shipping, the absolute value of a number regardless of its sign, etc.) hosted by the Law Society of Upper Canada. I hope that over the next few days, I and a couple of other Slawyers who were there, can fill you in on some of the interesting stuff that we heard (though I’m happy to say that broadly speaking none of it would have been news to a dedicated reader of Slaw). But today I want . . . [more]

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

Video of Keynote by Stephen Mayson at the College of Law Practice Management’s Futures Conference

The College of Law Practice Management’s held its 5th Futures Conference last Friday and Saturday at Chicago-Kent College of Law. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend due to work and personal commitments. However, those of us who missed it are in luck as the presentations were recorded and are available online.

If you listen to any of the sessions from the conference, I strongly recommend you listen to Stephen Mayson’s keynote: The Future of Law – Who Will Perform It? Who Will Regulate It? Stephen has said much over the years about the changing nature of law practice . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Live Webcast of Keynote and TED Presentation at 2013 Futures Conference

If you are not able to attend the 2013 Futures Conference, they are offering a live webcast of the keynote and TED presentations. Please click here for the link to the live webcast.

2013 Futures Conference agenda:

Friday, October 4
9:10 – 10:00 am CDT — Keynote Presentation by Stephen Mayson
10:00 – 10:15 am CDT — TED #1, What is the Market for Legal Services in the Future (from the buyer’s point of view), Ann Lee Gibson, Ann Lee Gibson Consulting
2:00 – 2:15 pm CDT — TED #2, Innovation in the Law Firm, Jordan Furlong, Partner, Edge . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Merger-Mania Continues

Once again a Canadian law firm is in merger discussions. The Blog of Legal Times said earlier this week that Dentons is in discussions with US-based McKenna Long & Aldridge to create a firm of 3,100 lawyers – assuming no one leaves.

John Grimley makes a good point on this potential merger – what’s really in it for McKenna?

George Beaton said on Twitter, “Pray, why is bigger better for clients?”

My thought is, “My God, what is with this obsession with size?”

The marketplace for large international firms is pretty small – enough for only a very few players. . . . [more]

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


The CBA Futures Initiative took to the Twitterverse Tuesday night to talk about legal education.

What was supposed to be a half-hour discussion about objectives and obstacles turned into more than two hours of enthusiastic participation from across the country. Mitch Kowalski summed up the responses about 75 minutes in: “So we’ve seen tuition, diversity, maturity, practicality, length of study are issues. Solutions?”

Karen Dyck summed up the legal profession’s response to these issues so far with an emoticon wink: “Don’t change a thing.”

A lot of the early discussion focused on high and rising tuition costs, in response to . . . [more]

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

More Paralegal Benchers Coming to Ontario

The Ministry of the Attorney General in Ontario announced today that they will introduce a Bill to change how legal professions are regulated in the province.

The proposed Bill would allow the law society to recover legal costs from discipline proceedings, and will allow information protected by solicitor-client privilege to be used in hearings.

The main thrust of the Bill appears to provide more equitable representation of paralegals within the law society, increasing the number of benchers at Convocation from two to five. The committee chair, who is elected by paralegal members, can attend Convocation but cannot vote unless they . . . [more]

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

CBA FuturesChat on Twitter Today

The Canadian Bar Association Futures Initiative holds the first of five FuturesChats today. Each Tuesday in October — today and October 8, 15, 22 and 29 — Slaw blogger Omar Ha-Redeye of Fleet Street Law will moderate a Twitter chat about the future of law in Canada. The conversation is live from 7:00 to 7:30 p.m. ET [5:00-5:30 p.m. CT / 4:00-4:30 p.m. PT etc.].

The topic for today is “the primary objective(s) of legal education.”

To join the conversation log on to Twitter, follow @OmarHaRedeye, and search for the #cbafutureschat hashtag. Or you can use to become . . . [more]

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

“Who’S Eating Law Firms’ Lunch?”

The Legal Innovators Roundtable, a monthly gathering of the like-minded in downtown Toronto, is a constant source of fresh ideas on the changing face of the legal industry. (If you would like details of meeting times and place I would be happy to provide them.)

Here is an ABA article circulated last week. It profiles Novus Law, a Chicago based legal services company that reviews, manages and analyzes documents for large-scale litigation, now poised to focus on drafting briefs and motions. Interestingly neither founder is a lawyer.

See the long list of legal process outsourcing and litigation support firms at . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Salary Caps and Retained Earnings for Law Firms

The other day, I was sitting with Phil Brown, of the Law Society of Upper Canada, trying to solve the world’s problems – as we are wont to do from time to time.

I ventured that one of the constraints to access to justice is a lawyer’s overhead. And a large part of that overhead in large- and medium-sized firms, is lawyer salary.

Then I thought, how crazy is it that we live in a world where lawyers can’t survive on a salary of $250,000.00 per year – keeping in mind that this amount is about 5 times what the . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Starting Off on the Right Foot

“The conundrum that regulators have is that we are to all intents and purposes recognizing entry-level competence,” Tim McGee, CEO of the Law Society of British Columbia told a CCCA lunchtime panel at the 2013 CBA Legal Conference in Saskatoon, discussing what the role of the regulator should be in ensuring competence in the legal profession.

His point was that despite CLE requirements, lawyers aren’t actually assessed by regulators as their careers progress – it’s assumed that if they attend an accredited law school, get a certain degree and pass a bar exam, law students are competent to become lawyers. . . . [more]

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

The Future of Canadian Law Firms Requires Inclusion

This post was originally published on the CBA Legal Futures Initiative website, and is authored by Omar Ha-Redeye, a lawyer with Fleet Street Law, a part-time professor at Ryerson University and Centennial College, and a blogger here at SLAW.

One aspect of the future which hasn’t received as much attention is the significant demographic shift occurring in Canada.

Darrel Bricker and John Ibbitson, authors of The Big Shift, The Seismic Change in Canadian Politics, Business, and Culture and What It Means for Our Future, spoke at the CBA Legal Conference in Saskatoon recently on how the entire face . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

The Opposite of ‘Inclusive’ Is ‘Incomplete’

Lawyers work in one of the least diverse professions in any country, Dr. Arin Reeves told the Monday morning plenary session at the 2013 CBA Legal Conference in Saskatoon. It was something the women and minorities in the largely white, male audience had probably already guessed.

And they no doubt nodded vigorously, or even silently applauded, when she said that “diversity” is not merely a matter of including a few people who don’t look like you on a team – it’s a matter of including them because you value their input, because you know they’ll bring something important to the . . . [more]

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