As part of my recent tour of Australia – well, the south-eastern part any way – George Beaton invited me to speak at a few of his live and taped events. One of the many points that interested me was his modelling on Axiom. As many know, Axiom provides embedded counsel to companies needing to fill gaps in its skill sets on short term bases. It has grown rapidly and profitably over the past 10 years.
Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Future of Practice’
In a news release dated today, the Law Society of British Columbia has announced approval in principal of three recommendations made in the final report of the Legal Service Providers Task Force, to wit:
. . . [more]
- The Law Society and the Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia seek to merge regulatory operations.
- That a program be created by which the legal regulator provide paralegals who have met specific, prescribed education and/or training standards with a certificate that would allow them to be held out as “certified paralegals.”
- That the Law Society develop a regulatory framework by which other providers of
They laughed at me when I suggested that law firms should move to open concept offices for all lawyers with fun amenities like rooftop terraces.
Not possible! they yelled.
We could never get any work done! they sneered.
We need our offices! they pompously carolled.
We’re not techies working for Google! they laughed.
Now Australian law firm, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, with offices across Australia employing over 500 lawyers has proven them all wrong.
Walking into Corrs’ new Sydney office at state-of-the-art new office tower, 8 Chifley Place was like walking into a dream.
Lawyers who practice family law in Winnipeg are familiar with the Tuesday morning motions court, known as the “zoo” for reasons that will soon be obvious. For those unfamiliar with this docket court, the recent decision of Associate Chief Justice Rivoalen in Skinner v. Skinner is instructive:
. . . [more]
 There is a lot going on as the Family Motions Coordinator, parties and their lawyers navigate their way through the typical Family Uncontested Motions melée, and not only because there are so many matters on the List. Moreover, the Court’s registry staff, clerks, sheriffs, stand-by master and judges are fully engaged….
In 1936, Yale law professor Fred Rodell wrote “[t]here are two things wrong with almost all legal writing. One is its style. The other is its content.”
Some things never change, but the growth of legal blogging over the past decade would give hope to even Professor Rodell that not all legal writing must suffer from these twin deficiencies. In fact, the good professor might even be persuaded to accept that short form legal writing through blogs serves as a valuable source of legal scholarship.
In the context of a for-credit tech law internship overseen by the University of Ottawa . . . [more]
Times are rough for everyone, but law students are still feeling the brunt of the economic contraction as there are less and less jobs. Osgoode and Ottawa students seem to be affected the worst, while Queen’s, Western and UofT have fared slightly better. A total of 351 students were hired by Bay Street firms this year, which can be compared to 379 hires in 2012, 403 in 2011 and 444 in 2010.
In Canada, law is largely a self-regulating profession: our Law Societies create and administer standards of lawyer conduct as means of guarding our professional independence and promoting lawyers’ professionalism. But as the legal profession absorbs shockwaves from increasing globalization, technology, and liberalization, it’s worth asking whether the public interest continues to be served by traditional means of regulating lawyers’ conduct. As the practice of law changes and innovates, what’s the best way to ensure standards are met amongst lawyers – and how do we ensure any standards at all for non-lawyers involved in new models of legal practice?
For the . . . [more]
Having spent the last 3 weeks in Australia and Hong Kong, I will be using Slaw to discuss some of the ideas and the firms that I met while out in the Wild East. *** Listen for the audible sigh of relief from everyone at the Law Society of Upper Canada as they learn that I won’t be throwing any more daggers at them – this year ***.
Australia is a beautiful country with a legal market not that dissimilar to Canada. Although with a population of about 20 million people and about 37 law schools, Australia is ripe for . . . [more]
If ideas and discussion about access to justice in Canada interest you, consider setting aside your next fifteen-minute break (or 13:35 of it) to hear a good presentation. Andrew Pilliar,a PhD student at UBC Law, recently delivered a TEDx talk on “why you should care about access to justice.” Andrew addresses the widespread unaffordability of legal services—including for people who would not qualify for legal aid but whose circumstances might turn dire were we to find ourselves in need of legal help.
He directs the talk to the general public, to the profession, and also specifically to law . . . [more]
Nearly 30 legal professionals – and who knows how many lurkers – participated in Tuesday night’s Twitterchat about legal technology and access to justice.
What if it were this easy, wondered Casey Hall from Thomson Reuters Legal, to pool time to answer those in need?
That strikes straight to the heart of the access to justice conundrum: everyone has lots of ideas about what the basic problems are and what could be done to fix them, but there appears to be more eagerness to discuss the issue than to deal with it.
That there are areas of overlap in the . . . [more]
The Law Society of Upper Canada has just now announced that Ryerson University and the University of Ottawa will provide the Society’s “Law Practice Program” of training for graduate JDs who choose not to, or are unable to, article. Ottawa will provide it in French and Ryerson in English. Unlike the University of Ottawa, Ryerson University has no law school.
As well, Ontario’s newest law school at Lakehead University will offer yet another alternative to articling, within its current JD program:
. . . [more]
Additionally, the Law Society has approved another innovative option for fulfilling the experiential training component of its licensing requirements:
“It’s hard to take law and technology seriously when they still have a typewriter at the courthouse – and a pen remains the judge’s weapon of choice.”
That statement from Ottawa lawyer Bryan Delaney neatly sums up the paradox faced when talk turns to incorporating new technology into legal services – some may be riding technology’s cutting edge, but other parts of the profession are still tootling around in granddad’s jalopy.
Tuesday night’s CBA Legal Futures Twitterchat, hosted by My Legal Briefcase founder Monica Goyal, featured participants representing a full range of practitioners, from traditional to tech-based. There seemed to . . . [more]