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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Future of Practice’

The Unasked Issue in the Benchers’ Election

Our non-Ontario readers will be thrilled that in an hour the polls close and you won’t have interminable discussions about Ontario’s election and its implications. This post responds to and builds on Mitch’s prescient post from 18 months ago, and Alice Woolley and Alan Cliff’s posts which dealt with the Ontario Benchers’ Election which wraps up today at 5 PM

My focus isn’t on the substantive issues that Alice focused on yesterday but rather on an underlying governance issue that no-one appears to be talking about. It’s about convocations, cabinets and the tyranny of geography

What are the most . . . [more]

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

The Relevant Lawyer – New Book From ABA Publishing

Later this week the American Bar Association will publish The Relevant Lawyer: Reimagining the Future of the Legal Profession, a collection of essays on the future of the profession. It includes two chapters written by members of Slaw.

Details of how to get the book itself are here. We’ll publish a full review in Slaw shortly.

. . . [more]

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

Share and Share Alike

In this new sharing economy, we are sharing our homes through services like Airbnb, sharing our cars through services like Uber and sharing our meals through social dining services like EatWith.

Those with ideas, whether original or crowd-sourced share them and ask that we support the implementation of those ideas by sharing our dollars through crowd funding.

Day to day, we share our lives through Facebook, our photos through Instagram, what we’ve read through links on Twitter, our CVs through LinkedIn and our music through SoundCloud.

It makes me wonder: What’s next? What’s left that’s not already been shared? . . . [more]

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

Law Graduates Still Struggling in Job Market

An editorial in today’s New York Times highlights the plights of law school graduates in the U.S.,

About 20 percent of law graduates from 2010 are working at jobs that do not require a law license, according to a new study, and only 40 percent are working in law firms, compared with 60 percent from the class a decade earlier. To pay the bills, the 2010 graduates have taken on a variety of jobs, some that do not require admission to the bar; others have struck out on their own with solo practices. Most of the graduates have substantial student

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Old Wine in New Bottles

Borrowing a well-worn title for this post seemed appropriate. I trust Milton Freidman, Noam Chomsky, the Pacific Lutheran University Wind Ensemble, or the countless others who have used the title before me won’t mind.

I’m spending my Saturday cleaning up and organizing a 4-year accumulation of papers, ideas, knick-knacks and other items that have marked my time at CanLII. To keep me company, I needed to select just the right musical mix and I’m very happy to have set the dial on Songza’s “funky” mood channel. The music offers the ideal groove for the act of . . . [more]

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

Needs and Nerves: Delegating to Part-Time Employees

I’ve had several recent conversations with senior lawyers who are reluctant to delegate work to part-time administrative staff. They don’t want to be perceived as demanding. They’re afraid of confrontation.

They are actually more open to the concept of flexible work arrangements than most people give them credit for, but they need reassurances that part-time staff are just as committed to quality work as their full-time counterparts.

Unique challenges of delegating to part-time administrative staff
With more and more of us working outside the office or part-time, there is less opportunity for face-to-face communication, which means that it takes longer . . . [more]

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

Reminder: Mandatory Training on the New Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct for Quebec Lawyers

On March 26, 2015, the new Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (nouveau Code de déontologie des avocats) for Quebec lawyers came into force. All lawyer members of the Quebec Bar are required to complete a three-hour training session by December 31, 2015. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Get Out and Vote

I don’t have a horse in this race — I’m not eligible to vote in the Law Society of Upper Canada (aka Ontario) Bencher election. Nonetheless, I know who I’d be voting for if I could.

Bencher elections are notorious for low participation rates across the country. I don’t understand this. Lawyers are typically engaged with politics in general, but for reasons I’m not privy to, fail to demonstrate the same level of engagement in respect of their own professional governance.

That’s a shame, but also an opportunity. Law society elections create an opening for the voices of lawyers from . . . [more]

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

Requiring Diversity in Law Society Structures

The Law Society of Upper Canada Bencher Elections are currently underway, with voting concluding on April 30, 2015.

As with elections in society generally, bencher elections matter, and help determine the course and future of the legal profession. But lawyers, who fully understand the relationship between representatives and policies undertaken, have a lower voter turnout than the general public.

In 2014, the provincial elections in Ontario enjoyed a 52.1 per cent turnout, an increase following five successive drops in turnout and even a record low. Similarly, in the 2011 LSUC Bencher Election, voter turnout increased and reversed a long-term . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Is the Goal of the Future to Catch Up With the Past?

Yes. Sort of. But only if by “the past”, we mean some idealized period when things were easier, cheaper, simpler and better. Apply those same adjectives to the future, and you will forever be chasing the horizon or the end of the rainbow.

In discussions of access to justice issues or legal service markets, the present is the problem and the future looks even worse. For lawyers and the public we serve, everything is already too complex, too time or labour intensive, too expensive, too unjust, or just too hard. Accordingly, process improvement proposals or tech-driven solutions are not offered . . . [more]

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

Why the 2015 LSUC Bencher Election Deserves Your Attention

I recently spoke with Henry J. Chang, one of the Toronto candidates in this year’s Law Society of Upper Canada (“LSUC”) bencher election. I asked him why members should pay particular attention to the elections this year and what issues are most important to voters. A summary of our conversation appears below. . . . [more]

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