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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

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

On Being Prepared

Three things have converged recently that relate to being prepared. Thinking about Slawyers, I am certain that readers of this blog are likely those that support and espouse the notion of preparedness, I decided to write about preparedness from three perspecitives.

1. The unprepared (fly by the seat of your pants and deal with the consequences as they arise)

My youngest daughter is a musician. She recently finished her first year of university and is now looking for employment. Despite her mother and father’s strong (occasionally screechy) suggestions that she begin applying for summer work in March, she put the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Plaintiff Spends $550,000 on Legal Fees to Recover $10,000

In a recent defamation decision, the plaintiff spent nearly $550,000 on legal fees only to recover a $10,000 judgment. The plaintiff was not alone in racking up a large legal bill. The defendant spent nearly $250,000 on legal fees defending the claim.

After the conclusion of trial both sides sought their legal costs from the other side.

The plaintiff argued that it was successful in the result and therefore ought to be entitled to costs.

The defendant argued that the plaintiff should have brought its case in Small Claims Court, or under the Simplified Procedure, and should not be . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law

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

Plot for Thought

I am old enough that I have both observed and given presentations on clear film with an old school overhead projector. I was thinking about time and visualizing time and studying statistical process control and using charts to help with decision making. Suddenly, I had a perfectly clear visual of a stack of overhead film with run chart plots overlaid with each other for comparing data.

Statistical Process Control, specifically Run Charts (a line graph where a measure is plotted over time), are useful tools that allow us to:

  • Display data to make process performance visible
  • Determine if a change
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

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

An Ontario Benchers’ Candidates’ Word Cloud

The candidates for the forthcoming elections have all – save one – drafted statements or manifestos to garner support.

What these documents frame is what’s on the minds of the candidates as they try and anticipate the issues that most concern the lawyer members of the legal profession who will shortly be voting.

The picture speaks volumes. The size of the text reflects how frequently the concept occurs in all of the candidate statements.

. . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law