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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Practice Management’

Is Cost-Effective Westlaw and Lexis Training Possible?

A message on the American Law Libraries – Private Law Libraries SIS Listserv has alerted me to: (i) A new blog by Law Librarian Jean O’Grady called Dewey B Strategic which has the subtitle of “Risk, value, strategy, libraries, knowledge and the legal profession,” and (ii) a recent intriguing post on this new blog called The Myth and the Madness of Cost Effective Lexis and Westlaw Research Training that raises the challenge (if not impossibility) of trying to teach “cost-effective searching” on Westlaw or Lexis to students or associates given the complexity of how these products are priced. Some examples . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Being Management-Side Labour and Employment Lawyer…

First of all, I’d like to thank Simon Fodden for inviting me to contribute to the site. It really is an honour to be able to contribute to such a well-rounded and popular blog.

Like my colleague Genevieve Lay (who also blogs on the site), I am a labour and employment lawyer at Ogilvy Renault LLP in Montreal. As a firm, we generally only represent employers. In thinking about how to introduce myself to the Slaw.ca community with my first post, I thought it best to talk about what I do and why I do it. Part of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

ILTSO Tackles on-Premise, Cloud and Mobile Legal Technology Standards

Standards for on-premise, cloud and mobile technologies used by lawyers have, to-date, been lacking. While an abundance of recommendations, best practices and other guidelines have been issues by Bar Associations and other organizations, there has not been a single, comprehensive document lawyers could look to for clear guidance on what minimal standards should be adhered for on-premise, cloud and mobile technologies.

The International Legal Technology Standards Organization (ILTSO) aims to change that. ILTSO is a non-profit organization consisting of attorneys, bar association representatives, IT professionals, and business leaders with a stated mission of “helping attorneys and clients better understand the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Website 201

As promised, more from the ABA Techshow, and more from Steve Matthews, who presented on website basics for lawyers.

Getting noticed and ranked high by search engines is very important for firms, because most of the traffic to your site will come from searches on Google and the other search engines. So how do you engage in “search engine optimization,” or SEO as it’s called?

Page SEO factors

  1. Use page titles and make them unique and descriptive; it helps search engines understand what you’re about. When you’re browsing, look up at the top of your browser: you’ll see the title
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Website 101

Here on Slaw we pretty much take for granted some of the basics of IT, prime among which might be the value of a website to practicing lawyers. But, of course, it’s just not the case that all lawyers have—and make good use of—websites. So for those of you who fall into that category (or who have a friend who does) here’s a little something.

As it happens, I’m at the ABA Techschow in Chicago listening to Slaw’s Steve Matthews explain the basics with respect to the necessary infrastructure, Website 101: Build and Rebuild.

Domain names
Use short, memorable . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Significant Increase in Bad Cheque Frauds Targeting North American Lawyers

LAWPRO has seen a significant increase in bad cheque frauds targeting lawyers all over North American over the last two months, and over the last week several new names are being used on the ongoing collaborative agreement frauds. We are also seeing more activity in the last few weeks on frauds involving a real estate purchase deposit and a settlement of an employment related personal injury claim. Over the last few months several hundred lawyers from across North American have reported to us that they received various versions of these messages attempting these frauds. See below for more details on . . . [more]

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

AODA Era Part IV: Employment Standard

The employment standard under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is found under part III in the Proposed Integrated Accessibility Regulation (PIAR), which is slated to become law around July 2011 (not confirmed). This standard requires an organization that is an employer to engage in the proactive identification, removal and prevention of barriers hindering the full participation in employment of persons with disabilities. It also requires that organization to have policies and procedures for establishing individual accommodation plans where barriers cannot be removed proactively, shifting the onus from the individual who needs the accommodation to the person who . . . [more]

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

Client Screening Form Can Help Avoid Tactical Conflicts

On occasion, a party will intentionally contact or attempt to meet with one or more lawyers for the sole purpose of creating a conflict that will prevent the lawyer(s) from acting for another party on a pending matter.

Despite the bad intentions of the individual making these contacts, the lawyer(s) contacted may not be able to act for the other party, especially if confidential information was disclosed.

This behaviour occurs quite frequently in the family law area and in specialized areas of the law where there are a limited number of experts. In smaller communities this can be very frustrating . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

The 2/3 Rule Will Make You a Happy and Successful Lawyer

With a bit of effort, the simple and profound 2/3 Rule can transform you and your practice. I have mentioned this rule in dozens of presentations over the last several years and it always gets great feedback so thought it was worthy of a SLAW posting.

This simple rule says the goal of being a happy lawyer with a successful practice can be achieved provided all your clients/matters meet at least 2/3 of the following requirements:
1. You are working on interesting and challenging legal problems.
2. You are working with people you enjoy.
3. You are getting paid for . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

The Cost of Doing Business

Rachel Rodgers makes a great point in her post today at SPU — the idea that in business, everything has a cost. She illustrates:

“Using an old laptop that gives you trouble every now and then has a cost. The cost is lost time that could have been spent working and the ensuing frustration that prevents you from being creative.”

or,

“Not purchasing software that makes work flow and management efficient has a cost. Not having staff that can handle certain time consuming tasks has a cost.”

She also correctly notes that even for a new business, sweat equity . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

A Systematic Approach to Law Firm Management

This is an article by Malcolm Mercer, partner and general counsel at McCarthy Tetrault in Toronto. It originally appeared in the September 2010 edition of LawPRO Magazine.

Risk is an inevitable reality of law practice. The only way to eliminate risk is to stop practising law – an option most readers of this article are not yet contemplating. A more realistic option is to actively mitigate risk through structured, systematic risk management. This approach is particularly helpful at the law firm level, where risk management can sometimes be seen to be contrary to the perceived self-interest of individual lawyers . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management