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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Practice Management’

Law by the Numbers

It takes a special kind of mind to love statistics, but only the wilfully obtuse ignore them.

Prior to the 2008 recession the statistics for the legal profession could borrow the Olympic Games’ motto – Faster, Higher, Stronger. Nearly five years later, higher numbers of law grads and rising fees are more problematic. Stronger? That’s a difficult question, and part of the impetus for the CBA Legal Futures Initiative. Phase I looked at the current state of the profession in an attempt to identify where the forces of change will take it so as to position Canada’s lawyers to flourish . . . [more]

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

LSUC’s Pickle

The Law Society of Upper Canada (“LSUC”) held its annual general meeting last night. The meeting garnered more attention than it otherwise might have due to the mysterious last minute pulling of a motion that was received on March 28, 2013. This motion dealt with a study to enlarge the paralegal scope of practice. You can read the motion here.

There has not yet been an explanation behind the pulling of this motion–a motion that was proposed well in advance of the meeting.

So we are left to speculate.

It has never made any sense to me as to . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Six Buzzwords in Search of a Context

Globalization. Technology. Economy. Unbundling. Alternative billing. Offshoring.

A CBA-commissioned survey of the state of the research into the future of the legal profession suggests that while these words come up again and again in the thousands of pages of text devoted to the subject, that is where it ends. While there is a near-consensus on the forces driving change, and how law firms might adapt to the new normal this change will bring, there are few recipes showing how best to implement the ideas, and fewer cases still of them actually being implemented.

The American Bar Association held its first . . . [more]

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

A Response to the CBA Legal Futures Initiative

The Canadian Bar Association is running through its CBA Legal Futures Initiative which ostensibly looks at allowing outside investment into law firms, the so-called, Alternative Business Structure (ABS). This initiative should be of interest to all lawyers, but most particularly to younger lawyers, as it may determine the course of their careers – perhaps for the worst.

Younger lawyers should take note of the behaviour of the CBA and various law societies in the late 1990’s and the early 2000’s around Multi-Disciplinary Practices (because of backward-thinking individuals in the CBA and in provincial law societies, MDPs have been regulated into . . . [more]

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

On May Day and Mat Leaves

Happy May Day all! A day for celebrating the labour movement, gathering community, and strengthening the search for greater workers’ rights everywhere.

On May Day, we celebrate and support vulnerable and embattled workers as if they are outside our profession. But we’d like to return yet again to the issue of retaining women in the legal profession, and ask why, as a profession, we are so bad at turning that critical gaze inwards. An April 2013 study commissioned by the Law Society of Upper Canada and authored by Fiona M. Kay, Stacey Alarie, and Jones Adjei of Queen’s University tells . . . [more]

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

Social Networking From an Employment Law Perspective – a CCCA Spring Conference Panel

These are notes from a panel discussion by George Waggott, Partner, McMillan LLP, Toronto, Nina Barakzai, Sky Media, UK, Lyndsey Wasser, Partner, McMillan LLP, Toronto, and Lewis Gottheil, Counsel, CAW Canada, Toronto, on April 16, 2013 at the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association National Spring Conference 2013 in Toronto.

Note: these are my selected notes from this session; any inaccuracies or omissions are my own and not the speakers’. This session included a review of case law which was largely not included here.

 

The Social Network: What Should Employers Do?

Panelists:

George Waggott, Partner, McMillan
Nina . . . [more]

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

The Legal Circle of Life

I was honoured to be a part of panel discussion at the recent Georgetown Law Center Symposium “The Shrinking Pyramid: Implications for Law Practice the Legal Profession.”

Several thoughts occurred to me while attending this event; one of which I’ll share with you now.

There was some discussion about the fact that lifelong partnership at one firm is a relic of the past; there is a constant merry-go-round of lateral partners moving from firm to firm to firm. We see this in Canada as well. Lateral hires typically move for more money (and sometimes for firm management reasons) but paying . . . [more]

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

Bringing Lean Six Sigma Process Improvement Disciplines Into Legal Services: A CCCA Spring Conference Workshop

These are notes from a workshop by Patricia Olah and Andrew Terrett of BLG Adroit from Borden Ladner Gervais, on April 15, 2013 at the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association National Spring Conference 2013 in Toronto. Note: these are my selected notes from this session; any inaccuracies or omissions are my own and not the speakers’.

In this workshop, the speakers gave a brief introductory lecture about Six Sigma and then had participants work through a scenario. These notes are from the introductory lecture only.

Workshop 103 – Process Improvement: Bringing Lean Six Sigma Disciplines into Legal Services

Speakers:
Patricia . . . [more]

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

What Kind of Pope Is Your Managing Partner?

Last month, the world was transfixed by the selection of a new pope for the Catholic church. Prior to the selection of Pope Francis, there was a great deal of discussion about what type of pope would the best choice as the church is running through some fairly turbulent times.

There were those who believed that a “no-nonsense CEO” or “tough-guy governor” as the Globe and Mail suggested on March 9, 2013 would be the best pope. The chief argument for such an individual was that the Curia, and other aspects of the church, needed to be reformed to deal . . . [more]

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

Adapting to Change: How Legal Departments Evolve With the Businesses They Serve, a CCCA Keynote

I hope you don’t mind as I continue gradually to post notes from the CCCA National Spring Conference earlier this week. We now jump ahead to yesterday’s closing keynote.

These are notes from a panel discussion by Joe Bradford, Vice-President, Joint Venture and Legal, CNOOC Canada Inc., Riccardo Trecroce, Vice President and General Counsel, North America, Magna International, Inc., and moderator Gary Graham, Partner, Gowlings, Hamilton on April 16, 2013 at the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association National Spring Conference 2013 in Toronto. Note: these are my selected notes from this session; any inaccuracies or omissions are . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Playing to Win: Roger Martin on Strategy for Corporate Counsel, a CCCA Keynote

These are notes from a keynote address by Roger Martin, Dean, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto on April 15, 2013 at the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association National Spring Conference 2013 in Toronto. Note: these are my selected notes from this session; any inaccuracies or omissions are my own and not the speakers’.

Playing to Win
Roger Martin
Dean, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto and author of 8 books

Martin has previously done strategy work for law firms. It is important for law, IT and HR departments to understand strategy and add to it in . . . [more]

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

What Law School Omits to Teach You About Opening Your Own Practice

We began our respective legal practices within a year after finishing our articles; we both wanted to be able to express our personal ethics and practice law our way. We had to develop new skills, ranging from file organization to client management, grapple with unforeseen stressors, and learn to congratulate ourselves for victories big and small. Our biggest surprise was that neither law school nor former employers had ever taught us the things we needed most to run our business. So to that end, and in honour of Law Student Week at slaw, here are ten facts you may also . . . [more]

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