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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Practice Management’

2011 Innovaction Award Winners: University of Toronto Among the Winners

It has been a long while since we mentioned the Innovaction Awards. The 2011 winners were recently announced, and a Canadian group are among the winners:

Berwin Leighton Paisner, LLP (BLP) was selected for their Lawyers On Demand (LOD) initiative which began in 2007 after BLP observed two important issues affecting the UK legal market: (1) legal services clients want to stretch their budgets further and (2) many lawyers are looking for greater flexibility and autonomy in their work. BLP created LOD to address these issues. LOD challenged the traditional models of legal service delivery and brought talented freelance

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

Work-Life Balance – a Québec Initiative

It goes without saying that balancing family while working for a “big-law” firm can be a challenge. I am reminded of that on a weekly basis. Other jobs are just as demanding (if not more). It has become de rigueur for employers (especially law firms) to tout their approach to promise a positive work-life balance. However, there are few ways to confirm that an employer’s advertising confirms with their employees’ reality.

In response to this issue, the Quebec government has launched a unique program: a corporate certification regarding work-family balance. The certification is for all businesses, regardless of their size. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Privacy Commissioner Releases PIPEDA Guide for Lawyers

Canada’s Privacy Commissioner announced the release of “PIPEDA and Your Practice — A Privacy Handbook for Lawyers” (also available in a PDF version) at the Canadian Bar Association Canadian Legal Conference and Expo 2011. As the handbook says:

In some cases, the requirements of PIPEDA mirror lawyers’ existing professional requirements. In other cases, navigating the requirements of PIPEDA in a legal practice can add further complexity. Lawyers must not only consider their own privacy obligations but also the different obligations that each of their clients may face. Privacy obligations applicable to clients can sometimes restrict what lawyers

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Solo Day 2011: Law Firm Marketing Management

These are notes are from a panel discussion session at the American Bar Association 2011 conference in Toronto last Friday, one of the Solo Day 2011 talks. Panelists included Charley Moore, founder of RocketLawyer, San Francisco, CA; Carolyn Elefant, solo practitioner and blogger (see, Washington, DC , and Jay S. Fleischman, consumer bankruptcy lawyer at Shaev & Fleischman (see and and online legal marketing consultant at . Note: these are my selected notes from this session; any inaccuracies or omissions are my own. I welcome your comments and follow-up thoughts! . . . [more]

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

The Once and Future Firm: The Changing Nature of Law Firms

These are notes are from a panel discussion session at the American Bar Association 2011 conference in Toronto last Friday. Panelists included Arthur G. Greene, Boyer Greene LLC, Bedford, NH; T. Andrew Brown, Brown & Hutchinson, Attorneys at Law, Rochester, NY; Thomas C. Grella, McGuire Wood & Bissette PA, Asheville, NC; Ken Young, Young Mayden LLC, Charlotte, NC; and Mark Robertson, Robertson & Williams, Oklahoma City, OK & co-author of Winning Alternatives to the Billable Hour. Moderator was Prof. Gary A. Munneke of Pace University School of Law, White Plains, NY. Note: these are . . . [more]

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

Knowledge Management Know-How

Luigi Benetton has published a nice article called “Knowledge Management Know-How” in the current edition of The Lawyers Weekly.

The article quotes me and fellow SLAW contributor Dominic Jaar, but what I like about the article are the viewpoints from others in the industry and the wide range of tips and advice on best practices.

What I find with knowledge management is that there is usually never a single approach or method and varies a fair bit depending on the type of organization, its culture and staffing.

In fact, there has been lots of discussion in the . . . [more]

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

Responses to ABA, North Carolina Proposals RE: Cloud Computing

Back in May I wrote about two sets of proposals that may impact the adoption of cloud computing technology among lawyers.

The first set of proposals comes from the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20, which has issued an initial set of draft proposals addressing lawyers’ confidentiality-related obligations when using technology. The second set of proposals comes from the North Carolina State Bar in the form of in Proposed 2011 Formal Ethics Opinion 6 – Subscribing to Software as a Service While Fulfilling the Duties of Confidentiality and Preservation of Client Property.

Last week the comment periods for both proposals . . . [more]

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

Five Activities Generally Not Covered by Your Malpractice Policy

On occasion, lawyers have engaged in activities that have made them front-page news, subject to embarrassment and possibly lawsuits or discipline complaints. Not only can this kind of attention be bad for a lawyer’s reputation, it can also damage or even destroy client relationships.

That’s reason enough to be aware of and avoid activities that could lead to these types of outcomes. But there is another – equally if not more compelling – reason to avoid them: In some instances, it may be the law firm, not LAWPRO (or your own malpractice carrier if you are outside Ontario), that foots . . . [more]

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

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

I have recently returned to work after a maternity leave. Now I am struggling with how to get back up to speed on all things legal research-related. Despite my best intentions, I was unable to stay on top of Slaw posts or Supreme Court decisions while at home. Now I am constantly second-guessing my research, worried that I have missed some new resource or decision. On the plus side, I am pleasantly surprised when I discover ‘new’ features on my favourite websites and online databases; of course, I have no idea how long they’ve been there, or what other ones . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Email Charter

TED Curator Chris Anderson suggests that we help curb the proliferation of emails by subscribing to a Charter that he and fellow TEDer Jane Wulf have devised. He argues that in some sense we have all joined spammers in contributing to the modern “tragedy of the Commons” that our summed-up bad behaviours have produced. You’ll get a much better idea of what he means by reading the actual Charter, set out below. (It’s available as plain text and as a PDF, also, in case you want to pass it around the office — not by email.) . . . [more]

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

Are You Covered for Legal Work Involving Foreign Law or Lawyers?

Lawyers and their clients are more mobile than ever before. With the Internet, easy international travel and a global economy, relationships and business transactions – and legal matters and disputes – frequently cross international borders. Handling matters that involve foreign law can increase the risk that you will face a malpractice claim, and can have important malpractice insurance implications that you should keep in mind.

This article highlights activities and situations involving dealings with foreign lawyers and foreign law that can lead to situations that will likely not be covered under your E&O policy. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Back to the Future – Western’s Bold Leap

One of the saddest chapters of Bill Kaplan’s excellent biography Canadian Maverick – the Life and Times of Ivan C. Rand, is his account of Justice Rand’s post SCC appointment as the founding Dean of the University of Western Ontario’s Law School. Rand didn’t fit, was remote from students, and was ill at ease and isolated. {For further references see Omar’s post and Jamie Cameron’s review.]

A different challenge awaits the former chairman and chief executive officer of McCarthy Tétrault LLP., Iain Scott who will be moving to take over the deanship of Western in September. This . . . [more]

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