To date, my DIY A2J posts have talked about ways that lawyers can improve access to justice in family law matters by disseminating information about family law and dispute resolution processes on a voluntary, pro bono basis. Pro bono work is all well and good, and arguably a moral imperative of those practising a generally privileged profession, but at the end of the day you have a responsibility to yourself and to your family to put food on the table and keep the lights on.
Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Practice Management’
With such a large amount of claims prevention information available in LAWPRO Magazine articles and practicePRO resources, we had the idea to create simple fact sheets that CPD providers and others could use in developing their program material for specific areas of law. The latest in our series of “malpractice claims fact sheets” covers family law. . . . [more]
Large and small organizations in the private and non-profit sectors have a new Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) compliance deadline coming up on January 1, 2017.
1) Large organizations (50+ employees)
Starting January 1, 2016, provincially regulated organizations with 50 or more employees in Ontario must work to comply with the design for public spaces standards under the built-environment to address barriers impeding access to outdoor public spaces by persons with disabilities, but not those barriers inside buildings. This task must be completed by January 1, 2017.
This standard covers a variety of public spaces such as exterior . . . [more]
2015 was the fifth year we’ve tracked the fraud-related emails forwarded to email@example.com that allow us to post our warnings to lawyers on LAWPRO’s AvoidaClaim blog. This year we noticed a new trend: the number of emailed reports declined but not the number of actual posts we’ve done. This is likely because while the fraudsters are keeping up their efforts to dupe lawyers, more and more lawyers now recognize the scams and simply delete the emails rather than forwarding them to us. Sadly, not every lawyer sees the frauds for what they are. Last week we heard from a firm . . . [more]
Last year I indicated that there were changes in Ontario which suggested that cloud computing had been implicitly authorized for lawyers. There was no other practical way to implement the new services rules under the amended Rules of Civil Procedure.
Despite these changes, there is still resistance to adopting cloud computing in practice, and sometimes with good reason. Security breaches of online databases have illustrated the enormous risk and problems created in a digital world.
The Ashley Madison hacks had many scurrying in embarrassment, and others concerned because their names had been used by the website without their permission. . . . [more]
Change is needed in the legal industry. But change simply for the sake of changing isn’t always a good thing.
There’s plenty of buzz about McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s “radical” transformation, and rightly so. They’re ridding offices for communal work spaces, finally moving away from the billable hour, and slashing redundant support staff. The effort is to be applauded, but the transition is likely to be bumpy.
Although I’ve advocated for importing the Latte Method into legal services, I’m not sure all lawyers want or need to feel like they’re working in a Starbucks. For many small and independent lawyers, . . . [more]
Competition is fierce.
As cost pressures from clients intensify, as new service providers emerge, and as new technologies are deployed, it is unwise for any firm to avoid thinking about how it should work differently. (Richard Susskind, Tomorrow’s Lawyers)
In The Globe and Mail article “McCarthy Tetrault’s Tracie Cook leading firm’s radical transformation”, Jeff Gray discusses McCarthy Tetrault’s attempt to modernize. The firm has instituted:
- new billing practices;
- open-concept floor plans;
- reduction in 200 support staff; and
- has established a client service innovation team.
“The moves have come as the sector grapples with new competition from global players . . . [more]
While the primary responsibility for wellness rests with the individual, nothing is more important to a law practice than its lawyers and staff. The “firm” – Big Law or a solo practice – can do nothing without people; the better those people feel, the more productive they will be, and the more profitable the firm will be. It follows that a firm has an interest in helping its people be healthy and well. How can a firm help?
Wikipedia defines the Nudge theory as “a concept in behaviour science, political theory and economics which argues that positive reinforcement and indirect . . . [more]
Phantom clients, those who believe they are represented by you, though the individual has not formally hired or retained you, can lead to a potential claim down the road. If you decline an engagement for legal services or the client chooses not to retain you, the non-engagement should immediately be confirmed in writing by way of a non-engagment letter. Here are three resources to help you draft one: . . . [more]
The Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure has proposed changes to the Customer Service Standard and Integrated Accessibility Standards regulations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If approved, the changes will be enacted on July 1, 2016, and take immediate effect.
This proposal includes incorporating the Customer Service Standard into the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation and making changes to requirements of the Customer Service Standard (see details below). . . . [more]
This post is by Ian Hu, claims prevention and practicePRO counsel at LAWPRO
I vividly remember losing one of my first potential clients. He was shopping for lawyers and had whittled his list down to three or four. I had dealt with legal issues exactly like his before and resolved them successfully. I felt I knew the law as well as anyone. I would help him and impress him with my knowledge and experience. I put on my best suit and tie. As I walked down to meet him I figured I had the advantage.
During the meeting I gushed . . . [more]
Are you tired of being tired at work, sitting at your desk simply because there are more senior lawyers still burning the midnight oil? Not only could you be costing your firm in lost productivity, but you could be costing yourself you health as well.
The Swedish city of Gothenberg is attempting an experiment with public sector employees by reducing their workday to six hours.
The city is also maintaining a control group at regular hours and the same pay. They hope the experimental employees will demonstrate indicators such as higher productivity and lower absenteeism, and preliminary results appear promising. . . . [more]