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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Practice Management’

Collaboration Through Wikis: Law Firm Case Study

The folks at the Toronto law firm Hicks Morley are leaps and bounds ahead of most other firms in their wiki use. They are using the wiki-based platform ThoughtFarmer as their whole intranet. This has had advantages, including being quick to set up and cost effective compared to other intranet or portal platforms.

In October Knowledge Management Specialist Heather Colman made a presentation to both the Toronto and New York Legal KM Groups, and we subsequently invited her to present at Toronto Wiki Tuesdays. These were her slides: . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

Great Advice for Lawyers Who Are (Or Might Be) Looking for a Job

Lawyers that have been laid off or are facing a potential layoff some time this year need to plan for a new future. If you or someone you know is facing a job search, Resolve to Manage Your Job Search by Kathleen Brady is a great article that contains a step by step guide to seeking new employment. It appears in the January issue of the ABA LPM section’s webzine Law Practice Today (www.lawpracticetoday.org). LPT is free to all – subscribe here. . . . [more]

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

When You Go to Heaven, Will Your Practice Go to Hell?

Nobody likes to think about their death or disability, but you’ve got family, employees and clients who rely on you. What will they do if you become disabled or pass away unexpectedly? Put a plan in place now to protect those you may leave behind. My friends and fellow practice management advisors Reid Trautz and Courtney Kennaday discuss these issues in a great article in this month’s ABA LPM Section’s Law Practice Today webzine: When You Go to Heaven, Will Your Practice Go to Hell?

If you want some practical help, notice precedents and checklists, see the Law Society of . . . [more]

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

Avoiding a Malpractice Claim: The 2008 Most Popular practicePRO/LAWPRO Downloads

practicePRO, LAWPRO’s risk management and claims prevention initiative, provides lawyers with tools and resources to help them succeed in the practice of law and avoid a malpractice claim (see this article for information on the most common legal malpractice claims).

As we have completed another year we have updated our most popular downloads list. What are other lawyers looking at? The top 5 downloads were as follows:

1 Peg Duncan’s Canadian focused E-Discovery Reading List
2 Rollie Thompson’s article on the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines
3 A LAWPRO Magazine article on The Dangers of Metadata
4 A sample . . . [more]

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

A Financial Plan for Christmas

Merry Christmas, seasons greetings, happy holidays. These can be empty words for those struggling to cope with challenging financial times. Even in economiclly stable Alberta, recession planning has become the topic of the day. My gift on this day of celebration are some tips for financial stability from those who know far more than me.

From Slaw:

From the ABA Law Practice Managment Section:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Mitch Kowalski, Man to Watch in Tough Legal Times

Last week I met with Mitch Kowalski of the Legal Post. He mentioned our conversation earlier today on the site, which is the kick in the butt I needed to do my own write-up on it during our break from school.

Mitch is an alumn from my school, Western Law, but has chosen a career path unique from most. After practicing for many years on Bay St. he decided to open a writing center, first at Yorkville, and then moving to a more central location on Bloor West.

And just like those television infomercials, Mitch . . . [more]

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

Privacy Commissioner to Release Guide on Social Networking at Work

According to their recent blog post, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is expected to soon release guidelines to help employers draft policies for use of social networking sites in the workplace. The Office cites a recent study by Ryerson University that identified a digital divide between young Canadians who use social networks and their employers. The blog post explains:

…researchers found that, by and large, employers currently don’t have policies, guidelines or practices in place that govern the use of social networking sites in the workplace.

However, a small number of employers are starting to. So

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Technology

Après Le Deluge de Data…quoi?

An article in the recent Communications of the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), “Got data?: a guide to data preservation in the information age,” makes the case for urgent investment in data cyberinfrastructure — whatever is required to store, manage, catalog and access data.

(Note: that link won’t give you much joy unless you happen to subscribe to the ACM portal. Fortunately, the author, Francine Berman, who is Director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center, has put up on her website a version of the piece in PDF, “Surviving the Data Deluge.” Such is the . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Technology

Meat on the Bone : Comments on the Guidelines for Practicing Ethically With New Information Technologies

The Canadian Bar Association recently published Guidelines for Practicing Ethically with New Information Technologies (the “Guidelines”) as a supplement to its Code of Professional Conduct.

While the Guidelines provide a considerable amount of information concerning the use of technology in a legal practice (even referring to certain software in its annexes), some lawyers may find themselves at a loss as to how to actually implement the guidelines in their practice. This essay identifies certain aspects of the Guidelines that are worthy of additional commentary and refers readers to (mostly free) tools which will prove useful in following the Guidelines. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

Rate Your Firm’s Professional Service

It’s report card time (in Ontario primary schools at least), so why don’t we talk about some client service report cards for you and your firm.

My SLAW post last week was about the importance of keeping your clients happy, and how a post matter client survey (a sample survey is here) is one of the best ways to collect information about what clients thought about the services you provided.

Building on what I said last week, a look in the mirror can help as well. The Managing a Better Professional Services Firm Booklet I mentioned last week . . . [more]

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

Social Media vs. Knowledge Management: A Generational War

That’s the title of an article worth reading at social computing magazine.com. (And speaking of social media, this article came to my attention via a Twitter post by Mathew Ingram.)

The article says:

KM and SM look very similar on the surface, but are actually radically different at multiple levels, both cultural and technical, and are locked in an undeclared cultural war for the soul of Enterprise 2.0.

And the most hilarious part is that most of the combatants don’t even realize they are in a war. They think they are loosely-aligned and working towards the same ends,

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

Post-Matter Client Services Survey

In tough economic times it is more important than ever to make sure your clients are happy with the work you did for them. A post-matter client survey is one of the best ways to collect information about what clients thought about the services you provided.

Make sure your survey is structured to help you identify specific areas for improvement. Ideally, it should include some open-ended questions.

LAWPRO’s booklet, Managing a Better Professional Services Firm, included a sample post-matter client survey. An electronic copy of this survey that you can adapt for your firm is available at www.practicepro.ca/servicesbooklet. . . . [more]

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