Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for ‘Reading: Recommended’

Communications Breakdown: When a Lawyer Doesn’t Listen

A study for the Law Society of England and Wales by Hilary Sommerlad, quoted in “What Clients Want” by Clark Cunningham, found that 50% of clients polled had worked with lawyers they did not like. The study concluded it was, more often than not, the way lawyers interacted with clients that was the issue. Indeed, the paper describes a true situation “where a specialist lawyer with a ‘big reputation’ had interrupted the client because she believed she had heard enough to ‘get the picture.’”

This had the unintended consequence of leaving the client too frightened to speak up in future . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Communications Breakdowns: When a Lawyer Doesn’t Care

Why, if lawyers are supposed to be good communicators, are the majority of LAWPRO claims related to communication issues? In 2014, for example, the broad category of communications accounted for about almost a third of claims reported and claims costs. In the article “Let’s Get Talking: A Look at Communications Breakdowns“, from LAWPRO Magazine we asked some lawyers to give their opinions on how lawyer-client communications can break down. This excerpt deals with lawyers giving clients the impression they don’t really care:

How can lawyers understand what clients truly want if they don’t listen? And how can lawyers . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

New LAWPRO Resource for Wills & Estates Lawyers: A Malpractice Claims Fact Sheet

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 to help lawyers in their day-to-day practice and as well as CPD providers, who could use them developing their program material or as handouts. The latest in our series of “malpractice claims fact sheets” covers wills & estates law.

The sheets includes quick claims facts, the main causes of claims against lawyers, hot topics in the particular areas of law, tips for avoiding claims and links to practicePRO resources.

We are also developing . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Inside the Lawyer’s Mind: Managing Our Traits

Following up on his previous week’s posts on lawyers’ personality traits (autonomy, skepticism,urgency), sociability, and resilience.) Ian Hu (practicePRO and Claims Prevention Counsel at LAWPRO) looks at how lawyers face an uphill battle to keep turnover low, keep colleagues happy, and maintain civility across the profession.

I spoke with consultant and blogger Dr. Larry Richard, who provided strategies to manage or overcome these problems in his LAWPRO article. Dr. Richard pointed out that personality traits are expressions of preference. As such, we are not stuck with our personality traits forever. We can learn . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Inside the Lawyer’s Mind: Resilience

Following up on his previous posts on lawyers’ personality traits (autonomy, skepticism,urgency), and sociability) Ian Hu (practicePRO and Claims Prevention Counsel at LAWPRO) discusses “resilience”, a measure of how well lawyers bounce back from setbacks.

A lawyer high in resilience is receptive to criticism and feedback and is not defensive. He is less likely to take criticism personally and is better at focusing on accomplishing the task at hand. If he suffers a loss or is rejected, he will bounce back easily. With all the challenges lawyers face, you’d think we score high on resilience. . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Inside the Lawyer’s Mind Part 4: Sociability

Following up on his previous posts on lawyers’ personality traits (autonomy, skepticism and urgency), Ian Hu (practicePRO and Claims Prevention Counsel at LAWPRO) discusses “sociability”, a person’s desire to meet new people and make new friends.

The average lawyer scores on the bottom 12% on measures of sociability, according to lawyer/psychologist consultant Dr. Larry Richard. This trait measures a person’s desire to meet new people and make new friends. A low score means that a lawyer is uncomfortable going in cold in social situations. He is slow to warm up to people, but happy in his existing . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

The Relevant Lawyer – New Book From ABA Publishing

Later this week the American Bar Association will publish The Relevant Lawyer: Reimagining the Future of the Legal Profession, a collection of essays on the future of the profession. It includes two chapters written by members of Slaw.

Details of how to get the book itself are here. We’ll publish a full review in Slaw shortly.

. . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Reading, Reading: Recommended

Inside the Lawyer’s Mind: Urgency

Following up on his previous posts on lawyers’ personality traits (autonomy and skepticism), Ian Hu (practicePRO and Claims Prevention Counsel at LAWPRO) discusses “urgency”, which measures a lawyer’s need to get things done and degree of impatience.

Consultant Dr. Larry Richard states in his LAWPRO article that such lawyers are more likely to finish others’ sentences, jump to conclusions, and be impulsive. . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Inside the Lawyer’s Mind: Autonomy

Following up on his previous post on lawyers’ personality traits, Ian Hu (practicePRO and Claims Prevention Counsel at LAWPRO) discusses autonomy, a trait that helps lawyers do their job but makes them poor bedfellows in a law firm environment.

Dr. Larry Richard states in our LAWPRO magazine article “Herding Cats: The Lawyer Personality Revealed” that studies suggest high achieving lawyers score in the 89th percentile of this trait, which measures the degree to which a person is sensitive to externally defined rules, policies and procedures. A high autonomy score means that the person is more likely to be unresponsive . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

The Average Lawyer Is 90% More Skeptical Than Everyone Else: What This Means for Your Clients, Your Colleagues, and Your Firm

A skeptical lawyer is a good lawyer. He scrutinizes every line in a contract. He questions the opposing party’s arguments. He looks for hidden motives. He looks at the law with a critical eye. His legal decisions are guided by a healthy pessimism, which helps him guard against mistakes.

At the same time, a skeptical lawyer is not fun to be around when he is not dealing with legal issues. Because of his cynical, argumentative and judgemental character he doesn’t play well with others. He is less accepting, less trusting, and less willing to give others the benefit of . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Cross Border Selection of Lawyers – Issues to Consider

When you shop for a contractor for a home renovation, you are often reminded about the need to ensure your contractor has third party liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance – just in case.

Do you ask that same question when you shop for a lawyer outside of Canada? Do you remember to ask if the foreign lawyer carries professional liability insurance? And do you know what his/her coverage is? Imagine this. A 40-year-old client’s husband dies in a plane crash in the United States, the result of alleged negligence by air traffic controllers who fail to identify a storm . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Is This the Job You Want?

On the face of it, interviewing should not be all that difficult – particularly for lawyers. As members of a profession who primarily make their living either writing or speaking, the idea that having a conversation about your interests and abilities in your own profession sounds both logical and easy.

But throw the words “job interview” into the mix and a whole new paradigm emerges. With seemingly so much at stake, job interviews take on a new meaning for people who ordinarily would not shy away from talking about the field they have chosen and the background that they bring. . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended