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Because I’m Happy….

I’ve been following the career of singer, songwriter, producer and entrepreneur extraordinaire Pharrell Williams for a while. Sometimes I’ll take a break from my work, find a video of people around the world dancing to his hit “Happy” and feel instantly energized (if not verklempt). And then I go back to my desk, review some of the latest online legal media and wonder where all the misery is coming from.

Are there any happy lawyers or legal professionals to be found online? Maybe social media isn’t the place for expressing career satisfaction. Maybe blogs are a place for giving advice, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Reliability of Information

If I were a character in a novel I would work at a think tank in a log structure in the mountains and would wear glasses that connect to the internet and flash a virtual keyboard in front of me with a voice command. And I would have a satellite phone with a secure line. And I would be really cute and tall.

Think tanks are not just plot elements in novels or adventure fantasy. They are potential research sources.

I received an email today from the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. The email shared an interesting report titled . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

What Would Happen to the Profession of Law if It Became a Business?

We’re obviously talking about the high-minded ideals of the profession, and not the day-to-day reality of a sole practitioner trying to balance the books, but lawyers historically don’t like to think of themselves as being part of the rough and tumble of the business world.

The fear is that lawyers who are worried about the business end of the business will be distracted from their higher purpose – how do you preserve justice when at the same time you need to promote shareholders’ interests?

This sort of philosophical rhetoric is really the purview of big firms with separate accounting departments. . . . [more]

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

Tips Tuesday

Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on technology, research and practice.

Technology

A better microphone can really improve your online calls, podcasts or music recordings
Dan Pinnington

It is a safe bet that the microphone on your desktop or laptop probably makes you sound like you are under water or in the next room most of the time. If you make a lot of call calls on Skype, regularly participate in Hangouts, or record music or podcasts, a decent can make . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Are Online Dispute Resolution Processes Necessarily Access to Justice Strategies?

As a PhD student studying the use of knowledge technologies and access to justice strategies, I am following with interest the development of the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) [Civil Resolution Tribunal Act, SBC 2012, c.25;] in BC – an online dispute resolution process which will provide an alternative to the courts for small claims and strata property disputes. I want to share some thoughts regarding online dispute resolution processes and to pose the possibly provocative question: Are online dispute resolution processes necessarily access to justice strategies?

You might ask how an online process could not be . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

Redefining Social Media Success Through a Closer Look at the Stats

Organizations pursuing civil justice objectives need a website. On this point, there can be no doubt. Often operating with constrained budgets, these organizations need an efficient and appealing means to inform stakeholders and attract supporters and, in this regard, nothing can be more cost effective than a website. It’s now an article of faith that promotion of that website and engagement of those stakeholders also requires an active social media presence. But do the facts support that view?

Based on analysis[i] of social media engagement with CanLII (a free-to-access legal information site containing nearly 1.3 million court and tribunal . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Canadian Journal of Law and Society / Revue Canadienne Droit Et Société

The current issue of the Canadian Journal of Law and Society (volume 29, issue 1) is free until the end of May 2014 according to a tweet at the beginning of April from Cambridge Journals:

From the website:

 [CJLS] is a bilingual periodical publishing cutting edge research in the broad field of law and society scholarship. Rooted in the innovative Canadian Law and Society movement, CJLS features international scholarship concerning the intersection of

. . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing

Don’t Accept Every File That Walks in the Door

This article from February 13, 2014 is by Nora Rock, corporate writer and policy analyst at LAWPRO.

At the risk of sounding like a self-help book designed to help you find Mr. or Ms. Right, we’d like to remind you (the day before Valentine’s Day, no less!) that being selective about the clients you represent is an important claims-prevention strategy.

Depending on your area of law and how established your practice, you may be tempted to dismiss this advice as being valid only for lawyers in the enviable position of having more referrals than time. But turning away clients that . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

The Semantic Web Is Made of People

The presentations from last year’s Semantic Web in Libraries (SWIB13) held in Hamburg, Germany, were posted a few months ago. Lots of great stuff relating to linked data, metadata, classification mapping and ontologies, including a few case study reports (e.g. Europeana updates).

I recommend to you Dorothea Salo’s presentation, “Soylent SemWeb Is People! Bringing People to Linked Data.” * Drawing on a rather stretched analogy to the Charleton Heston movie Solyent Green she explores this question:

“… how do we best invite people — including skeptical people, reluctant people, less-technical people, people committed to different data structures

. . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

When Lawyers Leave: Client Retention Strategies

One of my more popular columns last year dealt with introducing a new lawyer to your firm. I said the arrival of a new lawyer or group of lawyers was a marketing opportunity both inside and outside the firm. As the dust settles on the collapse of Heenan Blaikie, it’s time to look at the other end of the spectrum—the departure of a lawyer or group of lawyers from a firm. Not many firms go the way of Heenan Blaikie, but individual lawyers or groups jump ship all the time. 

It’s a bit of a stretch to say that the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Red Bean Buns and Law

I was in my wife’s favourite Chinese bakery the other day searching for red bean buns. The décor is nothing special, but the baked goods are exceptionally well done and insanely fresh! It’s no wonder then that we’re willing to travel a little bit out of our way to go there. And judging by the line-ups, many others feel the same way.

There are other places we can go to in Chinatown for baked goods, but we choose this one because of the quality of their goods. And they can compete against other bakers on quality because none of the . . . [more]

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