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Archive for April, 2013

Busy Times for Law Reform Commissions

Law reform commission reports can be great sources for legal research. Many of the reports provide historical background and you can often find comparative information about how other jurisdictions have responded to an issue.

The past few weeks have a very busy time for law reform commissions. A sampling of reports:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Find Your Feet Faster With the Help of a Mentor

It’s an open secret that law students emerge from law school knowing loads about law, and frighteningly little about legal practice. How students cope with this gap depends on many factors, including personality, the nature of their first job (whether it’s as a sole practitioner, or in a large firm) and their tolerance for learning on the fly. Too often, new lawyers assume that the only choice they have is to “fake it until they make it” and pray that they don’t make any serious errors on the way.

But there are strategies for improving your chances of making the . . . [more]

Posted in: Law Student Week

The Kids Will Fight Over Your Google Data

We’ve touched on the afterlife of digital assets here at Slaw on many occasions. Google has just announced a new service that adds an interesting direction: allowing users to pass along the data behind (rather than the password to) their various Google services.

A new group of settings under Google accounts will allow for these directions, called the Inactive Account Manager. Users will have the choice of destroying their data after a set period of time, or to pass along their data to a trusted contact or contacts. Google will also try notifying you by text or your alternate . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Is the “Professional Network” Becoming More Social?

In December, fellow Slaw marketing columnist Doug Jasinski wrote a great post about LinkedIn’s new makeover. His post walked you through the Skills and Endorsements feature (that LinkedIn is placing a lot of emphasis on), and the new look for LinkedIn Company Pages, with their new large image-based banner and prominent status update box.

But there have been even more changes to LinkedIn’s platform that may have gone unnoticed, particularly in the legal community. These changes are making LinkedIn more interactive, and more akin to other, more ‘social’ networks.

Sharing Options

In the past, publishing Updates to LinkedIn was largely . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Three Reasons Why the LPP Will Replace Articling Forever

The Law Practice Program (LPP) is about to change the way lawyers are licensed in Ontario.

The LPP is the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC)’s solution to “the articling crisis.” It’s meant to provide an alternative to law graduates unable to secure the 10-month lawyer-in-training jobs they need to become licensed in Ontario.

The gist of the LPP is that instead of 10 months of mandatory paid work at a law firm, the LPP requires only four months of paid or unpaid work experience and four months of coursework.

Starting in the 2014-2015 licensing year, the LPP . . . [more]

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

[For Ontario Lawyers] OBA Survey on the Provision and Delivery of Pro Bono Services

In an effort to better understand sole and small-firm involvement in providing pro-bono legal services, the Ontario Bar Association is conducting a very short survey. Completing the survey should take no longer than two or three minutes and the information will be used in assisting the OBA’s Pro-Bono Task Force to determine what role the OB Amight play in the provision and delivery of such services.

Click here to take the survey. . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements

Clicklaw Wikibooks – a Lesson in Collaboration

B.C. is the home of innovation when it comes to law in this country, moving ahead with new ideas and new ways of providing its citizens with access to justice. We’ve talked about the foray into online dispute resolution and about the Ministry of Justice two-part White Paper on Justice Reform, to mention only two developments. And just yesterday Chief Justice Robert Bauman made a public statement predicting dire things for law and lawyers if significant changes aren’t made and made quickly, something rare for a sitting judge.

As significant is a quiet development we’ve not yet noticed on . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information: Publishing, Practice of Law

Thursday Thinkpiece: Lauritsen on Law Schools and Technology

Each Thursday we present a significant excerpt, usually from a recently published book or journal article. In every case the proper permissions have been obtained. If you are a publisher who would like to participate in this feature, please let us know via the site’s contact form.

LAWYERING IN AN AGE OF INTELLIGENT MACHINES
Marc Lauritsen
in Educating the Digital Lawyer, Marc Lauritsen & Oliver Goodenough Eds.
Cambridge, USA: Harvard Law School Program on the Legal Profession, 2010-2011

excerpt Chapter 2, pp. 7-10

§ 2.03 Implications for Legal Education

Law schools should offer courses in law practice automation and . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Chic Critique: Dressing Up Professional Criticism

Sophisticated, stylish and elegant. These qualities are highly regarded in the fashion industry and embody something or someone who is chic. However, these qualities are not exclusive to the world of fashion. Professional criticism that is sophisticated, stylish and elegant should be tolerated and even encouraged in the legal profession, paving the way for lawyers to provide their colleagues with chic critique.

Sophisticated: In the fashion industry, being sophisticated is about having worldly knowledge and experience of fashion, styles and trends. In a broader sense however, sophistication is simply about having sufficient knowledge and experience to make an informed remark . . . [more]

Posted in: Law Student Week

Make Mine to Go

You might have heard already, but we are experiencing a mobile revolution. The message from market research companies is loud and clear – mobile web access is growing exponentially. What’s more, Search Engine Watch reports a Google survey of mobile users found that they are five times more likely to abandon the task they are trying to complete if a site isn’t optimized for mobile use, with 79% saying they will go back to search and try to find another site to meet their needs. While this is likely far more true for an ecommerce site or news site than

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Technology

Online Activities Generally Not Covered by Your E&O Policy

This article originally appeared in the December 2010 issue of LAWPRO Magazine. It refers to LAWPRO coverage for Ontario lawyers, but the dangers listed would likely apply to any lawyer’s errors and omissions coverage.

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 . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

What Law School Omits to Teach You About Opening Your Own Practice

We began our respective legal practices within a year after finishing our articles; we both wanted to be able to express our personal ethics and practice law our way. We had to develop new skills, ranging from file organization to client management, grapple with unforeseen stressors, and learn to congratulate ourselves for victories big and small. Our biggest surprise was that neither law school nor former employers had ever taught us the things we needed most to run our business. So to that end, and in honour of Law Student Week at slaw, here are ten facts you may also . . . [more]

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