Archived Posts

A long look in the mirror

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Filed under: Purpose, Satisfaction

I don’t have much to say about “the Maclean’s cover” that hasn’t already been said, eloquently and accurately, by the CBA’s current and past presidents. The CBA was right to defend lawyers’ good name against an offensive piece of hack journalism. The less said about that article and the book that inspired it, the better…. Read more »

Mom and Dad, Esq.

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Filed under: Billing, Careers, New Lawyers, Satisfaction

Somebody asked me, after I returned to the office following three months’ parental leave, “Did you enjoy your time off?” “I enjoyed the last three months immensely,” I said. “But trust me, ‘time off’ does not in any way describe it.” If you’ve spent more than a few weeks raising a child hands-on, you’ll probably… Read more »


Disaggregation and legal publishing

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Filed under: Publishing

Here’s a neat thought: disaggregation of legal texts. Law books probably lend themselves better to this approach than other disciplines precisely because of the law’s extreme specialization. I can see a defence lawyer downloading only those entries in Martin’s Annotated Criminal Code that deal with DUIs, entirely bypassing the sections dealing with murder, aggravated assault… Read more »

Divided profession, collective governance

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Filed under: Governance

For your consideration: here’s a list of all the governing and/or regulatory bodies for health-care professionals in the province of Ontario: College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists College of Chiropodists College of Chiropractors College of Dental Hygienists Royal College of Dental Surgeons College of Dental Technologists College of Dietitians College of Massage Therapists College of… Read more »


Is stewardship dead?

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Filed under: Leadership, Purpose

Maybe not quite, but in the context of most professional law firms with more than just a handful of partners, it’s on life support and the priest has been called in. I honestly don’t know of any midsize or larger law firms, at least, that operate other than “to maximize the wealth of the current… Read more »

Going to town

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Filed under: Careers, Competition, Generations, Small Centers

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about the numerous factors leading to the continuing contraction of the legal profession in smaller urban centers and in rural outposts. Here’s another one: competition for legal talent. Large-center practice is operating at unprecedented levels of profitability these days; even if small-center practices were still reasonably feasible, large-center… Read more »


Family values

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Filed under: Billing, New Lawyers, Satisfaction

Big news: most law firms no longer consider a lawyer’s decision to start and raise a family to be an implicit violation of the employment contract. Many women lawyers can now take nine months or more of maternity leave and return to find their jobs still waiting for them and their career prospects not greatly… Read more »

Dear client:

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Filed under: Clients

Probably you were expecting a greeting card from me — ‘tis the season, after all. The standard wintertime scene on the front, generic wishes inside for a joyful holiday, peace on earth, that sort of thing … you probably get one from your dry cleaners and your local MP, too. Well, I’m not doing that… Read more »


21st-century legal education

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Filed under: Ethics, Law School, New Lawyers

This article was first posted at Slaw on September 28th, 2006. I wasn’t much of an articling student. I worked hard, but not smart: my learning curves were more like sheer cliff faces. I’m sure I wasted a lot of clients’ money and lawyers’ time during my year of service, and the firm was right… Read more »


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