Archived Posts

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 »

21st-century legal technology

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Filed under: Satisfaction, Technology

This article was first posted at Slaw on September 27th, 2006. As someone who still pays his bills with a chequebook and stamps, I’m a little reluctant to address the whole question of technology in the legal profession. But here we go anyway: To get a sense of the degree to which the law is… Read more »


21st-century legal publishing

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Filed under: Generations, Publishing, Technology

This article was first posted at Slaw on September 26th, 2006. “I’ve been a lawyer in Toronto now for four years. Over this time, a lot of law magazines, newspapers and newsletters have crossed my desk. Even though these are publications for lawyers, I never feel like they are really talking to me. They always… Read more »

21st-century legal innovation

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Filed under: Clients, Competition, Innovation

This article was first posted at Slaw on September 25, 2006. I had the great fortune to attend the annual meeting of the College of Law Practice Management in San Francisco earlier this month. The topic of the day was at the heart of 21st-century lawyering: innovation. Specifically, why lawyers aren’t very good at it…. Read more »


Don’t believe the hype

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Filed under: Careers, Law School

Whenever I drop by a law school campus, I’m reminded of one tremendous difference from 10 or 15 years ago: the near omni-presence of the practising bar. Back then, you noticed the profession on Careers Day (no OCIs back then) and maybe when the CBA President came to speak; otherwise, law practice might as well… Read more »

Rage against the machine

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Filed under: Competition, Technology

You’re surely familiar with those lists of famously bad technology predictions that make the rounds by e-mail every so often. One of the most commonly cited is Digital Equipment Chairman Ken Olsen’s 1977 observation: “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” Amusing, sure, but rarely quoted in the proper context…. Read more »


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