In addition to my Law21 blog, which contains nearly 500 posts dating back to 2007, I’ve written extensively about lawyer formation, legal education, and lawyer regulation (among many other topics) over the past several years.
Here is a sampling of my written work in each of these areas.
Lawyer Licensing and Ongoing Competence
- The Law Society of Alberta retained me to research and write this extensive report, which was accepted along with all its recommendations in December 2020: Lawyer Licensing and Competence in Alberta
- In August 2019, I laid out my assessment of the existential challenges facing the traditional process of lawyer formation and my vision for how these challenges can be overcome: How to save the lawyer development system.
- Back in 2015, I diagnosed the problems posed by an absence of competence standards for new lawyers, and I set forth a solution to this problem in the NALP Professional Development Quarterly: Have We Gone TFARR, or Not Far Enough? The Search for Lawyer Competence Standards.
- At the height of the pandemic’s first wave in Spring 2020, I wrote two articles that described how the crisis has provided us with both an opportunity and a mandate to first rescue lawyer formation today, and then re-engineer lawyer formation for the future.
- I also wrote two groundbreaking articles about professional development in the legal sector: one proposing an entirely new approach to training new associates in law firms, and the other challenging fundamental assumptions about the quality of lawyers’ work.
Legal Education and New Lawyers
- Prospective lawyers have consistently asked me a question critical to their careers: “Should I go to law school?” I provided my answer back in 2017 in this article, and my reasoning still stands, even given the pandemic and economic crisis.
- I’ve also been asked how law schools should change, or even whether we can realistically reform legal education. I offered three new models for law school just before the pandemic hit in 2020, and I provided a roadmap to full-scale lawyer formation reform two months later.
- Aspiring lawyers have never been more worried about their employment prospects, and accordingly, they are intensely interested in knowing what skills they must bring with them into the legal market. I authored this white paper, which recommends eight key skills for new lawyers.
- Once they enter law practice, new lawyers frequently find themselves overwhelmed by the cultural transitions they must endure. I’ve given them advice on how to start their legal career, how to bring about change in their legal workplaces, and how to navigate the difficult ethical challenges they will face.
Legal Regulation and Access to Justice
- Legal regulators are struggling to decide whether and to what extent they should de-criminalize, authorize, and regulate non-lawyer service provision. My advice to these regulators is this: Access to justice is not (just) about lawyers and judges.
- I was asked to explain why the current wave of regulatory reform rising in the United States and Canada is fundamentally different than the re-regulation experience in England & Wales. This detailed essay contains my answer.
- Regulators interested in the possibilities offered by “regulatory sandboxes” for test-driving innovative legal services in their jurisdictions can read my thorough examination of how regulatory sandboxes can open entirely new vistas for the legal sector.
- The pandemic also afforded me an opportunity to examine how the fundamental infrastructure of the justice system must be reconstructed, in order to transition our society towards a functional and accessible way of delivering legal remedies.
Book: Law is a Buyer’s Market
In 2017, I wrote Law Is A Buyer’s Market: Building a Client-First Law Firm, my first full-length book. It explained how to create a law firm built to succeed in the new legal world. Re-envisioning the purpose of firms and the role of lawyers, I designed a transformative buyer-first law firm that rethinks the business model, culture, client service, competitiveness, profitability, growth strategies, diversity, and leadership of legal enterprises.
After selling thousands of copies of Law is a Buyer’s Market, I responded to the pandemic and the crisis facing countless new lawyers entering a volatile legal sector by making the book free of charge in 2020. You can download a PDF version by clicking this link, and you may distribute the PDF as widely as you like. I’ve also made the Kindle version of the book as affordable as Amazon will allow.