Gail J. Cohen

Gail J. Cohen

One of  Canada’s most experienced and respected legal journalists, Gail J. Cohen is the editor in chief of Canadian Lawyer and Law Times, responsible for the editorial direction of all the publications in the group, which also includes Candian Lawyer InHouse, Canadian Lawyer 4Students, and the daily Legal Feeds blog. Gail has been covering the legal profession in Canada as a reporter and editor since 1997, putting her in a prime position to access and engage thought leaders in the regulatory, legal, and business realms. Canadian Lawyer and its editorial team have been the recipients of many journalism awards and their publications are highly respected throughout the legal profession in Canada and abroad.

Monday, 07 July 2014 08:00

Everybody need apply

It seems the federal government has pissed lawyers off again, this time over who’s applying for spots on the federal bench. “I was just so pissed off,” Avvy Yao-Yao Go, a well-known social justice activist and lawyer, wrote in the Toronto Star after Justice Minister Peter MacKay made comments at a recent Ontario Bar Association meeting that women and visible minorities aren’t applying for judge jobs and that’s why they’re under-represented on the bench. He reportedly also said a woman’s bond with her children might also be the reason few would apply for judicial positions on the federal “circuit courts” where they may be forced to travel away from family (say for a week in another big city or something crazy like that).
Monday, 02 June 2014 08:00

Standing up for the chief

The legal profession in Canada by no means speaks with one unified voice. Nothing brings a community together, however, like a politically  motivated attack on one of its most respected leaders.
I’m going to suggest Stephen Harper had no idea the hornet’s nest he was stirring when he publicly characterized as “inappropriate” and “inadvisable” a phone call Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin made to the government regarding a vacancy on the Supreme Court.
Monday, 05 May 2014 08:00

Knocking down hurdles

As Canadians come out of one of the worst winters in the history of ever, you can smell spring in the air; you can feel a palpable change in attitude as we expose our lily-white skin to a little warmth and sunshine. Like the crocuses that push up through the semi-frozen ground to herald the new season, dire economic reality appears to be the fertilizer for change in the legal profession.
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2014_May_May-cover-shoot-imageSmall.jpgCanadian Lawyer editor Gail J. Cohen was on the scene of the cover shoot for the May issue featuring Osgoode Hall law professor Alan Young, who fought a decades long battle to update Canada's prostitution laws. One of his clients Terri-Jean Bedford joined us for the session. Take a peek at how the fantastic photgraphy of Liam Sharp became this month's cover art.
Canadian Lawyer editor Gail J. Cohen was on the scene of the cover shoot for the May issue featuring Osgoode Hall law professor Alan Young, who fought a decades long battle to update Canada's prostitution laws. One of his clients Terri-Jean Bedford joined us for the session. Take a peek at how the fantastic photgraphy of Liam Sharp became this month's cover art.
Monday, 07 April 2014 08:00

Law firm pro bono survey

Click to view survey
Click to view survey
Across the country lawyers find the time to participate in interesting and important pro bono projects that give back to their communities and aid in providing access to justice for those who might not otherwise be able to afford legal counsel.
It was a tough choice not to write about the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision denying Stephen Harper’s appointment of Justice Marc Nadon to the top court. It has so many juicy elements: politics, Quebec’s unique role, the Constitution, the quality of legal drafting, good and evil (well maybe not, but maybe yes). But others, and I mean practically every pundit in the country who knows how to spell Supreme Court of Canada, has had their say, so I’ll move on.
There’s never been a legal story in Canada that’s had the impact of the death of Heenan Blaikie. In a world of social media, constant connection, and instant messaging, we all watched the breakdown unfold almost in real time. It was the biggest law firm collapse in Canadian history and almost everyone I know is either personally affected or knows people personally affected by it.
Monday, 24 February 2014 08:00

A costly misstep?

You have to be *#$?% kidding me!
Monday, 03 February 2014 08:00

Time to embrace those disruptions

It was the best of times, and it was the worst of times. 2013 was most definitely one of the weirdest times, for law firms in Canada anyway. While I’m not drawing from any formal studies or reports, conversations with law firm leaders over the past couple of months yielded a wide variety of responses to the question, “How was your year?” The answers ranged from “our best year ever” to, as you can imagine, the exact opposite. And it’s not just Big Law showing that wide range of experience but boutiques and mid-sized firms as well. It’s across practice areas and geographic locations. All that is to say, I think law firm management is obviously starting to play a much greater role in ongoing success than it ever has before.
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