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Canada becoming a go-to destination for those seeking surrogate mothersNepal, Thailand and India, once popular destinations for Westerners seeking surrogate mothers, have now effectively closed their doors to international surrogacy. In a curious twist, Canada may be emerging as the new go-to destination for people from around the world wishing to become parents with the assistance of a surrogate mother. Why is this happening? Should we be concerned about it?
Monday, 17 July 2017 09:00

Statements of what? Reviewing SOWs

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Statements of what?  Reviewing SOWsAs a technology lawyer, I am often asked by clients to review the statements of work that accompany the technology contract that I have drafted. Unlike some of my colleagues, I consider SOW review to be a critical part of the legal process.
Senate Committee proposal on court delays doesn’t solve the problem, it hides itThe current Canadian criminal justice system is designed to make problems disappear rather than solve them. We do little to resolve the social and economic problems prevalent among those in conflict with the law. Rather, we hide them by warehousing the poor, prosecuting many Canadians with mental illness and addiction issues and over-relying on incarceration at both the pre-trial and sentencing stages.
Junior in-house counsel: Ethical challenges and professional obligations to considerWorking as in-house counsel could mean you might wear many different hats for the benefit of your client. You may be legal counsel on top of other responsibilities — marketing consultant, human resources advisor, corporate speechwriter and note-taker, among other roles.
Monday, 10 July 2017 09:00

Leveraging the small firm advantage

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Leveraging the small firm advantageClient communication is more than just a client understanding your legal advice. It also entails the client understanding the value they are getting in hiring you. There are countless articles selling the benefits of working in small firms, but do your clients and the community around you know why they should be hiring a lawyer there?          
It is never too early to learn marketing and business developmentIncluding marketing and business development skills into your early professional legal education program increases your odds of success in your legal career.
Despair ahead: Millennial lawyers and the legal job marketWe recently learned of the shocking story of Robert Chu, a medical school graduate who committed suicide after twice being unable to secure a residency spot. Throughout medical school, Chu received academic honours, published papers and possessed an exemplary transcript. Presumably, he should have had no difficulty matching with a residency program. However, due to a limited number of residency placements and fierce competition, Chu found himself without a job after years of hard work. A self-regulating system with the responsibility of ensuring that graduates are able to find meaningful employment within their chosen field failed him.
From getting to giving: Transforming your approach to networkingFrom what I have seen thus far in my journey helping lawyers build businesses, there is one struggle that seems to be shared almost universally among them. It is the conflict that arises in their minds because they believe that in order to build a business they have to “ask for work” but the idea of asking for work is utterly appalling to them.
Monday, 26 June 2017 09:00

The summer of love, sesquicentennial edition

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The summer of love, sesquicentennial editionLike many of my fellow baby boomers, my mind of late has often wandered back half a century. This month marked the 50th anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Bandthe seminal album of the 1960s — which was followed a couple of weeks later by the Monterey Pop Festival, which in turn marked the beginning of the so-called “Summer of Love.” A couple of weeks after that, we celebrated Dominion Day, as we still called it, and the Centennial celebrations and Expo ’67 kicked into high gear. We all sang and danced and wrapped ourselves in what was then the “new flag.” It really was an exciting moment in which to be alive as a Canadian — even as a boy.
The Law Society of Upper Canada needs a new name, so let's help them choose it!I have always found the Law Society of Upper Canada a bit of an anomaly, not so much because of its rumoured multimillion-dollar wine cellar but because of its name.
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