Similarly, in our profession, forward thinking lawyers stand to benefit the most from the fundamental changes that are taking place within our legal profession.
For lawyers in Ontario, 2018 will be the year where major opportunities were missed.
I am a strong advocate for the adoption of legal technology and artificial intelligence. Not only do I believe that the adoption of legal tech will make lawyers more efficient and able to provide better more affordable services to clients, but I believe there will be a time, very soon, when not using legal technology tools will risk a lawyer being found to be in a possible breach of their professional obligations.
To my fellow John Candy and Steve Martin fans out there, you will recognize where this comes from; but now that I have worked with trucks (Navistar), cars (Nissan) and planes (Cargojet), all that is left is trains. While all of these areas of in-house practice seem very similar, as they are within the transportation sector, the work in each of these experiences was very, very different.
The challenges faced by the newest members of our profession are unprecedented. It is clear to see why so many of our newest colleagues become victims of mental illness depression, anxiety and other illnesses.
There is a little secret not often discussed or mentioned. It is, in many ways, one of the best-kept secrets within the legal profession, especially among in-house counsel. The secret is the benefit and spectacular opportunities associated with taking on an OLO (only legal officer) role.
In order to celebrate this international showcase of soccer talent, pride and sportsmanship, I would like to share a few insights that came from watching (a lot of) the games and how these can apply to the practice of law and your career as an in-house counsel.
One of the most common questions I hear from junior and mid-level lawyers is: “How do I know it is time to make a move?” Unfortunately, there is never one clear answer.
A 2016 study by the American Bar Association found that representation of women within law firms drops sharply as the levels increase. For example, women make up over 51 per cent of first-year law students. By the time a person graduates and becomes an associate, 46 per cent are female. The biggest drop, however, comes at the partnership level. Here, only 22 per cent of partners are female.
As a racialized and first-generation lawyer, when asked about the greatest barrier I faced early in my legal career, I always revert back to the same thing: the lack of mentorship opportunities and mentors.