In our personal lives, we maintain cars, a home and our health. Similarly, our law firms also require regular under-the-hood maintenance. Certain set-it-and-forget-it elements of a business require our periodic attention to keep things running smoothly. Some of these include: insurance contracts, security measures, policies and procedures manuals, contingency plans and relationships with third-party service providers.
Spring cleaning is something some of us do in our personal lives. It can be a valuable exercise to incorporate into our professional lives too. Clutter detracts from productivity. Even if one functions well in a messy office, there is time lost in searching for needed items, and clutter is a source of distraction.
Law societies are governed by a board of directors. In many jurisdictions, these directors are called benchers. Some are appointed but many are elected by lawyers across the province. They determine matters relevant to lawyers. They establish law society rules and policies. They also serve as adjudicators in disciplinary hearings. Why then do so many lawyers, especially those in small firms, decline to exercise their right to vote for benchers
Lawyers are constantly juggling multiple tasks and projects. To-do lists can be so long and overwhelming that one does not even know where to start. This can lead to avoiding doing any task of importance until we absolutely have to do it. It can also result in shutting down and feeling burned out even before we start any tasks. A helpful tool for managing to-dos is the ICE system, a simple and effective method of prioritizing tasks and projects.
Clio, a company that most of us probably recognize, released its third annual Legal Trends Report last fall. While the report is based on data from the U.S. market, there are some interesting insights that Canadian sole and small firms can consider in trying to improve their business.
With tax season gearing up, now is a good time to be reminded of some recent changes to the tax regime affecting your firm's business planning. In its 2018 Fall Economic Statement, the Department of Finance made some proposals to enhance business confidence and encourage more capital investments. Of the proposals, one that sole and small firms can take advantage of is the Accelerated Investment Incentive.
Mental health has been a trending issue in recent years, and for good reason. We have all come across cautionary tales about the importance of mental health and the dangers of depression, burnout, and substance abuse within the profession.
Having such a plan is a critical obligation to yourself, as well as to your family, employees and clients. As such, getting this done by the end of the year should be a priority.
A recent case addressing the validity of a will could have a dramatic impact on lawyers across the country. In jurisdictions that permit multiple wills, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision Re Milne Estate, 2018 ONSC 4174 could invalidate thousands of wills done by estate planners.
Cost-effective client acquisition is critical for small firms that do not have the ability to dump vast sums into a marketing budget.