- Jul 15, 2019
The recent and alarming spate of high profile ransomware attacks against government entities and courthouses in the United States, should be a reminder for law firms to maintain vigilance in protecting computer networks and client data.
- Jun 17, 2019
Diversity and inclusion have been trending for several years and have exploded recently. More than ever, the spotlight is on what law firms are doing to advance diversity and inclusion in the profession.
- Jun 3, 2019
Burnout, whether your own or your staff's, drains productivity. It reduces efficiency and increases absenteeism and presenteeism (working while sick). One of the problems with burnout is that many of us only have a vague sense of what it is, if we recognize it at all.
- May 27, 2019
At a recent fireside chat hosted by The Advocates’ Society for young lawyers, I gained an insight at just the right time.
- May 13, 2019
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.
- Apr 22, 2019
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.
- Apr 8, 2019
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
- Mar 18, 2019
I have come to learn to keep your legal friends close but your non-legal friends even closer. The rule seems especially sensible for junior sole practitioners, but it’s perhaps a lesson for all lawyers.
- Feb 25, 2019
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.
- Feb 11, 2019
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.
- Jan 21, 2019
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.
Jan 14, 2019
When it comes to examining the business of law, the media often places too much emphasis and focus on Big Law and metrics that apply more to Bay Street or Wall Street than main street.
- Dec 3, 2018
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.
- Dec 3, 2018
The life of a sole practitioner caught my interest during the first year of my litigation practice on Bay Street. As I came across a range of opposing and co-counsel, many were self-employed, driven, confident, relaxed and they impressed me.
- Oct 8, 2018
Cost-effective client acquisition is critical for small firms that do not have the ability to dump vast sums into a marketing budget.
Oct 1, 2018
Throughout 2018, Canadian Lawyer, with research partners RSM Canada and CIBC, invited members of the legal community to provide input on six critical topics facing the legal community.
- Sep 10, 2018
Periodically, we all fall into productivity and performance ruts or the feeling of career stagnation. One reason for this is our reliance on vanity metrics. While these metrics may make us feel good temporarily, they do little to improve our business and skills as lawyers.
- Aug 13, 2018
Replacing a valued employee can be a difficult transition for small offices. However, it is an opportunity to inject new energy and improve the office environment. Here are some suggestions to smoothly manage the departure of a key staff member.
- Jul 9, 2018
Many Canadian law firms were affected by the 2008 recession. Firms of all sizes laid off associates and froze hiring. Business dried up as corporate clients went in-house and reduced legal-spending budgets. Even litigation work decreased due to the dim prospects of successfully collecting against parties with no means to pay.
- May 7, 2018
Businesses must innovate strategically. The challenge for small firms is in navigating the abundance of products and ideas selling new (but not necessarily improved) ways of doing things.