Categories
Legal Tech

My Summer With the Great White Sharks

In 2014, I was pretty fed up with life and I decided to do something different. Since my years practicing law had not prepared me to take any really big risks, I decided to take a small one. I rented a cottage on Cape Cod for the summer and set out to prove that I could work from anywhere.

Categories
Legal Tech

Rearranging The Deck Chairs on the Titanic, LLP

In the old days, lawyers joined firms and stayed there, progressing from Associate to Partner. Nowadays there is a great deal of lateral movement among firms. Law firms do not seem to have figured out that they have to do something to manage their business in the face of this constant change of personnel. Appara asked me to think about how legal tech fits in. You can read my thoughts on their site by clicking the link below.

Categories
Legal Tech

Searching for the Off-Ramp from the Expressway to Crazy Town 

My legal career drove me crazy. Granted, it was not a very long drive, but I suspect that with a bit of knowledge and a great deal of counselling, perhaps I could have taken an off-ramp before I got there.

In a better world, people contemplating a career in law would be told that: (i) it is stressful; and (ii) they should take steps to become their best psychological self before they start down that road.

Categories
Legal Tech

Old Law, New Law: Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

In the old days, the path to success in the legal profession seemed fairly straight forward: Get top marks; article for a good firm (the larger the better); get hired back; work a tonne of hours; become a partner.

With success came prestige and money.

Categories
Legal Tech

Hiring Grandma and Grandpa

My friend Steve tells a story about the loss of his uncle at age 58, when Steve was 18 years old. While Steve’s parents were aghast at the tragedy of losing their relative at such an early age, Steve remembers thinking, “what are they talking about, the guy was 58 years old. He had a good run.”

Categories
Legal Tech

Don’t Miss the Tipping Point

Back when I started practicing law, fax machines were just coming into vogue. This was an extremely useful development, especially since email had not been invented yet.

The timeline for the introduction of fax machines into law offices had two distinct markers.

Categories
Legal Tech

Doing Less, Thinking More

My stepson once explained to me that his career goal was to be paid a great deal of money to sit at a big desk in a private office and think about things. I tried to explain to him that on the path to his dream job he would have to pass obstacles such as shoveling the driveway, taking out the garbage or mowing the lawn. We did not understand each other.

Categories
Legal Tech

The Button

In my second year of practice, word processing was just becoming a thing.

My firm had fourteen lawyers but no word processor. Fred was the senior partner. I told him that we really needed one of those new-fangled machines.

Categories
Legal Tech

Selling Out?

When I retired and the pandemic put my travel plans on hold, I started writing to amuse myself. I soon found that I enjoyed the freedom to say whatever I wanted to say without having to worry about whether it would please my partners, other lawyers, or the Law Society.

I also discovered that I enjoyed exchanging ideas with like-minded people and being part of an online community.

Categories
Legal Tech

Okay, Boomer

Many years ago I hired a young lawyer who was not really named Tom. Tom had a few years of experience at one of the large Toronto law firms. This was back in the days when I actually believed the hype that the lawyers in Big Law were smarter than the rest of us, and I was excited to bring this new talent onboard to our mid-sized suburban firm.