Categories
Law Students and Young Lawyers

A Feminist Perspective on Carbon Taxes

With this post I venture onto dangerous ground, but what the hell.

Some years ago I came across a Canadian law school which was offering a course on “A Feminist Perspective on Corporate Tax.” More recently, I came across a law school course on “A Feminist Perspective on Carbon Taxes.” It all struck me as kind of stupid.

Categories
Firm Culture

Biased Much?

I recently went for a ‘preventative health examination,’ which is code for ‘private healthcare,’ which is something that is in fact available in Canada – to those who are willing and able to pay for it.

I was given a stress test which involved having me walk on a treadmill while hooked-up to a computer. Being me, I quipped to the technician that I was counting on her to make sure that I did not have a heart attack during the test. She reassured me that if I did, I would be in good hands, because ‘back home’ she was a cardiologist.

It is not a very well-kept secret that in Canada we make it difficult for immigrants to qualify to practice their professions.

So let’s talk about lawyers.

Categories
Firm Culture

Timebombs in the Garden

By now everyone on LinkedIn has heard about Jon, a Cleveland lawyer who wrote a rather nasty email to a recently departed colleague who, having returned from her maternity leave, gave notice that she was leaving for another firm. The backlash was furious. Jon lost his job rather quickly.

From the flood of comments on social media, the idea surfaced that it is likely that Jon’s behaviour was not an aberration, which got me thinking about some of the people who I ran across while practicing law.

Categories
Law Students and Young Lawyers

Goldilocks and the Real Mentors of Beverly Hills

New lawyers need real mentors. Not the type of mentors who are assigned by the firm to be sure that you know what is expected of you in terms of docketed hours and evening and weekend work, but the type of mentors who care about your success and your progression in the profession.

Here are ten things that real mentors do:

Categories
Fluff

Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions

Here are some of the questions potential clients asked me back when I was practicing law and the answers that I wanted to give them, but never did:

Q. How much will it cost to draft a shareholder’s agreement?

A. If you are shopping for professional services based on price, I really do not want you for a client. I suggest that you find a lawyer who will draft the agreement for you for $750.00 and pray that you never have a dispute with your partner.

Categories
Law Students and Young Lawyers

The Tip of the Articling Iceberg

There is a fair amount of talk right now about whether law firms should be required to pay articling students a minimum wage.

But isn’t this so-called ‘debate’ about whether the Law Society should legislate a minimum wage for articling students just the tip of the iceberg? What about the institutionalized discrimination created by the Employment Standards Act (Ontario) against lawyers and articling students (together with architects, accountants, engineers, teachers, surveyors, and others)?

Categories
Law Students and Young Lawyers

The View From The End of the Road: Part One – The Early, Ignorant Days

The thing about starting a new career is that we often do it when we are young and have little experience in life or in business. So, we look to those who came before us to show us the path to success. We assume that the older and wiser folks know what they are doing. That is our first mistake. 

Read about it here.

https://bit.ly/3HXqoHt

Categories
The Mentality and Attitudes of Lawyers

Nothing to See Here Folks

My friend Martin called me the other day. He was a tad upset. Having been a partner in one law firm for most of his career, Martin had withdrawn as a partner and continued to work with the firm in his pre-retirement years as “Counsel.” As Counsel, he was an independent contractor and his agreement with his law firm provided that it could be terminated on six months’ notice.

Categories
The Mentality and Attitudes of Lawyers

Who Really Built The Pyramids?

I have heard it said that “an expert is someone from out of town with Power Point.”  This expression has some old roots. When I originally heard it, it was “someone from out of town with overhead slides.”

Apparently nowadays you do not even have to travel to become an expert. A young lawyer contacted me recently to ask me my views on the legal profession because he had been told by the Managing Partner of his firm that I was an expert on the profession, a status that I appear to have achieved by ranting on social media.

Categories
Client Development

Stupid Talk

Lawyers (other than litigators, I suppose) don’t like public speaking much more than other people do, and most people rank public speaking as their greatest fear, just before death.

As best as I can tell, there are two potential audiences for lawyers to speak to. The first group is comprised of potential clients. The reason for speaking to them is obvious.