Lexpert Magazine

April 2019

Lexpert magazine features articles and columns on developments in legal practice management, deals and lawsuits of interest in Canada, the law and business issues of interest to legal professionals and businesses that purchase legal services.

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24 LEXPERT MAGAZINE | APRIL 2019 COLUMNS CHANGE AGENT In the November/December 2017 issue of Lexpert Magazine, I accepted a challenge and es- caped from my comfort zone to write a column for the back page entitled "e Only Constant Is Change". Here now is my at- tempt at trying to develop a strat- egy for effecting that change. TEN WAYS TO EFFECT CHANGE 10. Develop diversity and inclusive programs at all levels of education and at all law firms. 9. Create a mentorship program within your firm to assist newer associates. 8. Reward new innovation initiatives to promote creativity. 7. Foster next generation programs to develop succession planning. 6. Formulate a strategy to deal with social media. 5. Initiate exchange programs with firms in other provinces and countries. 4. Modernize offices to create space for millennials. Understand how and why they work. 3. Listen as opposed to hear. See as opposed to watch. 2. Change the culture of the firm. We are now in the 21 st century. 1. Improve the education in law schools immediately. Without diminishing the importance of the other nine strate- gies, this is my #1. And I give credit on the point to Scott Neil- son for his February, 2018 Canadian Lawyer magazine article, "Are Law Schools in Canada Pumping Out Lawyers Without e Skills ey Need?" . Many of the following ideas appeared in that article. I am extremely impressed with those innovative law schools in the United States that are now offering standard courses in such programs as e-discovery, document automation, data analytics, machine learning, project management, app building, design thinking and the user experience. By contrast, it is unfortunate and short-sighted thinking that many Canadian law school programs are still designed and taught the way they were 20 years ago. ey are theory rather than application based. However the good news is that some forward thinking schools in Canada like Ryerson University, are planning law school more oriented to practice readiness and change manage- ment, training lawyers differently, within an innovative and entrepreneurial environment. My strong belief is that law schools must begin to transition lawyers to look through the eyes of clients, rather than the eyes of a lawyer. Osgoode Hall has recently hosted events entitled Disruption in Legal Service Delivery; What Students and New Lawyers need to Know; Hack Justice: An Access to Justice Hack- athon; Communication 2.0; and Social Media Best Practices. In order to prepare lawyers for the real world aer law school, the curriculum should be tailored to teaching the "new law" re- lating to dynamic and emerging fields such as food security, ge- netic modification, IP, ownership and trade. e world is a very different place than it was only a few years ago. Lawyers should be trained to practice their cra within the world as they find it. Change is evolution, change is progress, change is disruptive – embrace it or be le behind. "Change is evolution, change is progress, change is disruptive. – embrace it or be left behind." By Steve Messinger Change the profession? Change the education. THE ONLY CONSTANT IS CHANGE Steve Messinger is retired from the practice of law and is now a consultant in the commercial leasing field. From "Training yesterday's lawyers. Are law schools in Canada pumping out lawyers without the skills they need?" by Scott Neilson, Canadian Lawyer, https://bit.ly/2DuJhPN "Daniel Linna, who has guest lectured at Osgoode and is very familiar with Ryerson's Law Practice Program (an alternative to articling) as well as its Legal Innovation Zone, says: 'Innovation isn't all about law schools creating new courses. Some of these topics have obvious integration points into existing courses. For example, document assembly and computable contracts in contracts law, data analytics and project management in negotiation, blockchain in evidence, cybersecurity, metadata and the extent to which competent lawyering mandates technology knowledge and usage in professional responsibility.'"

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