The standard of competence required of lawyers and the definition of “competent lawyer” are set out in section 41 of the Law Society Act and Section 3.1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Competence requires a commitment to life-long learning of knowledge and skills which are used in service of the client and in the context of the profession as a whole. This is nothing new to lawyers, but maintaining this orientation towards continuous improvement and collegiality can be challenging with the demands of a law practice.
The Coach and Advisor Network (CAN) is designed to support lawyers and paralegals with enhanced competence through connection with Coaches and Advisors drawn from the professions. Recognizing that needs change over time and that time is scarce and valuable, CAN is structured to provide options with shorter-term relationships and a clearly defined process.
With CAN, lawyers and paralegals are able to:
- Learn new skills and best practices
- Implement strong practice management systems
- Identify strategies to avoid claims and complaints
- Be even more effective on client files
- Enjoy collegiality within the professions
- Grow their practices and increase work satisfaction
In addition to making suitable referrals based on the participant’s identified needs, CAN has created tools and templates to ensure that lawyers and paralegals will be able to maximize their time with a volunteer Coach or Advisor. Coaches and Advisors can rely on the CAN methodology, training and resources to increase their effectiveness while making sure the process is driven by the participant.
CAN connects lawyers and paralegals with Coaches and Advisors to provide:
- Goal-oriented relationships
- 3-month time frames or 30-minute telephone calls to focus commitment
- Tailored subject matter to make the learning relevant and timely
- A process for accountability to increase likelihood of success
- An opportunity to leverage strengths to make learning easier and change longer-lasting
- Multiple developmental relationships to meet a variety of needs
CAN strives to be as adaptable as the professions it serves, allowing for different types of matching (junior to senior, senior to junior), use at diverse stages of practice (starting up or winding down, transition to private practice or in-house, starting in a new practice area or looking for new ways to keep current), various formats (one-on-one or small group sessions; in-person or remote access), assistance in a variety of practice areas and practice settings, and availability to lawyers and paralegals from all communities across Ontario. Competence is seen as a continuum, where each lawyer or paralegal has the opportunity to be the one being served and the one volunteering to serve. Each lawyer or paralegal brings his or her own unique set of experiences and skills to the collective competence resource and draws from it as needs shift and change.
With each connection, CAN is supporting the development of a culture in which coaching and advising are seen as integral to competence and professionalism.
Connect now with the Coach and Advisor Network.
December 2 - Convocation. To watch the live webcast, check the Convocation web page a few days before Convocation for the link.
December 31 - Final date for lawyers and paralegals subject to the CPD Requirement to complete all required hours and record them on the LSUC Portal. Failure to complete and record CPD Hours will result in a $100 late fee on or about this date and referral for suspension.
December 31 - Failure to renew the Certificate of Authorization for a Professional Corporation by this date will result in expiry of Certificate.
December 31 - Failure to renew the Canadian Legal Advisor Certificate by this date will result in expiry of Certificate.
January 1 - 2017 Annual Fees due.
January 1 - Foreign Legal Consultants’ (FLCs) annual renewal fee and form due for FLCs approved prior to April 2003. Failure to pay fee and submit form and insurance will result in expiry of permit. FLCs approved after April 2003 must pay the annual renewal fee and file the renewal form with insurance on the anniversary month of approval.
January 3 - Lawyers and paralegals can access the 2016 Lawyer Annual Report and Paralegal Annual Report through the LSUC Portal. The deadline to file is March 31.
Are you ready to take charge of your professional development? The Coach and Advisor Network provides lawyers and paralegals with access to shorter-term, outcome-oriented relationships with Coaches and Advisors drawn from the professions. Coaches support the implementation of best practices and Advisors assist with substantive and procedural law inquiries on client files.
Do you want to develop a specific skill or tackle a practice management best practice over the next few months? A Coach can help. You will begin with a 1.5-hour session with a Coach followed by a series of five 30-minute sessions set on alternating weeks, resulting in approximately a 3-month commitment. Request Time with a Coach
Do you have a question about a client file that would benefit from a phone call with a seasoned practitioner? An Advisor can help. An Advisor will provide you with up to 30 minutes of guidance on a substantive or procedural issue on a client file. Request Time with an Advisor
Are you willing to be a resource to the profession and invest your time to help other lawyers and paralegals improve their professional competence? Consider applying to be a Coach, an Advisor or both. CAN will provide you with resources, tools and training to ensure you are prepared for your Coach or Advisor sessions. Let us help you to help others while you develop your skills, earn CPD Hours and connect with the professions.
Visit the Your Practice section of the Law Society Gazette for Rules Recap: quarterly updates of Law Society rule and by-law amendments.
For assistance interpreting your obligations under the Rules, please contact the Practice Management Helpline at 416-947-3315 or 1-800-668-7380, ext 3315.
In The News
Call for nominations: 2017 Law Society Awards
The Law Society invites nominations for the 2017 Law Society awards. Awards for lawyers include the Law Society Medal, the Lincoln Alexander Award and the Laura Legge Award. Paralegals are eligible for the William J. Simpson Distinguished Paralegal Award. Both lawyers and paralegals are eligible for the J. Shirley Denison Award.
Law Society Referral Service
The Law Society Referral Service is continuing to evolve and increase efficiency. We are pleased to announce that licensees may now apply online to join the service. Visit your LSUC Portal account. We encourage and welcome lawyers and paralegals who provide legal services to the public to apply to join the Law Society Referral Service. It helps to give back to the community, expand your profile and potentially generate more clients for you.
For licensees who are already members of LSRS, you may now view and manage your profile through your LSUC Portal account. Thank you for your support and participation in this valuable service.