Paralegal Simon Brown’s Favourite Marketing & Management Resources for the Pod-Curious
“Don’t Let Law Schooling Get In the Way of Your Legal Education”
~ Bastardization of a quote attributed to Mark Twain.
We live in a wonderful age of information. Access to Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses and legal research can be done at the touch of a button or screen. Substantive law and professionalism are offered by our colleges, associations, societies, and the regulator. But there is precious little about advocacy, legal marketing, and practice management out there to help you sharpen your skills.
Fortunately, the gap has been bridged by entrepreneurial lawyers and legal educators through the use of blogs and podcasts. I’ve assembled a list of them that I use on a regular basis. Most of these are based in the United States, but there is a universality that cannot be denied.
Scope regularly provides carefully curated links to news items that are particularly relevant for Ontario’s 7,000 licensed paralegals. This focused list includes articles from popular media as well as legal-services provider content, all of it useful for paralegals.
- Supreme Court: Administrative monetary penalties, or AMPs, can climb into the millions, but that doesn’t make them criminal penalties; AMPs do not have to comply with Charter Rights
- Paralegal regulation in the media spotlight – The president of the Alberta Association of Professional Paralegals (AAPP) is taking part in a CTV news panel discussion about legal services in Alberta. Lorretta Klein will join a rep from the Alberta Law Society, and a law dean, to discuss making legal services more accessible to Albertans. The discussion includes whether paralegals in the province should be regulated, what an appropriate paralegal scope of practice would be, and what the risks are of having non-lawyers providing legal services. The segment will air on CTV Two in Alberta at 6 p.m. & 11 p.m. on Aug. 6 and again at 11 a.m. on Aug. 7. A link will be available at Alberta Primetime online
- Ontario Human Rights Commission weighs in on the hot competing rights issue, with a survey of the case law
- Former MPP gives up law licence after admitting to misconduct
- Law professor calls for calls for greater representation of new licensees to increase diversity among LSUC benchers
- Why we don’t know more about a public complaint about Toronto judge
- How to survive self-represented litigants
- File those LTB applications online! The most-common Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) applications can be filed online, anytime from anywhere. The Ministry of the Attorney General says its e-File tool is available for 80% of applications. This service also allows landlords and tenants to pay their fees online, and schedule the first available hearing date. Paper applications can still be mailed, faxed or dropped off at one of the eight LTB offices, or personally delivered to more than 60 ServiceOntario locations across the province.
- Safety tile maker fined after worker loses foot in workplace incident
- Woman sues former employer in U.S., alleging she was discriminated against for being Canadian
- Ontario Ombudsman’s Annual Report includes stats and details about venues from paralegal practice areas, such as WSIAT, education, licensing and a range of tribunals
- Tenants win against landlord who reduced services without compensation
- Wasaga councillors call for crackdown on bylaw-busting short-term “sharing economy” accommodations
- Criminal law: Colour of right defence calls for “air of reality” and an accused bears the onus. R. v. Simpson, 2015 SCC 40
- Ireland has repealed almost 6,000 obsolete laws, some of them hundreds of years old
CanLII and CanLII Connects are free Canadian legal information sources. They reach a wide audience of legal services providers, law students and the general public. Recent content particularly relevant for Ontario paralegals:
- Duty to Accommodate – Being “right” in the end isn’t enough; it matters how you get there 2009 HRTO 1641
- Unfavourable ruling does not signal bias at the HRTO – Velegjanin v. Toronto Police Services Board, 2015 HRTO 912 (CanLII)
- Establishing discrimination with circumstantial evidence – 2009 HRTO 1242
- Human Rights general damages on the rise – $75,000 awarded in British Columbia
- What do the words “we have an agreement” mean?
- BCCA clarifies McKinley: “contextual approach” and prior discipline
- Interest Act protection applied to promissory note – P.A.R.C.E.L. Inc. v. Acquaviva, 2015 ONCA 331
- Wrongful dismissal twitter comments – social media in the spotlight”
- HRTO misapplies the de minimis doctrine – “A square peg in a round hole?”
- New research add-on for CanLii – test-drive the “LexBox” beta
- Paralegal firm and agent “used the defendant’s 11(b) rights as an offensive weapon” – Mississauga (City) v. Ciocan, 2015 ONCJ 293 (CanLII)
- “Boiler-plate” disclosure requests contribute to s. 11(b) denial in Toronto OCJ; R. v. Ghobrial, 2015 ONCJ 288 (CanLII)
See more paralegal-specific cases at the Scope publisher page.
Paralegal Scope is the only legal media that covers Convocation meetings and Law Society of Upper Canada events for paralegals. Click on a title below to get news briefs about paralegal-specific decisions and reports from the Law Society’s “board of directors.”
You have probably heard the rumours. The August Paralegal Licensing Examination will be impossibly difficult. The exam will be ridiculously easy. The exam location keeps changing. The exam will take two days. The exam is full of “trick questions” written by mean-spirited lawyers.
Such rumours flourish before each session of the licensing exam, one of the last steps in the licensing process developed by the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC). Rumours seem particularly rampant this year, as the exam has been updated to reflect substantive law competencies, in addition to ethics and practice management knowledge.
It may be tempting to count on social media for “inside advice” about the new exam, but candidates can rely on facts available from the Law Society and from their paralegal program co-ordinators. Experienced educators and mentors suggest that basing decisions on what someone else heard, or read on social media, will only add unnecessary anxiety.
“One of the most important strategies that people can do independently is to be very clear on what is rumour and what is fact,” says educator Sandee Sharpe, of PREP Network. “If the Law Society has posted the information, it’s fact. If it’s passed on from person to person, the odds are, it’s a rumour. Any information on pass/fail rates or specific questions are simply rumours and only serve to cause greater anxiety.”
The LSUC licensing exam page has plenty of facts available about the exam, including: