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    Archive for July, 2009
    Paul Hergott – Solo – Answers 30 Questions for Busy Lawyers who use Technology
    Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

    ♬ It won’t be long yeh, yeh,
    It won’t be long yeh, yeh…♬

    Music and lyrics by Lennon & McCartney.

    This interview is with Paul Hergott of Hergott Law, a solo practitioner in West Kelowna, BC. This interview forms part of the “30 Questions for Busy Lawyers who use Technology” thread on this blog in advance of The Pacific Legal Technology Conference, to be held in Vancouver on Friday, Oct. 2, 2009 at the Vancouver Trade & Convention Center:

    2007-paul-hergott-cropped.jpg

    1.    Could you briefly describe your firm (number of lawyers, staff, areas of practice etc):

    We have one lawyer – doing real estate and personal injury. In the personal injury area, we have 4 staff. Conveyancing has 1 staff member.

    2.    When was your firm established?

    In Sept 2007.

    3.    Where do you practice (one office, multiple offices, virtual offices, regional, national, international)?

    Regarding the conveyancing side of the practice, the admin is done in an electronically linked home office. Everything else is done in the main office.

    4.    What are the demographic backgrounds of the lawyers and staff in your firm?

    Most senior staff been at it for 30 years…probably early 40 legal assistant and mid 30’s secretary and receptionist is early 50’s.  Wife mid 40’s.  I am a very old dog!

    5.    What prior degrees and/or experience do the lawyers and staff bring to your firm?

    Staff has long standing legal experience.  I have a business admin degree  where I took high level programming (C++ and Pascal), quantitative analysis, and 400 level business admin courses. My wife entered the legal world with a computer programming course and started in the area of real estate conveyancing. She was a programmer of Blue Screen, a word perfect based conveyancing package.  3-4 months ago she took training in HotDocs and uses MS Word and HotDocs. (more…)

    Posted in 30 Questions for Busy Lawyers, Budgeting, Change Management, Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Leadership and Strategic Planning, Make it Work!, Technology, Trends | Permalink | No Comments »
    Mark Tamminga Answers 30 Questions for Busy Lawyers who use Technology
    Sunday, July 12th, 2009

    ♬ I think to myself living is a winning school
    Winning on your feet, winning on the street
    Winning as a golden rule
    It’s seems there’s always a test
    And I’m doing my best
    But there still seems a long way to go
    I try myself
    Trying everything I know
    Pushing me so

    One step ahead
    One more step ahead just to get me through♬

    Lyrics, music and recorded by Nik Kershaw.

    This is the latest in a series of interviews of busy lawyers who use technology in advance of The Pacific Legal Technology Conference, to be held in Vancouver on Friday, October 2, 2009 at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Center. In this interview, we pose our 30 questions for Mark Tamminga of Gowlings:

    Mark Tamminga Photo

    1.                  Could you briefly describe your firm (number of lawyers, staff, areas of practice etc)

    Gowling Lafleur  Henderson LLP is one of Canada’s largest national firms with an emphasis in business law, intellectual property and advocacy.

    2.                  When was your firm established?

    The firm traces its roots back to the 19th century…

    3.                  Where do you practice (one office, multiple offices, virtual offices, regional, national, international)?

    Gowlings is an International firm with 8 offices across Canada as well as offices in London and Moscow.

    4.                  What are the demographic backgrounds of the lawyers and staff in your firm?

    Varied – we have just under 700 lawyers and a proportionate number of staff. With that size comes a tremendous range in people. We have been listed as one of the 50 Best Employers in Canada by the Globe and Mail (2009).

    5.                  What prior degrees and/or experience do the lawyers and staff bring to your firm?

    Again this is very differentiated.  For example, we have the Honourable Martin Cauchon who was the Minister of National Revenue

    6.                  How would you describe the culture of your firm?

    Result of the coming together of a whole bunch of smaller firms.  Each firm brought their own flavour.   I would say it is scrappy – willing to try new things.   Open to innovation.

    7.                  Can you describe the firm’s management style?

    Consensual.  We have a three person executive, a Board of Trustees and an Internal and External Management Committee.  The different office managing partners are on the internal committee.  The external one is made up of key hitters in the firm.

    8.                  Does technology assist you in the management of your firm? If so, how?

    My interest is practice modeling software, which is aimed at production of legal work.  In terms of management, we have most of the back office accounting stuff…giving us the firm’s financial performance.  GowLINKS is the internal web site for sharing information – the office’s intranet. (more…)

    Posted in 30 Questions for Busy Lawyers, Adding Value, Business Development, Change Management, Firm Governance, Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Leadership and Strategic Planning, Make it Work!, Technology, Trends | Permalink | 1 Comment »
    Ten Guidelines for Effective Goal Setting
    Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

    ♫ They can’t put out my fire
    I’ve got too much desire
    I’m reaching for my goal.. ♫

    Lyrics, music and recorded by Brian McKnight.

    This is post of Beth Flynn’s Leadership Moments newsletter email from  the Ohio State University Leadership Center.  I thought these Ten Guidelines for Effective Goal Setting were particularly apt and have reposted it here (with permission):

    1. Effective goals are written.
    2. Effective goals are written in specific, measurable terms.
    3. Effective goals can be visualized.
    4. Effective goals are achievable.
    5. Effective goals have realistic deadlines.
    6. Effective goals are manageable.
    7. Effective goals are analyzed for their potential problems.
    8. Effective goals require action to eliminate or minimalize the consequences of potential problems.
    9. Effective goals include a regular review of progress.
    10. Effective goals yield rewards that are of value to you (Wilson & Dobson, 2008, p. 4-8).

    From:  Wilson, S. B. & Dobson, M.S.; 2008.  Goal setting: how to create an action plan and achieve your goals.   2nd edition.  New York: Amacom. Goal Setting is available on loan from the Ohio State University Leadership Center.  To borrow this resource or any other resource, please go to the resource search page http://164.107.48.88/winnebago/index.asp?lib=???

    Learn how the Ohio State University Leadership Center is strengthening tomorrow’s leaders today at http://leadershipcenter.osu.edu

    To subscribe to the Leadership Moments list — send e-mail to: flynn.61@osu.edu

    INSPIRE.LEAD.EMPOWER

    Beth Flynn, M.S.

    Leadership Consultant & Trainer
    OSU Leadership Center
    2120 Fyffe Road, Rm. 109
    Columbus, OH 43210
    614-292-1251 (phone)
    614-292-9750 (fax)
    flynn.61@osu.edu

    http://leadershipcenter.osu.edu

    The OSU Leadership Center…where we inspire others to take a leadership role that empowers the world.

    Hopefully these tips help you reach for your goals!

    Posted in Change Management, Firm Governance, Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Leadership and Strategic Planning, personal focus and renewal, Trends | Permalink | No Comments »
    30 Questions for Busy Lawyers who use Technology – Post #2
    Sunday, July 5th, 2009

    Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho
    It’s home from work we go…

    Music by Frank Churchill, Paul Smith, Leigh Harline, from Snow White.

    This is the second in a series of posts in advance of the The Pacific Legal Technology Conference to be held in Vancouver, BC on Friday, Oct. 2, 2009 (www.pacificlegaltech.com) under the category “30 Questions for Busy Lawyers who use Technology”. In this post we are interviewing Nicole Garton-Jones, a solicitor in West Vancouver, British Columbia, who leads a unique high-tech virtual law firm entitled: “Heritage Law”. Here is Nicole’s interview on how she and her firm, use technology:

    Nicole Garton-Jones

    1.    Could you briefly describe your firm:

    Heritage Law is a boutique law firm with four lawyers and six support staff that specializes in wills and estates, family law and mediation.

    2.    When was your firm established?

    In 2005.

    3.    Where do you practice?

    Our main office is in West Vancouver, BC.  We have a satellite office in Vancouver, BC for meeting with clients.  We are also virtual in that all staff log into one remote, secure server over the Internet, which is a repository for all firm data and software applications. Many of the staff work as independent contractors from their home offices.

    4.    What are the demographic backgrounds of the lawyers and staff in your firm?

    We are all women and most of us are working mothers.

    5.    What prior degrees and/or experience do the lawyers and staff bring to your firm?

    Various. Nicole Garton-Jones was formerly an associate in two large law firms.  Karen Redmond is a former teacher and business owner.  Tanya Murray practiced corporate, securities and commercial law for 12 years.  Myrle Lawrence was a solo wills and estates solicitor for 27 years prior to Heritage Law purchasing her practice.  Our paralegal Elizabeth Markus has a Master’s Degree in medieval art.

    6.    How would you describe the culture of your firm?

    We have an innovative model of legal practice, centered on the concept of how to enable both work life balance for our staff and maintain top service levels for our clients. (more…)

    Posted in 30 Questions for Busy Lawyers, Adding Value, Change Management, Firm Governance, Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Leadership and Strategic Planning, Make it Work!, Technology, Trends | Permalink | 3 Comments »