On June third and fourth, I attended the sixth annual Solo and Small Firm Expo in Toronto,Ontario along with fellow Ontario Injury Lawyers Michael Laplante and Rachel Leck. Each year, the Solo and Small Firm Expo gives lawyers from small firms the opportunity to connect, network, share best practises and offer each other new ways to enhance our practices.
Solo and Small Firms Make Big Contributions to the Ontario Legal Profession
With 650 lawyers in attendance, there was a great deal of information to be shared. Laurie Pawlitza, Treasurer for the Law Society was able to offer some interesting stats that really tell the story of how the contributions of solo and small firms across Ontario impact the legal profession in Canada.
According to Laurie, about 12,000, or more than half of all private practitioners in Ontario, work in firms with five lawyers or fewer, while 86 per cent of all firms in the province contain five lawyers or less. She also noted that they are also responsible for almost all legal services in languages other than English.
Midland, Ontario Personal Injury Lawyer Shares Key Insights
For myself, there were a number of important insights to be gained, however, I would like to share the following three as my personal key takeaways:
- The challenges faced by solo and small firms are similar in many small towns in Ontario. Concerns about embracing new technologies, finding balance between work and family and staying connected to others in the legal profession were voiced by lawyers from across Ontario.
- Succession planning and best practices to recruit new talent are on the minds of many small firms. Lawyers are looking to bring a new perspective to the way they practice and are open to hearing what new lawyers have to say.
- Don’t leave home without your tablet. As more firms go paperless, lawyers were tweeting, emailing and working remotely from the conference in a way they haven’t even as recently as two years ago.
Ferguson Barristers LLP is a small personal injury law firm that founded the the Ontario Referring Lawyer Network to bring personal injury, product liability, insurance dispute resolution and employment litigation to small communities across Ontario.
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