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TLOMA Today

April, 2021
April, 2021 | Article

Memorial Tribute - Karen MacKay - 1955 - 2021

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Karen MacKay was a Lifetime Member and served as a President of TLOMA 1995-1996.  She will be sincerely missed by all who knew and loved her.

Karen will be missed by her husband of 25 years, Ken MacKay, and her son Adam (Mindy) LaFlor and her two stepsons, Matthew (Theresa) and Timothy (Katherine) MacKay. She also had six grandchildren.

Here are a few beautiful reminders of who she was and what she meant to her friends and colleagues.

Jordan Furlong, Law21 Principal, summed up her presence:

"Poise, strength, grace, and command — those are the impressions that remain with me. How Karen would preside over and adroitly govern a gathering of unruly, ambitious partners at a retreat or strategy session and conduct their interchanges like a maestro with an orchestra.  Poise, strength, grace, and command — those are the impressions that remain with me. How Karen would preside over and adroitly govern a gathering of unruly, ambitious partners at a retreat or strategy session and conduct their interchanges like a maestro with an orchestra."

Stephen Mabey, Managing Director of Applied Strategies, Inc., and a close collaborator of Karen’s, wrote:

"My overriding memory of Karen will always be her being there for me. Never looking for anything in return — rather, just guiding and leading by her example of how to conduct a consulting practice, and more importantly, be a good person.  But there is solace in being reminded that, 'Those we love never truly leave us. There are things that death cannot touch'."

Gary Luftspring, the Managing Partner at Toronto based Goodman & Carr during Karen’s 10-year long career with the firm, says:

"Karen started at Goodman and Carr LLP as director of HR. She quickly moved to COO and ultimately to CEO. Along the way she soaked up responsibility, did an Executive MBA at the University of Toronto, and managed to “herd the cats” with good humor and expertise. Karen was always a positive force, encouraging and optimistic.  We kept in touch to the end, mainly because that is who Karen was. She would call when she was “in the neighbourhood.” We would get together and chat and it was always as if there had been no gap since our last conversation. We laughed and cried and commiserated. I will miss her in my life."

Alex Overchuk, a colleague at Phoenix Legal writes:

"Karen had an insatiable curiosity that she shared and encouraged with her clients. She created safe spaces for people to explore opportunities outside their comfort zone and inspired new ways to approach professional challenges both at the individual and firm-wide level. She was generous with her time in supporting young professionals as they embarked on new challenges, always available as they moved into more senior roles. It felt like she knew everyone -- a hello to someone at the coffee shop, a wave or quick embrace walking down the street, a raised glass at a restaurant, and even a quick chat at the airport. Karen was an amazing woman, and an awesome mentor. She influenced so many professionals, and her presence will be missed."

Gerry Riskin, Founder of Edge International, remembers:

"Karen had a joyful spirit that enabled her to magically enhance the performance of her clients as well as her colleagues. She was a gifted member of Edge International, and then went on to create her own specialized boutique consultancy, Phoenix Legal. We all remained good friends, and at times we would include Phoenix on Edge assignments where her unique specialties were critical to great outcomes. I feel very fortunate to be among those who benefited personally and professionally from knowing and working with her. I will miss so much being able to reach out for her sage counsel." 

Michael Bussman, a tax partner in Gowlings’ Toronto office, comments:

"I was a participant in Karen’s first LEAD program at Gowlings. What I remember best were the several one-on-one sessions Karen held with us. She brought an intense engagement and interest to each discussion, always alive to the person sitting across from her. I could tell that she cared about us, and wanted to bring out the very best in us. I am saddened to hear that she did not have more time."

Karyn Bradley, Toronto Office Managing Partner of Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP when Karen created a successful leadership programme for young leaders:

"Shortly after my appointment as the Toronto Managing Partner of Gowlings, Karen MacKay invited me to a congratulatory lunch. During our lunch, Karen asked me what I most wanted to accomplish during my four-year term. Without hesitation, I replied that I wanted to ensure that the next generation of leaders at Gowlings was better prepared to assume leadership roles than I had been.

The problem was, as I explained to Karen, I really had no idea how to accomplish this goal.  Karen's face lit up, she smiled broadly, and she told me that she just might be able to assist.  That was the beginning of a fabulous partnership and journey into the world of leadership development and training for the next generation of leaders at Gowlings. 

To date, over 100 young partners at Gowlings have graduated from the program, and as one alumnus told me recently, leadership training is now part of the DNA at Gowlings. Karen's vision and commitment to the development of this unique leadership development program for future law firm leaders is an extraordinary achievement. I, along with many partners at Gowlings, will miss her terribly. Rest in peace, dear friend."

Aviva Rotenberg , Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Canadian Bar Association, comments on the work Karen did for the CBA:

"Karen worked closely on several important projects with the Canadian Bar Association. Most notably, she lent her deep expertise, keen insight, and wealth of experience to our Law Firm Leadership conference and other programming designed specifically for managing partners.  Her positivity, warmth, and commitment to excellence in our profession truly seemed to come from a place of genuine feeling, and it showed in everything she did. We will miss Karen and extend our deepest condolences to all who knew and loved her."

Joan Feldman,
Editor and Publisher of AttorneyatWork.com and, previously, the ABA’s Law Practice magazine comments:

"I first met Karen MacKay more than a decade and a half ago when we asked her to take the lead in writing a new column for Law Practice, appropriately called “Taking the Lead.” She had proven herself an insightful and prolific writer and a true joy to work with, and we were thrilled when she said yes. Over the next several years, she more than met the mission to provide tangible, intelligent advice from “inside the room” on leadership and management issues. But Karen shone brightest as a selfless advisor and friend once she joined the Law Practice Magazine Advisory board, demonstrating the ability that made her an invaluable asset in law firm boardrooms across North America. Her uncanny ability to both read the room and guide the room was a true gift."

Maggie Callicrate, CEO of San Francisco law firm Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass, and past President of COLPM, writes:

"Karen was a most gracious and giving mentor to me when we worked together for a couple of years in law firm consulting. She had previously made the transition from in-house law firm management to acting as a consultant to law firms. She was so generous with her insights, a ready smile, and a can-do approach to anything and everything.

She was also a fantastic host who made visits to her home outside of Toronto special. I remember one evening in particular when Karen and her husband Ken invited a number of colleagues to their home. Not surprisingly, the evening included a Scotch whisky tasting, courtesy of friend and colleague to many in this industry, Scotsman John Plank.  And one more lovely memory (and teaching moment!). We once met up at Boston Logan Airport for a client meeting the next day. It was getting close to midnight, but Karen called ahead from the cab to ask the front desk to have warm cookies in our rooms. I was dubious, but sure enough, delivery happened and the cookies were excellent!"

Simon Chester, past President of COLPM and Counsel at Gowling WLG in Toronto, writes:

"Reading these tributes, I recognized all the ways I encountered this extraordinary woman, Karen. I treasure the memories of someone always in motion. At her College induction, striding across the campus of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, delighting in the stimulation of new friends and sharing ideas. Karen loved people.  Walking over from the W in the Loop to a College Futures Conference at Chicago-Kent, her energy — a magnet to her friends.

In all her presentations and workshops, a mind in motion, opening eyes and sparking new insights.  A soul in motion. Who touched all she met. Dear Heart, rest well."

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April, 2021 | Article

President’s Message for April 2021

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Durdin Bernice 9nov19
Author Bernice Durdin

Spring has sprung, the chirping birds serenade the air, the sun no longer sets mid afternoon, and our spirits are rising as we slowly emerge from our winter hibernation to a warm and welcomed new season!

However, the birds and the bees aren’t the only one buzzing into April, as TLOMA is ready to celebrate National Volunteer Week (April 18-24)! Volunteers define the work we do at TLOMA and it’s essential to bring in new voices to continue growth and change amongst our organization and its members.  A special shout out to our Board Members and our SIG Leaders, thank you for volunteering your time.

Following last month’s message on well being, volunteering is an avenue to pursue new challenges, develop new skills and networks while expanding our perspective and gratitude. Volunteerism has shown to boost self esteem, promote activism and deepen or develop new relationships within your field. Volunteering outreach allows for inclusivity within our membership, ensuring opportunities for all to share their voice and vision from a diverse background. Finally, volunteering can create the change you wish to see while developing the feeling of satisfaction and reward, also known as the Helper’s High!

Compensation Committee


Is looking for volunteers with compensation and/or benefits experience to join this Committee. 


We are looking for 2 members from law firms with less than 20 lawyers; one member from law firms with 21-49 lawyer and one member who works with Associate & Student Program.

 

If you are interested please feel free to contact Hannah Won, TLOMA 2021 Chair of the Compensation Committee for more information.

Nominating Committee


We will be calling on the membership to form our 2022 Nominating Committee (“NC”) later this week.  We have the following Board and Non-Board positions available:

 

  • Board Members

    The NC will recruit four new 2022 Board members to hold the positions of Vice President, Treasurer, Communications Coordinator and Education Coordinator.

  • Non-Board Members
    The NC will recruit four new 2022 non-Board members to hold the positions of Facilities SIG Leader, Human Resources SIG Leader, and Vice Chair 2021 Conference Committee and Vice Chair 2021 Compensation Committee. 

Keep an eye on your inbox for the Call to Volunteer email coming soon.

 

Best of TLOMA Today Award


This award displays TLOMA talent and features creative, practical and relevant content for legal management professionals.  This award recognizes innovation and thought leadership of its members. If you would like to submit a written article for TLOMA Today to showcase your knowledge and talent, please contact 
Mary DaRosa, Communications Coordinator. Nominations for the award must be submitted by October 29th, 2021.

Check out the upcoming events for April;

April 7, 2021 - TLOMA’s 2021 Compensation Surveys Launch Session
April 8, 2021 – TLOMA Talks
April 21, 2021 – TLOMA Finance SIG Event - Business Continuity Planning - What, why and how?
April 29, 2021 - TLOMA Marketing SIG Event - Starting a Legal Podcast

Don’t forget to give us feedback when you attend SIG sessions.  We like to know how we are doing and what we can do better.

I will leave you with this thought:

“Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless” – Sherry Anderson

Happy Spring!

Bernice

Bernice Durdin is the Manager, Human Resources Manager at Lerners LLP.  Prior to her pervious role, she was the Human Resources Manager at Robins Appleby LLP. Prior to that she was the Human Resources Manager at Baker & McKenzie LLP.  Bernice has held various management positions over 22 years' experience working in the legal industry.

Bernice joined Oatley, Purser in 1998 as a Receptionist while completing her Human Resources diploma at Georgian College. In 2002, Oatley, Purser separated and formed the new firm of Purser, Dooley LLP where Bernice was promoted to role of Office Manager. Over the next few years, two more mergers followed with local Firms in the Barrie area. In 2012, Barriston LLP was formed and Bernice was promoted to Human Resources Manager. In this role, she was responsible for managing 6 offices between Barrie and Haliburton.

Bernice has been actively involved in TLOMA since 2002. During that time Bernice has attended the annual conferences and attends as many SIG monthly meetings as possible. In 2015, Bernice was previously on the Nominating Committee, in 2017 she was on the Compensation Committee and was the 2017/2018 HR SIG Leader.  Bernice was the 2020 Vice President for TLOMA.

In her spare time Bernice enjoys playing golf, working out and spending time with her family and friends.

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April, 2021 | Article

Stocking Your Resilience Toolbox – How to Be Proactive in Managing Your Stress

April 2021 - Stocking Your Resilience toolbox
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De Toni, Robert
Author Robert De Toni, B.Adm., LL.B., C.E.C., C.R.C.

There used to be a time when I thought that being resilient simply meant I had to suck it up and put a brave face on whenever I was going through something difficult.  No complaining and no whining.  Just tough it out, and, in the end, I will be stronger for it.  I mean, as a litigation lawyer, shouldn’t I just be able to put on my armour to make everything okay?

I now know that nothing could be further from the truth.  This became fully apparent to me when, one day, at the ripe young age of 49, sitting in my car in the parking garage at my office, I found myself not being able to open the car door.  The stresses of practicing law, and of life, had finally caught up to me.  As I sat there motionless, I realized that I had to do something before I completely broke down.

I am sure that at least half of the lawyers who are reading this can relate to what I am talking about. In an article entitled “Mental Health in the Legal Profession:  Are we asking the right questions?,” posted in March 2018 on www.slaw.ca, the author set out the following statistics:   58% of lawyers have experienced significant stress and burnout; 48% of lawyers have experienced anxiety; and 26% of lawyers have experienced depression.  Given the demands of our profession, those numbers are not surprising.  Now toss a pandemic into the mix and I am guessing that those numbers are on the rise.

So if just facing tough times and getting through them day by day is not the recipe for making us resilient what is? As I discovered in the years following my parking garage moment, we can proactively strengthen our resilience by using the tools we already have at our disposal.  When used properly, these tools enable us to face stressful situations with strength and power.  I like to call it “stocking our resilience toolbox.”

What tools can we stock our resilience toolbox with?  In thinking of your answer to that question, most of you will likely think of mental health tools.  No doubt, that’s a big part of it, but it’s kind of like trying to play a hockey game without a stick.  You are simply not fully equipped for success. 

Most of us are likely familiar with the Snickers commercials “You’re not you when you’re hungry.”  Although they are funny, they send a powerful message about what happens when we don’t take care of our bodies properly – we become irritable, we lack energy, and we are unable to perform at the level we’re capable of.  Now think of how resilient your feel when you’re depleted, and your energy levels are low.  Not very, I’m sure.  These commercials are actually great examples of how our physical health impacts our mental resilience. 

The 3 strongest physical tools that you can stock your resilience toolbox with are: consistently getting a good night’s sleep; eating properly; and, exercising regularly.  We all know the great impact that each of these have on our physical health, like lowering our risk of having serious problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.  However, they also all help you reduce stress, improve your mood, and think more clearly.  In other words, they make us more capable of handling stressful situations, which resilience is all about.

The following are some of the things that I’ve done to proactively develop my resilience using the 3 tools that I listed above:

  • I’ve developed a more intentional bedtime routine that includes simple relaxation activities such as sleep meditation and shutting down all electronics, which means no devices and no checking emails. This makes me less “amped up” when the time comes to put head to pillow making it easier for me to fall asleep.
  • I’ve started cooking healthy meals on Sundays and storing them. That way, I have something quick and healthy to heat up when I am stretched for time on a workday. This allows me to avoid the easy and unhealthy options that I used to go to. 
  • I’ve found a physical activity that I love doing – working out at the gym. Weird yes, but, because I love doing it, I rarely skip a workout which means I have a regular outlet for reducing my stress.

Each of these things have made me both physically and mentally stronger.  Now, when I am faced with stressful situations, I have the energy and stamina I need to pull me through. 

To conclude I need to share that I did not do all this alone. Knowing intellectually something is good for us is one thing, but implementing it is another. You see, a few months after that day in my car, I decided to get some help and I obtained some coaching.  It was so transformative I then became a Certified Executive Coach and a Certified Resilience Coach through the Leadership Wellness Group.  I have now partnered with the Leadership Wellness Group to offer you a customized program to enhance your resilience before you burnout like I did.  

I can honestly tell you that today I feel more resilient then ever and am armed with the tools to keep me that way so a day like the day I had in my car, never happens to me again.

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Want to learn more about how to become healthier, happier and stronger? Sign up for Resilient by Design – Legal Professional Edition: a 10-week program that will help fit wellness and self-care into your life so that you can become the best version of yourself.

 

 

 

As a lawyer who is now in his 25th year of practice, Rob understands the unique pressures of the legal industry.  Having seen the benefits of developing his own resilience practices, Rob is committed to sharing his knowledge and experience with others so that they can tackle the stressful situations they face with strength and power. 

With his qualifications as both a Certified Executive Coach and Certified Resilience Coach, Rob is able to help guide his coaching clients to take action and make the changes that they need to make to become resilient by design.
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April, 2021 | Article

The Art of Cyber War and What Makes Every Law, Justice and Court Organization Vulnerable

April 2021- The Art of Cyber War
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Kirkman, Tom
Author Tom Kirkham

Cyber warfare is real. Every law, justice and court organization is vulnerable for a cyber attack. The harsh reality is that lawyers are especially in danger because their biographical information is so easily accessible. These attacks come in many different forms – everything from stolen data held for ransom, to sensitive information being put at risk and opening the door to impeded workflow, liability, and loss of clients.

Legal organizations handle large amounts of highly sensitive personal identifiable information (PII), data, and money making them very appealing to malicious actors. Keeping client sensitive information safe should be one of the highest priorities of a law firm.

The American Bar Association and the U.S. Department of Justice report that 25% of all law firms have experienced some form of data breach. Consider that the New York entertainment and media law firm Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks was hacked and the ransom demand was $42 million. Many of the demands are smaller, but still costly and difficult from which to recover.

The Threat Actors at Work

Criminal enterprises, nation-states, inside attackers, hacktivists and other malcontents lurk in the cyber sea waiting to feed on unsuspecting victims. Legal organization leaders not only must worry about criminal enterprises and nation-states, but to a greater extent, must prepare for potential insider attacks or other lone wolf malcontents.

There are also other attack types including keyloggers (a software program or device designed to secretly monitor and log all keystrokes). They pose a serious threat to users, as they can be used to intercept passwords and other confidential information entered via the keyboard. As a result, cyber criminals can get PIN codes and account numbers for e-payment systems, passwords to online gaming accounts, email addresses, user names, email passwords, and almost any other information imaginable.

Rootkits are a type of malware designed so that they can remain hidden on a computer. While they might not be noticed, they are active. Rootkits give cybercriminals the ability to remotely control a computer.

Cyber criminals also use back door attacks – accessing a system through unsecured points of entry.

These are commonly known as advanced persistent threats (APT). With nation-states, the objective with an APT is to remain undetected on the network, gather data and intelligence, learn what controls are on servers, get the network architecture, and then start searching for vulnerabilities they can use to either disrupt the organization, steal intellectual property or make money off of it by selling client data.

These are not “might happen” scenarios. The most common distribution methods, known as attack vectors, include email attachments, apps or Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, or other files that deliver a payload once the file attachment is opened on the computer. Ransomware can also be delivered by a drive-by hit on a compromised website. That is why websites must be secure.

Even legitimate advertising networks – especially those that provide news and information and have ads - can be fooled into spreading malware. Malicious USB drives are a great delivery mechanism to attack a system. They are effective in gaining access to or compromising a network.

Users must practice good password hygiene and never reuse the same credentials on multiple websites. If a criminal gains access to an email account the next step is to use the credentials to get into bank accounts, other websites, and steal identities. Even with good security hygiene, hackers can use simple penetration testing tools to identify open ports on a network. When the tool finds an open port it lets the hacker looks for vulnerabilities, unpatched software, and other ways to exploit the service. Just like that, the hacker has access to data.

Take the Prevention Stance

To prevent this, an organization must secure its information. Imagine an onion - the core of the onion are the assets to protect such as servers. Assume that administrative, technical, and physical controls can break so the best defense is NOT an unhackable single layer. Multiple layers are the only way to target attack vectors. Dozens of layers could be added to a security posture to protect core assets and devices, data, and customer information. The key is to make certain any holes in the layers are not aligned to allow penetration. The security strategy must take into account the hazard, technology, process and people to prevent loss.

Even so, there are vulnerabilities – mostly human error – which makes constant security awareness training crucial.

Hacking Has Come a Long Way: The Email Attack Vector

Hackers are professionals. Long gone are the days of broken English and misspelled words. Especially in the case of spear phishing attacks, the techniques are very refined. The criminals learn about an organization and then use tactics such as sending an email that looks legitimate. For example, an email from an executive authorizing a $50,000 wire transfer. Layered security is the defense.

Choose tools to authenticate the mail server and to prove to ISPs, mail services and other receiving mail servers that senders are truly authorized to send email.

Again, it cannot be stressed enough that organization leaders must create and foster a security-first environment. Everyone who has access to any kind of computer or device on a network must have security awareness training. Continuously. No one is exempt.

Understanding the Tools and Building a Security Toolbox that Works

A best practice is to employ a cybersecurity expert who has email and domain access within the organization. Understand that a security expert and IT professional are not the same. They complement each other.

The job of a spam filter is to trap emails with potentially malicious attachments. It is a first line of defense in a ransomware attack. Once criminals have open access to a network, they can access an encryption key. Then file encryption on the target begins, and tests run to make sure the files can be unencrypted once the victim pays the ransom. Ironically, distributors of malware have good customer service. Some actually have 800 numbers and use screen sharing support to help make sure the victim’s files get unencrypted, and offer assistance with ransom payment using Bitcoin, View Cash, or other methods.

In addition to a spam filter, a known DNS filter will trap the request and the files will never get encrypted because no key was shared. Tools such as Windows Defender will defend against Trojans, but for malware attacks that is not enough. Endpoint detection and response (EDR) is necessary. If all other physical controls fail, the savior is EDR which uses behavioral analytics and artificial intelligence to see if the commands are normal and behaving as expected. This is a different way to look at security. In the past users were assumed to understand threats such as phishing attacks and be diligent about handling email attachments. Macros were assumed not to be malicious. That is not true today.

Orchestrating Prevention and Solutions

The complexity of these attacks builds the case for security designed to allow time to orchestrate mitigation.

All of the tools available are useless without orchestration – properly assessing the risk, having the technical tools ready, plus understanding administrative, technical, and physical controls. The best case scenario is a security provider with multiple vendors and best-of-breed products, practices, and policies.

In the final analysis, whether a law, justice or court organization decides to handle security in-house or outsource it, the key to success is having both a management and policy-driven remote access strategy with the ability to monitor the hardware devices on a network and analyze the logs to see if they are showing any abnormal behavior.

Tom Kirkham, founder and CEO of IronTech Security provides cybersecurity defense
systems and focuses on educating and encouraging organizations to establish a
security-first environment with cyber security training programs for all workers to prevent
successful attacks.

Kirkham brings more than three decades of software design, network administration, computer security, and cybersecurity knowledge to organizations around the country.
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April, 2021 | Article

How to Stay Fit While Staying Put

April 2021 - How to Stay Fit - Mike Gaspre
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Mike Gaspar - 3 ways Health and wellness - April 2020
Author Mr. Mike Gaspar

Pandemic life is unpredictable to say the least, but staying active during this time certainly adds to the complexity. Even while we look forward to the restrictions being lifted in Toronto, there are effective ways to stay active outside of the gym. Rather than giving up on your new year resolutions, consider revising them to counteract your current reality. Whether you’re working from home, helping your children learn from home or on the frontlines, a little creativity goes a long way.

The Benefits of Staying Active

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle typically includes various factors, but being physically active tops the list. According to the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines, adults 18-64 years old should be active at least 150 min a week to achieve health benefits. Incorporating regular exercise into your daily routine is a proactive approach to supporting your total well being.

Exercise increases the hormone serotonin which is responsible for boosting your mood and supporting your nervous system. Exercise can also be an effective way to counteract  depression and anxiety while supporting your mental health.

The risk of heart disease and stroke is also decreased through regular physical activity. Some of the risk factors that lead to disease can also be greatly reduced, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Improved sleep and increased energy are among the many other long-lasting benefits of being active.

Types of Exercises

Finding what type of exercise works for you is an essential step in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. What works for your friends or even other family members may not be as effective for you. With an open mind and some creativity, you can find an effective activity that you actually look forward to every day.

WALKING

One of the most cost effective types of exercises is walking. No matter where you live, there is always an opportunity to go for a walk. You can walk around your neighbourhood or venture as far as your legs will take you. This free physical activity is a great way to burn calories, lower blood sugar and ease joint pain.

If you’re spending more time sitting in front of a computer, you have a greater risk of developing common foot issues like Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis, or Metatarsalgia. Walking helps to relieve the tension caused from excessive strain on your feet and joints.

Even if you already wear orthotics or have an ergonomic work space at home, walking works in tandem with these important measures. While walking may not be as intense as running, it is still important to support your feet with proper shoes and supportive gear. Dress according to the various temperatures that are typical throughout each season in Toronto. You can still work up a great sweat whether it’s cold, hot or mild outside. Layering your clothes can help you stay warm when needed and you can always remove a layer during the warmer months. Walking for a few minutes per day is also a great way to be physically active and soak up some natural vitamin D.

ONLINE FITNESS

Over the past year, there has been an abundance of access to online fitness classes of all kinds. Many gyms have moved their classes to an online format providing a temporary alternative to in-person visits. While this may not be the ideal, it does provide another option for anyone who needs a virtual instructor. Often these classes are scheduled at certain times which can help you stay on track each week.

If you prefer creating your own schedule, choose a free fitness YouTube channel to use at your leisure. There is literally something for every fitness level online. The videos range from intense cardio, strength training and even low impact to support your joints and feet. Although there is a variety of exercises to choose from, use an abundance of caution when starting something new. If you have been inactive or unfamiliar with a particular fitness class, watch the video first to get a good grasp of each move. Once you become comfortable and find the class that interests you the most, be intentional about participating regularly. With a simple internet connection and a smart device, you can achieve your fitness goals by logging on as much as you like.

Also, keep in mind that these fitness classes require the same amount of effort in your home as they would at a gym. Just like you would at the gym, be sure to wear appropriate shoes to support your feet every time. Online fitness classes will have you jumping, stretching and generally moving like an in-person class would. Your feet will carry you through it all, so they need to be protected to support your healthy lifestyle.

HOME FITNESS EQUIPMENT

If you need an added challenge, consider personal fitness equipment for your home. You don’t need to have a personal gym filled with thousands of dollars of equipment. There are plenty of ways to break a sweat and stay physically active through inexpensive equipment that doesn’t take up a lot of room. Resistance bands, jump ropes, and stability balls are just some of the small and cost effective equipment suitable for all abilities. Free weights and a quality exercise mat can also help you with strength training. You can also combine your favourite online fitness class with your equipment at home to help you with proper form and technique.

If you choose to invest in large fitness equipment, like a treadmill or spin bike, be sure to do your research. Not all equipment is created equal, so consider all the factors before purchasing. Think about your fitness goals, the space in your home and be realistic. Remember, consistency is the key to reaping the benefits of physical activity, even at home. Purchasing fitness equipment won’t guarantee a healthy lifestyle, but your resolve and determination will help you succeed.

Getting Started

Whatever exercise you choose to engage in, it’s important to think about your feet first, after all, they support your entire body. Whether you’re walking, running or working out at home, your feet will take the brunt of the pressure. If you’re experiencing pain in your feet, it’s critical to get help before you engage in any physical activity. Work related strain is possible whether you’re sitting for long periods or on your feet all day. Getting help from the right health professional could save you from effects of ongoing foot pain.

Chiropodists can treat a variety of foot conditions, including corns, calluses, bunions, ingrown toenails and plantar fasciitis. Chiropodists can also prescribe custom orthotics based on your specific condition if needed. Regardless of your fitness level, getting the support for your feet is also a vital part of maintaining your health.

What’s the bottom line?

Our lives are still looking a bit different than they normally do, but that just means you need to get a little creative when it comes to your workout equipment, schedule, and location.  Look around your house and you’ll probably find all sorts of things you can use as makeshift workout equipment.  Get outside and run, walk, jump, skip … whatever it is that you enjoy, that gets you moving and makes you break a sweat … that’s what you’re going to stick with because you’re enjoying the activity.  Just make sure that you’re being safe, responsible and addressing any pain or discomfort.  Don’t let these things linger because nothing will derail your fitness journey faster than an injury.

Mike Gaspar is the Co-Founder and COO of HealthCasa and has 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Mike, and his partner Karen, started HealthCasa in 2017.

After starting a small chain of Chiropody/Podiatry clinics and selling a few years later, Mike set out to solve the inefficiencies plaguing the traditional brick-and-mortar healthcare clinic model.  HealthCasa solves this problem by offering convenient access to Chiropody/Podiatry and orthotics appointments at people's homes, which evolved into offering full-service workplace wellness solutions at corporate offices.  Specializing in providing group wellness seminars AND individual healthcare appointments at your office, HealthCasa is your partner for workplace health and wellness.

TLOMA 2021 Virtual Conference Leaderboard
April, 2021 | Article

Beyond Document Management 101

April 2021 - Beyond Document Management
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Vicentin, Fernanda
Author Fernanda Vicentin

How confident are you that you really know what an electronic document management system (DMS) can do and the additional opportunities that it can provide to the firm? I find people broadly know what it is, but their understanding only goes so far. Yes, a DMS allows for electronic filing of documents and emails into a virtual electronic filing cabinet from where they can be easily searched and retrieved. But that’s ‘DMS 101’. What’s really powerful are the other things that become possible when paper is eliminated and the physical is transformed into the digital. This short article is about what can be achieved when you start to realize the opportunities beyond DMS 101.

The Value of Collaboration

To start with, a DMS enables collaboration. This means that files and folders can efficiently be shared internally between colleagues and peers, and externally with clients in a secure and compliant manner. Joint working can take place in real time, or individuals can work on files at their own pace. In addition, each individual with access can mark-up, comment on or annotate shared documents that are layered as films of information, so the latest version is always on top, and the system maintains version control at all times for a ’single version of the truth’. 

What’s the value of collaborating this way? Well, it lets colleagues work seamlessly together, even when they’re apart. It tends to eliminate a lot of ‘back and forth’ emails and speeds up how quickly contracts and agreements are made and matters resolved.

As well, and aside from the boost to productivity, the firm is able to open its metaphorical doors to each client. The technology improves service deliverability and has a positive impact on the client experience. Clients are no longer left wondering what’s happening to their matter and forced to call for updates. On the contrary, they’re empowered not only to check-in on their matter’s progress, but also to participate in it. Moreover, clients experience transparency around how their work is being handled and delivered, deepening their trust in your firm. And access to your slick system also underlines how technologically savvy and progressive your firm is.

Higher Data Security

Another extremely important facet of a modern DMS is that it gives you and your clients assurance of an exceptionally high standard of data security. This happens for three reasons. It’s partly because all the data is held in one container, not scattered around, so it’s easier to secure.

In addition, the way that DMSs work - as noted above and especially when people are sharing documents and collaborating within folders - tends to reduce the number of emails flying back and forth, which again reduces the risk of data security breaches.

Most compellingly of all, though, DMS providers are required to institute the highest levels of data security. The system I work with, for instance, has many global professional services and financial services institutions as clients. It provides advanced data encryption, off-site back-ups and compliance certifications as standard. The ongoing investment made in data security is exponentially higher than that which any individual firm, no matter how large, could possibly afford.

This matters because in today’s world it’s hugely useful to firms that their DMS provider takes care of data security. Especially since there’s clear evidence that cybercriminals target law firms because they’re understood to be the weak link in the information security chain. So a DMS takes the pressure and cost of data security provision off the firm’s hands, and puts it into the hands of specialists. The firm can rest easy knowing that its data compliance obligations are being met. In addition, and of considerable value, when prospective and existing clients ask how the firm is securing their data, the firm has a cast-iron response that will reassure clients.  

Gaining Matter-Centricity

Next, very usefully, a DMS is a high traffic system capable of hosting the firm’s ‘matter-centricity’ initiative. This means that as well as hosting documents and related emails for any given matter, the space can also integrate ancillary applications and information like task-lists, timekeeping, project management, financials, and case calendars. In combination this elevates the speed and efficiency with which matters are handled and provides a 360-degree view of the matter at the fingertips of the professionals. 

Furthermore, this single matter-centric space can be moved onto a business communications platform like Microsoft Teams or Zoom. This enables anytime, anywhere conversations with your clients in which all the elements - the latest tasks, versions and comments - are immediately to hand. Collaboration is turbo-charged, and this functionality again enhances the client experience and the firm’s reputation.

Data Analytics

Finally, and not least, as people use your DMS, it concentrates all interactions into a high value zone that generates a rich trove of data about all the activity undertaken. This can then be mined for a host of valuable insights.

For example, to help develop the firm’s tech competency via customized training programs, data is available to highlight what apps are being used by who and to what levels. If you want to know how much time any given client spent in their folders, who’s engaging, and who’s not - you can find it out. Moreover, the beauty of it is that the data accumulates in one place, so nothing has to be hunted down. It’s all there at your fingertips: a growing repository of fantastically useful information.

All this and more is the product of a modern document management system. Yet this is just a taste of the kinds of advantages you can exploit. Plus, as noted, it’s adding real value to the firm’s prestige by way of a premium client experience.

Last year we moved the workplace out of the office and into our homes. This year, it’s time to move from an actual to a virtual workspace. Not because we have to - but rather because we can. There are huge opportunities to be realized that go far beyond DMS 101.  

Tikit, a part of Advanced will be hosting a webinar on May 5, 2021, 10am EST, where we will be discussing this topic. If you would like to register, you can do so by clicking here. (If the webinar has happened, the same link will take you to the recording of the session).

Fernanda is a Account Executive at Tikit an Advanced Company, working and living in Canada since November, 2019.  She has a demonstrated history of working with technology for 18 years and is dedicated to helping law firms be more productive and efficient through the innovative use of technology.
April, 2021 | Article

Business Partner Spotlight

Business Partner Spotlight
Kovacs, Darian18feb21
Author Darian Kovacs

1.  Name of Organization / Company: Jelly Digital Marketing & PR

2.  Organization / Company Overview: 

Jelly Marketing began in 2013 and has since been helping 100s of companies from coast to coast generate high quality leads that convert into customers through PR, Social Media, Online Ads and SEO. Jelly is a certified Google Partner, which means we are trained and certified directly by Google and other major search engines.

Expertise & Growth: 

Jelly Marketing has developed expertise in law firm marketing by producing effective leads through cost-effective SEO and online advertising strategies. We specialize in getting law firms at the top of Google’s search results pages. To ensure we are tracking growth and where we can improve, we are constantly monitoring all data that comes through and use it to measure ROI instantly. 

Service Overview: 

Jelly offers a variety of digital and legal marketing services to help achieve your firm’s goals including Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, Web Design, Public Relations and Analytics and Reporting.

3. How many years have you been a Business Partner of TLOMA?  Jelly has been a business partner of TLOMA for 4 years.

4. What has been your partnership experience with TLOMA over the years?  Jelly has attended the TLOMA conference, and we have hosted our own workshop through the TLOMA. We’ve also hosted an exciting booth with a masseuse and hand care at a previous TLOMA tradeshow. Jelly has been happy to also partake in TLOMA webinars!

5. Favorite TLOMA memory?  This would have to be the ice breaker games hosted at the conference. It was a great way to meet such inspiring and fun people. 

6. Where was the last place you vacationed?  My backyard! It’s been tough to travel during the pandemic. :)

7. What is your favorite lunch spot during the workweek?  JRG’s Oak & Thorne is a great lunch spot because of its menu variety - everything tastes amazing and has all the options you could want! 

8. What is the name of your favorite restaurant?  JRG’s S+L not only has a unique and great tasting menu, the atmosphere at the restaurant is awesome. 

16. What are your favorite hobbies?  I really love to paint with watercolours and draw - so pen and ink drawing and colouring in with watercolours.

Darian is an Indigenous business leader with 15 years of experience in marketing, communications, and public relations. Throughout his career, he has also been a founder and board member of various foundations and charitable organizations. Darian is a co-host on the show Marketing Jam (featured on all the podcast channels and Amazon Prime). Through his award-winning company, Jelly Marketing, Darian has worked with various local, national, and global brands building and executing their digital marketing & PR strategy, as well as teaching digital marketing strategy through their education platform Jelly Academy.

Darian has hosted multiple workshops for BCLMA and LMA and is the author of a white paper on SEO. He was a co-founder of the Canadian Internet Marketing Conference and is a regular contributor with BCBusiness magazine, The Lawyers Daily, Entrepreneur, and Forbes.

Being both an educator and practitioner, Darian’s mix of stories, practical examples, and takeaways leaves audiences feeling inspired and equipped to implement SEO, digital ads, social media, and PR strategies into their marketing. Darian’s newest book Marketing Mentors is set to be available in book stores as of Fall 2020.

April, 2021 | Movers and Shakers
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