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September, 2019
September, 2019 | Article

2019 Conference Participants

TLOMA would like to Thank the 2019 Conference PARTICIPANTS

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September, 2019 | President Message

President's Message

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Harris, Pam 1nov17
Author Pamela Harris

It is unbelievable that Labour Day has just passed which means the end of summer is just around the corner. I hope that everyone had a fantastic and safe summer. Time flies faster with every year that passes it seems. We need to be reminded to enjoy, truly enjoy how we are spending that time.

This is the time of year that the frenzy of law firm life really ramps up. We are reminded of the goals and projects we set for the year that are not yet complete. This can tend to weigh heavy on our minds throwing our life balance off a bit. We start thinking about work non-stop, working longer hours and getting less sleep. This takes away from our time to relax, refresh and recharge. The time we spend doing things for ourselves and our family, the things that we truly enjoy.

For each of us how we spend this time is something different, this is a reminder to carve out and guard this time, it is yours, you get to decide what do to with it, you have earned it. The work will get done, it always does.

TLOMA has also been very busy and we have accomplished a lot. We also have a number of goals and projects to accomplish before the end of the year.

On September 11th the TLOMA Business Services and TLOMA Associate Compensation Survey results meeting is taking place. Don’t forget that as a TLOMA member, you can purchase the TLOMA Business Services Compensation Survey results even if you did not provide data. When we have more participation the data is more accurate, we encourage everyone to complete the survey even if you do not plan to purchase the results. In order to receive the TLOMA Associate Compensation Survey, you have to participate by providing data, you cannot purchase it.

Our amazing TLOMA 2019 Conference and Trade Show takes place at the end of the month, September 25th through 28th at Blue Mountain. We promise another fantastic event.  The speakers and educational content is outstanding, the networking events will be a lot of fun and we have over 60 Business Partners joining us for the Trade Show and other events. Please note that if you have not yet registered, the registration closes on September 10th. The conference committee has also started planning the 2020 event; we are very excited to tell you that it is taking place in Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on September 30th and October 1st.  Mark your calendars now, you will not want to miss it. 

We are also launching our Membership Value Survey.  We need to hear from you – our members about how TLOMA can continue to serve your needs. This survey is intended to serve as a tool to evaluate your TLOMA membership satisfaction, ongoing events, service evaluation and future initiatives. TLOMA strives for continual improvement and we cannot accomplish it without your feedback.

Throughout the final days of summer and the Fall there are a number of Special Interest Group meetings taking place. In October there is a Human Resource SIG event on Mentoring, Coaching and Developing Employees, a Technology SIG on Consumerization of Technology to Better the Business of Law and a Marketing SIG on Both Sides of the Client Intake Process: New Perspectives from Finance and Business Development.  There will be more SIG events taking place in November – make sure to check your emails and TLOMA website for updates. You can find the most up to date information on all TLOMA events on the website by clicking on the Events tab at the top of the page.

Our final networking event for the year is the Holiday lunch that is taking place on Friday, November 29, 2019 at Omni King Edward Hotel. The Omni King Edward Hotel is Toronto’s first luxury hotel, built in 1903 and re-imagined for the 21st century. I hope you can join us as we take time to appreciate TLOMA’s volunteers while enjoying a fantastic meal in an amazing setting with our TLOMA professional network and friends.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the end of the month at the TLOMA 2019 Conference and Trade Show!

Pam has been working at Oatley Vigmond LLP since 1989 and is currently the Director of Administration and Planning.  In this role, Pam has the privilege of working with an amazing group of partners, lawyers and peers.  Pam helps focus their time and energy on the priorities that improve how they do business, provide the best level of service to their clients and create a better experience for their employees. 

Pam values continuous learning while looking at things differently, to find the opportunities when no one else sees them. 

Pam believes that strong continuous learning skills are required to successfully adapt to changing work and life demands.  Pam applies continuous learning in the workplace by viewing all experiences as potential learning and re-examining assumptions, values, methods, policies and practices. 

Pam has been a member of TLOMA since 1996 and held the Board position of Human Resources Special Interest Group Leader from 2015 until 2016, Vice President in 2018 and is the current 2019 President.

September, 2019 | Article

TLOMA's Annual Suite of Compensation Surveys - Results Meeting

Mather, Katherine 9nov19
Author Katherine Mather

Hello Everyone!

With the change in seasons soon approaching, so will be the time to evaluate and review the compensation data at each of your Firms.  In order to help you with this, your TLOMA Compensation Committee has been working diligently with Paystats and Accompass to create and deliver TLOMA's annual Suite of Compensation Surveys which will be published this fall.

We will be hosting a Results Meeting for those of you who participated in and/or purchased one or all of the following 2019 TLOMA Suite of Compensation Surveys:

  • TLOMA Business Services (TBS)
  • TLOMA Associate Compensation (TAC)

This meeting will include insights from experts from Accompass and Paystats focusing on the following:

  • How to use and age the data;
  • Market observations and emerging practices for compensation; and
  • What is new and exciting for the 2020 TLOMA Compensation year!

The Results Meeting will be held at WeirFoulds on September 11, 2019.  So come out and join us for an engaging conversation about compensation! CLICK HERE for more information and to register.

On behalf of the Compensation Committee, we look forward to seeing you!

Katherine Mather
2019 Compensation Committee Chair

 

PS…Did you know?

If you want to answer the question, “Where are we now, in terms of pay competitiveness?”  You age the data from the surveys (using the effective dates of the data) to the current date and compare the results to your own current salaries.  If, on the other hand, you want to estimate competitive pay levels for next year in order to establish competitive new salary ranges for the coming year, you would age the data to the beginning, middle, or end of the coming year. 

Come to the results meeting to learn more!

Katherine is currently the Director of Human Resources at Koskie Minsky LLP.  

She is a versatile HR Professional with over 15 years of progressive Human Resources experience. Katherine's HR experience extends across multiple industries including Legal, Hedge Funds, Finance and Heating & Air Conditioning. She is a highly collaborative team leader, inspiring superior performance by developing, coaching and mentoring leaders and employees. She is a visionary change agent with a consistent track record of implementing transformational changes within organizations. 

Katherine has been a member of TLOMA since 2011 and has served on the Compensation Committee for 3 years prior to taking the role as Chair in 2018 and 2019. 

In her spare time, Katherine enjoys wine tasting, golf, scuba diving and the company of friends and family.

TLOMA 2019 Conference Leaderboard
September, 2019 | Article

Don’t Miss the 2019 TLOMA Conference!

There is something for everyone.

The TLOMA Annual Conference and Trade Show offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity for learning and networking. See what this year’s conference has to offer:

  • Exciting keynotes! Linda Edgecombe: "Breaking Busy – Energy and Resilience in Crazy Times" and Keith Macpherson: "Making Sense of Mindfulness"
  • Educational content in all disciplines. See the complete list of workshops
  • Variety of formats including a case study, a panel and lots of opportunities for discussion
  • Network with your peers and Business Partners
  • Visit our Trade Show with over 60 exhibitor booths
  • Evening entertainment filled with music, line-dancing and a good old fashion BBQ. Don’t forget to pack your cowboy boots and western attire
  • Great value - your registration fee covers all sessions, meals and networking.

 

It all adds up to an Educational and Networking Event not to be missed!

Haven’t registered yet?  Don’t be an outlaw! Registration closes on September 10, 2019. 

Don't Delay!  REGISTER TODAY!

September, 2019 | Article

Do You Take Better Care of Your Car Than the Office Servers?

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Author Adam Marshall

Would you be uncomfortable if you didn’t take your vehicle in for periodic maintenance?

What periodic maintenance does your firm settle for with the Windows servers that are the very core of your IT infrastructure? Windows Server Update Service (WSUS) from Microsoft provides the Server Cleanup Wizard (SCW), but that is a manual process and it has gained a reputation as being unreliable in some quarters. The remainder of the WSUS maintenance is an even more tedious and time-intensive manual process that is usually skipped by most administrators, at least until trouble starts and all manner of mysterious error messages pollute the computer environment. A setting for selective automatic approvals at night, perhaps the most common approach, means ignoring the additional maintenance, like changing the oil without checking the tire pressures on your vehicle. Sooner or later it can cost your firm money and divert your IT staff towards troubleshooting, re-installing software on each server, and an extensive manual cleanup. 

Even many IT professionals are surprised to learn that an update from Microsoft which is declined, one that has been superseded by a newer version, and even one which is now obsolete (!) remain on your servers for eternity if you don’t perform periodic maintenance. 

What does Microsoft say ought to be done to maintain such important servers? They published an article called “Windows Server Update Services Best Practices.” It contains 7 pages of detailed instructions and explanations to carry out what should be routine maintenance on a regular basis. Automatic approvals aren’t even mentioned in the “Best Practices” yet they are often the only action of most maintenance programs.

They also publish a guide to this maintenance written by two of their product support engineers. It is titled “The Complete Guide to Microsoft WSUS and Configuration Manager SUP Maintenance”. It contains 17 pages of detailed instructions and the very first instruction is to read the complete guide before you even begin this routine maintenance.

The introduction to the guide notes that “it is not uncommon for extremely conscientious Configuration Manager Administrators to be completely unaware that WSUS maintenance should be run at all.” It goes on, “with the understanding that this maintenance needs to be done, I bet you’re wondering what maintenance you need to do and how often you need to be doing it? The answer is that you should be performing monthly maintenance monthly.” You will see that creates an enormous additional workload for your IT Administrator.

Every one of the maintenance procedures requires specific attention from your IT Administrator to disable, configure or reconfigure, increase queue lengths, create custom indexes, re-index databases, enable compression, change certain settings and run routines. Every one of your WSUS or SUP servers requires this attention.

To give you an idea of the importance of this maintenance here are just 3 of the requirements:

  • The recommended SQL database maintenance script should be run on the SQL database periodically.
  • Updates which are no longer useful should be declined and removed. This includes superseded, expired and obsolete updates.
  • Computer objects which have not been synchronized in the last 30 days should be removed.


You can see that they are integral parts of your system requiring regular attention.

The guide suggests that after you have done the first two cleanups manually (some would call this the heavy lifting), you can then automate some of the tasks and they tell you how to set it up. But they then advocate that each IT Administrator independently and manually set up that part of the program that can be automated. That is incredible! Just think of the duplication of effort that would be required on the millions of systems in use around the world.

There ought to be a software solution that automates the additional maintenance that should be part of every law firm’s IT protocol. It should carry out the maintenance that Microsoft prescribes, and it should do so primarily using PowerShell © a language developed by Microsoft and highlighted in the “Best Practices” and the Guide.

In carrying out this maintenance for thousands of customers around the world we can offer a couple of startling observations. We have seen: 

  • The speed of database operations can increase one thousand-fold! This is NOT hyperbole.
  • Many times, the space on the hard drive restored by this process can exceed 300GB. That is a lot of space.


Larger firms with more servers tend to rely upon Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager to control the maintenance process. But if you “look behind the curtain” you will find that your servers remain full of unwanted and unnecessary detritus.
Neither the Server Clean up Wizard for smaller installations, nor the System Center Configuration Manager for larger or more complex systems, can carry out the identification and removal of the excess objects in the background of your servers. This is in part because the Configuration Manager uses the same Server Cleanup Wizard in WSUS as part of its process.

Most IT professionals don’t recognize the potential consequences or ignore the potential problems in the hope that they will never occur. When the routine server updates come with all kinds of error messages and failures, they can spend hours searching for WSUS fixes and assistance.

How many rejected, superseded, obsolete and useless records are cluttering your servers and slowing their response time?

Adam Marshall is the developer of WSUS Automated Maintenance (WAM) and President of AJ Tek Corporation see ajtek.ca.  He is the recipient of a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award which gives him one on one access to senior product managers at Microsoft in Seattle and, subject to a non-disclosure agreement, insight into coming products and features expected to be introduced by Microsoft soon.
September, 2019 | Article

Big Four’s Next Big Bite

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Heather Suttie
Author Heather Suttie

While traditional law firms may believe that technology and non-traditional legal companies are the biggest competitive threats, none – not even all of the world’s legal technology companies and alternative legal service providers combined – come close to the continuing advancements being made into the global legal services market by the Big Four professional services firms.

For more than 20 years, the Big Four have been steadily moving into the legal services market and stealth has been their modus operandi. But no more. Like sharks, they smell blood in the water and are acting accordingly.

 

They are not an idle threat. However, traditional law firms tend to refer to the Big Four’s presence in the legal services market as “encroachment” – a rather benign reference to aggressive actions that speak louder than words especially when each offers a suite of professional services that can include finance, legal and consulting, which is music to many client’s ears, including those attached to the heads of some CFOs.

Moreover, CFOs, who have the ear of the CEO, usually have long-standing relationships with one or more of the Big Four. This means that when decisions are made about hiring outside legal counsel, the CFO often has major influence because money talks.

 

Recent Past

 

In June 2018, Deloitte, which now has 2,400 “legal people” located in more than 80 countries worldwide, bought the non-U.S. offices of immigration law firm Berry Appleman & Leiden, while that firm’s U.S. offices entered into an alliance with Deloitte.

As of September, EY bought NewLaw entity, Riverview, which meant that as of last year, EY Riverview Law comprised 2,200 law practitioners in EY member firms across 81 jurisdictions worldwide.

Also in September, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC UK), the UK member firm of the PwC network joined forces with U.S.-based immigration law firm, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP to provide global mobility tax and immigration services.

This move enabled one of PwC’s core business lines to align with Fragomen, a global immigration powerhouse with more than 50 offices worldwide and over 3,800 immigration professionals, including more than 550 lawyers and equivalent professionals. Currently, PwC’s lawyer headcount stands at over 3,500 working in 90 countries and providing immigration legal services in 116 countries.

As for KPMG, it has ambitions to have 3,000 lawyers working in its global legal services unit within the next few years.

As of Now

 

Halfway through 2019, a Big Four bit again. In June, EY acquired Pangea3, a legal managed services business previously part of Thomson Reuters. Pangea3 was one of the first alternative legal service providers and had operated worldwide for 15 years.

Now, EY can offer legal operations consulting, managed services, and technology in addition to legal advisory services where permitted within the 80-plus jurisdictions where this global professional services behemoth is active. Combining Pangea3’s legal personnel into the mix means there are some 3,500 EY Law professionals worldwide.

Add to this a go-to-market revelation from Chris Price, CEO EY Riverview Law that, “We’re spending $2-billion on client-based technology in the next 18 months. That’s kind of difficult to compete against.”

Is it ever. Competing is difficult because EY and the rest of the Big Four have amassed competitive advantages that include enormous war chests along with cultivating highly sophisticated financial acumen to enable efficient and effective scaling of their businesses.

Also in the Big Four’s favour is the advantage of internationally recognized brands, sophisticated infrastructure that has been quietly building for the last 25 years that includes development of a strong sales culture and teams, legions of professionals of numerous descriptions, access to every significant business tool and system and attractiveness as a global employer offering opportunities for international careers. All this is in addition to their ability to offer clients an array of professional services in numerous jurisdictions as applicable worldwide.

Currently, the legal units of the Big Four are aligned with core business lines of tax, audit, assurance, and advisory. Legal services are also positioned within target markets and key industries, and are operating globally where regulated to do so using a one-stop-shop platform. Because the Big Four tend to prefer a sure thing with no surprises, they’re unlikely to provide legal services that don’t make business or financial sense, at least for now.

Feeding Frenzy

 

The frenzy of BigLaw firms creating alternative legal service providers is on big time with three global entities hatching theirs within days of each other in the last two weeks of June. Greenberg Traurig debuted Recurve, Eversheds Sutherland announced Konexo, and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner produced BCLP Cubed.

These new alternative legal services providers are described as innovation-focused and tech-led. They are also a subsidiary of their parent firm. While each is designed to deliver legal services in a streamlined fashion, they have similar offerings that include managed services, advisory, project management, legal operations and resourcing. Their other sameness is that they act as a defensive manoeuver to keep work within the family—parent or subsidiary—rather than risk losing it to a Big Four firm or other competitor.

What none of them does is expand into a vast breadth of other professional services. If a client is seeking assistance primarily in the legal realm, they may have an advantage. But if a client is attracted to a platform of expansive and varied professional services, such as those offered by the Big Four, they still can’t compete effectively.

What Next?

 

It’s highly likely that traditionally-structured North American law firms will continue to plod along content in the knowledge that 2018 was a solid year financially and, at its halfway point, 2019 seems to be on good financial footing. Also, alternative business structures have not taken hold as they have elsewhere in the world, which is what has enabled the Big Four to expand into various legal markets as fast as they have.

For now, the Big Four will continue to develop in jurisdictions where legislation and regulation permit them to operate. And they’re comfortable doing so while perfecting their strategies, planning future tactics, and bulking up their legal service teams knowing full well that, in time, escalating global market pressures and client demands will breach the traditional legal services culture, which in turn will open more markets to alternative business models.

Of increasing concern is that instead of aggressively countering the Big Four’s developments, the complacency and inaction of traditional law firms that leads them to do nothing rather than something, will eventually cause them to struggle for solvency or be completely pulled under.

What to do?

 

For most traditionally structured law firms, a fast fix is foolhardy and next to impossible to even attempt. What is possible, however, is taking select tactics that form part of the core procedures in the Big Four’s playbook. Three such tactics include:

 

1. Industry Alignment
Identify current clients by industry codes to provide hard data. Findings will sharply define industry strengths, which will enable a firm to organize and face the market by sector. It will also make marketing opportunities, decisions and spends easier to target and justify as well as provide direction for developing more business by way of prospective client targeting.

 

2. Industry-Practice Client Teams
Combine industry and practice group members to provide a suite of services in the form of client teams. A key client that is serviced by four or more practice-specific lawyers who have proven experience in the industry in which a client operates is more likely to be loyal and less apt to bolt.

 

3. Client Service Interviews
Establish a formal and permanent client service interview program. By doing so, you’ll set yourself apart from the competition immediately especially since the most recent Canadian Lawyer annual corporate counsel survey found that 87.8 per cent of large companies asked were not surveyed by their law firms.

 

Of course, how it’s done is all-important. Quick-and-dirty, check-the-box surveys cheapen a client’s experience, reflect poorly on you, and can be easily ignored by pressing the delete key. Alternatively, in-person conversations demonstrate care, enable mutual learning and deepen trust. Active listening and acting on a client’s request for change—which, in my experience happens rarely, and if it does is usually minimal and easy to accommodate—wins more loyalty, work, referrals, and goodwill than you can ever possibly begin to imagine.

 

Rather than being firm-focused, each of these initiatives is client-centric, which is fundamental to the Big Four’s success. Also, each is scalable to fit law firms of various sizes, jurisdictions, and practice orientations.

 

How Not to Bleed

 

It’s common knowledge that client relationships are at the heart of every law firm’s success and the key to solvency. Winning more work from current clients while attracting prospective new ones whose work, legal needs, culture, and values align with your own will become critically important as alternative legal service providers gain more ground, up-and-coming service providers enter the legal market, and the Big Four continue to steamroll through it.

This is because while relationships matter, business is global and has a trickle-down effect that has already begun and will continue to impact law firms of all sizes, jurisdictions, and expertise. Upcoming international events, such as Brexit along with forecasts for a financially soft 2020 worldwide, may be among the inflection points that incite discontented clients who have long been agitating for change in the global legal services market to be the ones who will take the next big bite.

 

This column first appeared in Canadian Lawyer, July 2019.

Heather Suttie is a legal market strategist and management consultant. Specializing in marketing and business development, she works with lawyers, law firms and legal service providers — Global to Solo — BigLaw to NewLaw — helping them thrive in the evolving legal industry by claiming a distinctive position and sustained competitive advantage resulting in greater market share, revenue and profits. Reach her at 416.964.9607 or www.heathersuttie.ca.

September, 2019 | Article

A Whole Different Take on ‘Shining your Light’

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Author Jane Southren

We are all so busy, so stretched for time and so focused on achieving the goals that we have for ourselves and our teams.  The unfortunate side-effect of that is we fall victim to becoming very focused on ourselves - what we want and need and how to advance ourselves. 

 

The irony is that we actually put ourselves in a better position to realize on our goals when we get in the habit of putting our self-interest aside and focusing our minds instead on thinking about what we can do to make the world a better place for someone else today.

 

One great place to start is with something called Shine Theory.

 

Shine Theory was developed by best friends and podcast co-hosts, Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow. The theory stems from the principle that if you invest in a core group of people, and they invest in you in return, everybody wins. Shine Theory is about collaborating, not competing. It means changing your thinking from “I need to outshine you” to “I don’t shine if you don’t shine” or “Together, we can shine even brighter”. 

 

How it works:

 

Shine Theory is about investing in others. It is about helping others share their stories.

 

Suppose one of your professional contacts approaches you with a problem, and while you don’t think that you can help her, you know just the person who can. Tell her story!

 

Shine Theory isn’t networking or simply passing out referrals. It is about forging connections. It is real intentional emotional investment, primarily with a core group of people because of the amount of time and effort required to implement it effectively.

 

Take a little time to think about who is in your professional circle. Who can you invest in? Who can you be a mentor to? Explain that you'd like to nominate them, do something that makes their world better. With that single action, you've opened the door to building a relationship --by being valuable—and you've made the world a better place by helping her to tell her story to others that can benefit from it.

 

To do this, you need to have enough confidence in yourself to be able to promote others. I know that that can be hard. The feeling that we need to compete is ingrained, even if we’re not aware of it. But the great thing about Shine Theory is that by investing in others, you will grow your own confidence. We all know that you won’t get your moment in the spotlight because you scream and shout for attention. But when you shine the light on others, some of it can’t help but reflect back onto you. When we implement Shine Theory, we lift each other up, and we ALL go further.

 

Do you want to make a difference to the people around you? Invest in them. Shine a little light on them. It’s one way that you can make the world a better place, starting today.

Jane Southren is a business development advisor and consultant, and the founder of Jane Southren Consulting.

A former practicing litigator and in-house business development director with a leading Canadian law firm, Jane is a well-known speaker, powerhouse coach, mentor and advisor to lawyers, accountants and other service professionals seeking to build their businesses.  Jane and her team lead individuals and groups to cultivate insights, develop strategies, implement behavioural changes and build the habits they need to build sustainable, independent practices that they love - practices that are aligned with their values and their personal and professional goals. 

To learn more about our services check us out online at www.southren.ca or reach out to Jane at jane@southren.ca.

September, 2019 | Article

Mastering the Art of Change Management: Three Key Elements for “Change-Resistant” Law Firms

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Author Patrice M. Kennard

As the saying goes, the only constant is change. How are law firms to successfully navigate change when they’re purportedly so resistant to it? While this belief is a widely held assumption, the day-to-day reality tells a different story. Working in a law firm is many things. It’s tough and demanding, sophisticated and intellectually stimulating, and fast-paced and rigorous. Yet lawyers and staff routinely and successfully navigate change every hour.

What explains the disparity in widely held beliefs and reality? Navigating constant change is wholly different from working through transition. And the art of change management lies in transition. That’s where law firms would benefit from extra care and attention.

Law firms face mounting pressures to adapt to multiple industry trends with accelerated technology disruption leading the pack. Regulatory compliance is a close second as firms deal with heightened data protection and cybersecurity challenges. Streamlining workflows to meet cost-conscious clients’ demands requires re-engineering processes. And using data analytics for strategic decision-making requires integrating siloed data. Whether implementing a wholesale software change or making incremental policy changes, firms can successfully navigate a course to long-term, positive change by careful planning of each phase of transition.

Change v. Transition and Why it Matters

Change is an end-result, or a situation-driven external event. Transition is the path to change; it’s an internal process that people go through to come to terms with an external event. Lawyers and staff are, of necessity, focused on end-results, or client deliverables.

Positioning lawyers and staff to engage in an effective, phased transition assures successful, sustained, systemic change. A bespoke change plan is mission critical. It should be aligned with the political, psychological, and sociological realities of a law firm’s unique and results-focused culture. But the mission itself is to lead people through the personal transition necessary to achieve change.

The best change management plans hinge on communication, training, and user adoption enforcement.

 

Three Elements of Effective Change Plans

1. Communication

Individual perceptions are important, and communications influence individuals’ perceptions.

Law firm culture is known for a high level of autonomy. While law firm deliverables necessitate group contributions, ultra-responsiveness and uber-responsibility at the individual level is the norm. Political hierarchy and siloed processes amplify autonomy and heighten reliance on individuals.

Therefore, communications must be carefully considered, audience-sensitive, and timely. Messaging across the life of the transition project should provide individuals with clarity on these points:

  • What is the change?
  • What is the reason for the change?
  • What is the benefit to me and to the firm at large?
  • What is my role?
  • How will the change impact me?
  • What are the resources for supporting me?


2.  Training

Lawyers and staff need the skills and resources to make changes. Well-planned training leads to positive adoption of change.

To provide a highly autonomous group with the tools for change, strategically planning training to elicit positive user adoption outcomes is crucial. Training should incorporate these components:

  • Multiple formats to accommodate different learning styles
  • Timing that maximizes attendance while avoiding stakeholders’ crunch times
  • Material benefits, like lunches or time-saving takeaways
  • Feature new users demonstrating relatable examples of the positive impacts
  • Make the training commitment as easy as possible
  • Maintain quarterly or refresher training and add to new hire orientation


3. User Adoption Enforcement

Some lawyers and staff will not want to exchange the known for the unknown. The best enforcement practices focus on incentives backed by firm policy.

The higher the autonomy of the group, the higher the need for enforcement mechanisms to foster user adoption. Incentives are key, but policies are a must. They reflect formal management support and reach those who may otherwise avoid the shift.  Drive wider user adoption with these best practices:

  • Provide clear direction
  • Present information through easily accessible and highly visible means
  • Understand and alleviate pain points
  • Communicate firmwide successes
  • Include incentives specific to your individual users
  • Communicate management support
  • Widely publicize the plan for sunsetting the old system or process
  • Phase the sunsetting and provide user support

Change is inevitable. But remember – the art of change management is all about transition. Effective change management artists use tailored communications, well-planned training, and robust user adoption mechanisms. By orchestrating each phase of transition with care and forethought – your firm can achieve the results it desires. 

As a senior risk consultant, Patrice Kennard works with Wilson Allen’s assessment and advisory services team to help law firms and law departments optimize new business intake processes and reduce conflicts of interest. Kennard has more than 15 years’ legal industry experience and is a subject matter expert on process, workflow, and intake software projects from planning to deployment. In her role at Wilson, she recommends best-practice enterprise conflicts solutions, training and change management approaches, and organizational structure enhancements. She specializes in process and workflow design and Intapp Open, Intapp Conflicts, and Intapp Walls implementations. To learn more about Wilson Allen’s advisory services, please visit https://wilsonallen.com/services/advisory-services.  

September, 2019 | Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight - Dawn Millar

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Author Dawn Millar

At TLOMA, we provide education, professional development, mentorship, and support to our Membership. Through these initiatives, TLOMA members are offered both a professional and social network of professionals working in law firms of all sizes. To encourage members to grow their network at TLOMA, we would like to profile TLOMA members in each issue of TLOMA Today to give readers a snapshot of who we are within the legal industry.

How long have you been a member of TLOMA? September, 2017.

Where do you work? Pape Salter Teillet LLP.

What do you enjoy most about working in the legal industry?  I like the variety that comes with my job – every day is a new day and you never know what it will bring.  

Where was the last place you vacationed? Jamaica.

What is your favorite artist/band you got to see live in concert? Sarah McLachlan.

Where is your go-to coffee shop?  Tim Hortons.

Name one thing you can't live without? Coffee. Vodka. Lip gloss. Not sure which outranks which!

Anything else you'd like to share with TLOMA Members?  I'd like to bring attention to a cause that's very important to me, the Fight to End Cancer. Founded in 2011, Fight to End Cancer has donated over $1,000,000.00 to date in support of cancer research, with proceeds going directly to support the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. The Fight to End Cancer features a new group of white-collar men and women each year, with no prior boxing experience. These men and women spend seven months in an intense training program which concludes on the annual gala night in a sanctioned Olympic-style boxing event! 

I lost my dad to cancer when I was pregnant with my first child. He was only 51 and passed before he got to meet his first grandchild. It was a devastating loss for our family and when I was approached to try out for the Fight to End Cancer team, it felt like a second chance to come to terms with losing my dad so young and so suddenly. A chance to be able to truly mourn his passing, a chance to fight back, to feel like I could actually do something about it

I was a participant in last year’s gala (2018), where we hit the $1million mark and I personally raised over $20k(!!) in support of cancer research. It is truly a unique and rewarding experience where you are actually helping fight back against cancer, something that touches all of us. If you're interested in learning more or getting involved, please visit: fighttoendcancer.com.

Dawn Millar

If you are interested in participating in the Member Spotlight feature of TLOMA Today to share some of your experiences at TLOMA, please email editor@tloma.com for more information.

Dawn Millar is the Chief Operating Officer at Pape Salter Teillet LLP.  She is responsible for overseeing the firm’s day-to-day operations including managing a team of legal staff and creating, facilitating, and implementing office initiatives to optimize performance.

Dawn has over 20 years experience in the legal industry and strives to provide integrated, strategic approaches to legal office management.  She is always eager to gain new knowledge and implement ideas that find efficiencies and embrace emerging technologies.

In her spare time, Dawn likes to keep busy – volunteering as well as learning new skills.  She sits as President on the Board of Directors of a not-for-profit childcare organization and is fluent in American Sign Language, often attending her daughter’s school to teach ASL to children.

Dawn also enjoys keeping active, and practices self-defense and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  In 2017, she began training as an amateur boxer and in June 2018, she stepped into the ring to compete in a charity match in support of the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.

September, 2019 | Article

Business Partner Spotlight - RSM Canada

BP Spotlight
Cohen, Joel
Author Joel Cohen

Name of Organization / Company: RSM Canada

Organization / Company Overview

A) Expertise & Growth: RSM’s purpose is to deliver the power of being understood to our clients, colleagues and communities through world-class audit, tax and consulting services. Our clients are the engine of global commerce and economic growth, and we are focused on developing leading professionals and services to meet their evolving needs in today’s ever-changing business environment.

Serving over 1,000 clients in business and professional services, including law firms, engineering and architectural firms, agencies and other consultancy businesses, RSM Canada’s dedicated team of professionals is highly attuned to the industry’s accounting requirements, reporting and business issues, as well as evolving tax legislation.

B) Service Overview: RSM has dedicated experience working with law firms and their partners:

Our assurance services range from audits and reviews to technical accounting consulting services. Our professionals help in evaluating internal controls and support law firms in implementing new accounting standards, among other matters.

Whether your legal firm operates on a local, national or international stage, RSM has capabilities to develop customized tax strategies that align with your firm’s objectives and your lawyer’s personal goals.

Finally, in a global economy where you need to manage risk, leverage technology, change infrastructure, restructure your firm, or navigate transactions or disputes, we help you uncover new solutions to turn challenges into opportunities that drive results.

How many years have you been a Business Partner of TLOMA? Although our relationship with TLOMA as RSM is nascent, our partners – including Joel Cohen - have delivered insights and ideas to TLOMA’s membership under our predecessor brand.

What has been your partnership experience with TLOMA over the years? Aligning with our purpose of delivering the power of being understood, we believe in the value of engaging in industry associations like TLOMA to stay abreast of trends, opportunity and risks that affect their membership. TLOMA allows us to engage in a dialogue with like-minded professionals, and learn about and hear new ideas from this group. We value TLOMA’s network, as it also allows us to continue to foster our existing network as well as create new business relationships that are mutually beneficial. Given our dedicated team of professionals servicing business and professional services firms, we also pride ourselves in the ideas and insights we can – in turn – bring to TLOMA’s members and strive to develop a closer relationship with TLOMA.

Favorite TLOMA memory? There are many great memories to be made and we look forward to it this year!

Where was the last place you vacationed? St. Lucia

What was the last movie you saw? John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

What is your favorite comfort food? Hamburger and French fries

What is your favorite sports team? Montreal Canadiens (sorry, but I am a Montrealer)

If you could have a 60-minute conversation with anyone (fictional, famous, not famous, etc.) who would you choose? Winston Churchill

Joel Cohen, partner, actuarial services, brings nearly 30 years of actuarial consulting experience. Joel provides innovative and value-added consulting solutions in a number of areas including affinity/association insurance design, employment benefit design, delivery and funding; delivery and optimization; capital deployment and efficiency; life, disability and critical illness insurance; reinsurance and reinsurance structuring; and tax efficiency.

Before joining RSM Canada’s predecessor firm, Joel was the CEO of an industry leading actuarial consulting firm and, prior to that, a partner at one of the big four accounting firms. A graduate of the University of Toronto, he is also a member of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and the Society of Actuaries.

September, 2019 | Movers and Shakers
TLOMA - We Compete You HalfPage
Movers and Shakers

New Members

Alanna Atrlic

Operations Manager

Newtons' Legal

Michele Backa

Office Manager

CaleyWray

Joanne Brierley

Account Manager

Evans, Philp LLP

Ashley Gammon

Office Services/Resource Coordinator

Zuber & Company LLP

Melissa McArthur

Human Resources Manager

Sullivan Mahoney LLP

Sandra Valentine

Manager, Human Resources and Facilities

Goldblatt Partners

Sharon Wehrle

Human Resources Manager

SmithValeriote Law Firm LLP

Hannah Won

Assistant Director of Human Resources

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

Moved

Kylie Aramini

Business Development Manager, Business Development

Baker McKenzie LLP

Kathryn Buchan

Office Administrator

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP

Maria DiBartolomeo

Office Manager

Singleton Urquhart Reynolds Vogel LLP

Joanne Gibson-Davis

Executive Director

Ridout & Maybee

Retired

Albert Poon

IT Support Analyst

Epstein Cole LLP

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