Law Times

October 26, 2009

The premier weekly newspaper for the legal profession in Ontario

Issue link: http://digital.lawtimesnews.com/i/50754

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 0 of 15

SPORTS MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE & TRADE SHOW - CLE Credit McKELLAR STRUCTURED SETTLEMENTS INC. www.mckellar.com 1-800-265-8381 www.mckellar.com ckellar_LT_Jan14_08.indd 1 $3.55 • Vol. 20, No. 331/8/08 3:03:02 PM Covering Ontario's Legal Scene www.primetimesport.ca 1-416-777-2392 November 9 & 10, 2009 Toronto portsMng_LT_Oct19_09 - V2.indd 1 Lack of young lawyers in small communities makes succession difficult No one to replace retiring lawyers A BY HELEN BURNETT-NICHOLS For Law Times lthough demand for legal services remains strong in communities across Ontario, a lack of young practitioners in smaller communities is making succession planning diffi cult at law fi rms facing the imminent retirement of se- nior lawyers. "It's diffi cult to fi nd another lawyer just to come in and step into your shoes. Th at's the biggest problem in northern Ontario," says Murray Ellies, a Kirkland Lake, Ont., lawyer who has been working on retirement plans. Called to the bar in 1962, Ellies practises out of Kirkland Lake but works as far away as Timmins, Cochrane, Haileybury, and New Liskeard. Speaking from a small mining com- munity of 8,000 people, Ellies says although the lifestyle is "excellent" and the income is good, it's diffi cult to fi nd lawyers who want to settle in isolated areas in part due to the slow- down in the lumber and mining industries. "You can't easily get anyone that will move up to the area, and most of my cli- ents, the criminal clients, are from the large surrounding area and they usually come by reason of reputation as opposed to anything else," he says, noting his solution is to reduce his caseload while being careful to continue to have enough income to run an offi ce. "I think less and less lawyers are migrating to small towns, which causes a problem," he says. "Certainly, there's a market here for it, anybody that wants to work," he adds. But part of the problem relates to an Peter Hrastovec's firm in Windsor began the pro- cess of dissolution recently due to problems in finding people to take over the business. "informational vacuum" for younger lawyers that organizations such as the County & District Law Presidents' Association and the Law Society of Upper Canada are trying to fi ll, says CDLPA chairman Randall Bocock. "If you identify with [young lawyers] what their criteria and goals are for practice, you start to scratch your head and wonder why they aren't fl ocking to smaller commu- nities," he says. Such criteria include lifestyle, a commu- nity in which to raise a family, and the need to escape "urban blight." "When you look at that, it's as though there's a mismatch of information because those very benefi ts exist outside of Toron- to," he says. At the same time, the demand remains strong for legal services outside the Greater Toronto Area. "It's important that we re- member that unless we're always mindful [of ] that need, we're going to not address the serious problem of the greying of the bar," especially outside of Toronto where a disproportionate number of lawyers are over the age of 55, Bocock explains. "We can't plan for succession as a prac- titioner in communities outside of Toronto unless there's supply of people to assume and inherit your practice," he explains. Bocock notes that CDLPA is currently working in conjunction with the law soci- ety to set up job fairs at law schools to re- cruit people to smaller communities. CDLPA has also set up a section on its web site on long-term succession plan- ning and recruitment of new lawyers to provide a reservoir of talent to inherit those practices. Meanwhile, in Windsor, economic chang- es have also led to diffi culties in fi nding peo- ple who want to buy into a law practice, says lawyer Peter Hrastovec. He was formerly managing partner in See Slowdown, page 5 Ryerson University is gearing up to get the ball rolling with a new law research centre. A proposal for a university- centre on justice, based legal innovation, and research got ap- proval from Ryerson's senate ear- lier this month. Th e move clears any academic hurdles for the cen- tre, which has reportedly been in the works for a few years. According to the proposal, the centre will undertake projects building on "existing sources of strength at Ryerson," including New Ryerson centre marks first step to potential law school W BY HELEN BURNETT- NICHOLS For Law Times ith the possibility that a law school proposal could soon follow, research on clinical and applied areas of legal practice as well as the interaction between law and social enterprise. "We have a lot of people inter- ested in these issues but we don't really have a university centre to bring them together," says Avner Levin, chairman of the law and business department at Ryerson's Ted Rogers School of Manage- ment and one of the champions of the law research centre. While Ryerson does currently have an undergraduate program in criminal justice in the faculty of arts and also a law and busi- ness department in the manage- ment school, it doesn't have a law school. However, Levin notes that individual faculty members are also "very interested in seeing that as a development." "I think law is a profession that you could see fi tting in very well with Ryerson's mandate," he adds. Julia Hanigsberg, general counsel and secretary to the board of governors at Ryerson, says the possibility of a law school was identifi ed in Ryerson's recent fi ve-year academic plan. "I would say that it is certain- ly serious from that perspective. Th e university is actively looking at it. Currently, there is a com- mission that has been set up by the provost that is looking at new academic structures within the university, and one of the proposals in front of that com- mission is for a law faculty." Ryerson has been consulting with people across the profession Secrets Of Success 6 Impaired Driving Laws 8 Focus On Trusts & Estates Law Quote of the week "I believe that you can't succeed now in private practice unless you have a champion who's going to help you up the ladder. And these women recognized that early on, most of them, and did have those champions. But I think there's so much more potential out there for partners to be career mentors." — Sheena MacAskill, former McCarthy Tétrault LLP partner See Survey, page 4 October 26, 2009 wwright@aylaw.com 10/7/09 3:35:38 PM Inside This Issue 4 to get a sense of what the issues are around creating a new law school. Hanigsberg explains that the university's sense is that there is certainly room for another law faculty in Ontario and for diff erent approaches to legal education. "One of the things the cen- tre will allow us to do is develop research to answer some of the questions that will help us to put that proposal together, ulti- mately," including issues around barriers to entry into the legal profession, she says. For the moment, however, Levin says the university could do more with its undergradu- ate legal education programs in areas such as law and society. See Centre, page 5 Click here to subscribe today to LAW TIMES Value your time? Then you'll value our technology! Tel: 416.322.6111 Toll-free: 1.866.367.7648 www.doprocess.com Industry leader in legal software for real estate, corporate and estates for over a decade www.lawtimesnews.com Photo: Robert Todd

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Law Times - October 26, 2009