Apr 012016

Calendar Image. Discover April 2016 Upcoming Legal Events!

They say April showers bring May flowers, but the next few weeks are also packed full of interesting events and useful continuing professional development programs. Read today’s blog to find out what April 2016 upcoming legal events you’ll want to mark on your calendar.

April Programs

Enduring Powers of Attorney and Personal Directives

Register online to attend in Edmonton (April 5) or in Calgary (April 12).

  • Join seminar chair Farah Salim and panel experts to explore both common and extraordinary issues, such as inter-jurisdictional concerns, health care challenges, litigation tips, and more.
  • Read the blog for a sneak peek of what you can expect.
Unanimous Shareholder Agreement Disputes

Register online to attend in Edmonton (April 6) or in Calgary (April 20).

Read the blog to discover the top 5 program takeaways and to find out why seminar chair Bryan Haynes says this program offers valuable tips, information, and best practices to address the surprisingly common issue of shareholder disputes.

A lot of people enter into ventures with friends, family, or, in some cases, strangers. At the outset, everyone has the best intentions and is acting in good faith, but, more often than one would like to think, there is a breakdown in the relationship and a dispute arises.”

Basic Collaborative Law

Discuss negotiation theory, preparing for 4-way meetings, the principles of collaborative practice, ethical issues, how to advise clients, and more.

If you missed your chance to attend this program on April 8–9 (the seminar is full!), don’t delay and register online now to attend this fall (September 30–October 1).

Legal Project Management

Register online to attend in Edmonton (April 13) or in Calgary (April 14).

Join instructors Pamela Woldow and Patricia Olah in this interactive seminar to explore various project management skills: from the top 4 project management strategies, to the connection between project management and profitability, and even metrics used to measure and evaluate project management performance and success.

Read the blog for the inside scoop about what legal project management is, how you can implement its principles, and why this is a useful tool to add to your practice management tool box.


Register online to attend in Edmonton (April 19) or in Calgary (April 28).

  • Delve into questioning with experienced practitioners and Queen’s Bench Masters. Discuss specific issues, and join the conversation by participating in roundtable discussions and demonstrations.
  • Read the blog with seminar chair Patrick Kirwin for the inside scoop on the top 3 reasons this seminar is particularly valuable.
Alberta Land Titles Online

Register online to attend in Lake Louise on April 23!

Stay up-to-date on significant upcoming changes to how electronic signatures will be used for land title transactions. All practitioners are welcome to attend this add-on program to the 49th Annual Refresher.

Read the blog with Curtis Woollard from Land Titles North to learn about 5 key changes and what all real estate practitioners should be aware of.

49th Annual Refresher: Real Estate

Register online to attend in Lake Louise this April 24–26.

  • Keep current on various issues affecting real estate transactions – from important snippets on topics such as protocol, trust cheques, and real property reports to sessions on practice pointers, commercial real estate, condominiums, and taxes.
  • Read the blog for more information about the 49th Annual Refresher: Real Estate and the add-on program Alberta Land Titles Online.

Registration Savings

If you’re looking to start checking some 2016 CPD requirements off your list, why not consider attending some of these upcoming programs? They’re running in May and June, but don’t wait to reserve your spot. Early bird registration savings for the following programs end in April.

Estate Planning for Blended Families

Register online to attend in Edmonton (May 10) or in Calgary (May 17) – Early Bird ENDS April 5.

Consider the unique concerns, competing interests, and estate planning strategies that come into play in the complex situations encountered with blended families. Read the blog with seminar chair Karen A. Platten QC to learn more about the practical tools you’ll gain and why this program offers important advice and information to practitioners.

Every practitioner runs across issues that they haven’t ever seen before. … [Unique situations] require certain expertise and certain understanding.”

Privacy Update

Register online to attend in Calgary (May 19) or in Edmonton (May 25) – Early Bird ENDS April 12.

  •  Explore current issues and emerging themes in privacy law to better prepare yourself to identify and address issues that come up in practice.
  •  Read the blog with seminar chair Ritu Khullar QC and Privacy Commissioner Jill Clayton for more information about the questions and topics that you’ll discuss in the program.
Criminal Advocacy – Experts

Register online to attend in Calgary (May 14) or in Edmonton (May 28) – Early Bird ENDS April 12.

Both junior lawyers and more seasoned veterans stand to benefit from this review of seminal issues and specialized matters. Consider the top 25 criminal cases in the areas of expert evidence, right to counsel, statements voir dire, and warrantless search and seizure.


The 2015/2016 CPLED year is fast coming to a close now that all regular session modules have concluded. Students completing reserve period modules should contact LESA’s Student Coordinator, Ashley Iachetta if they have any questions.

Registration for the 2016/2017 CPLED year is open. Applicants can read the blog for more information and to register online.

Legal Community Events

AssistFit activities are part of a new program offered by the Alberta Lawyers’ Assistance Society (Assist) to encourage health, fitness, and creative activities within the legal community. There are several events happening in April. Read the blog to learn more!

Law Day celebrations are happening around the province this month, and volunteers are needed to make the events possible. Read the blog for more information about locations, dates, and volunteer opportunities.

If you want LESA’s help to raise awareness about an upcoming event relevant to the Alberta legal community, contact Renee Vander Meulen, Communications Coordinator.
780.969.0553 or renee.vandermeulen@lesa.org


Get Legal Project Management Working for You!

 Calgary, Edmonton, LESA Update, News, Upcoming Seminars  Comments Off on Get Legal Project Management Working for You!
Feb 192016

Legal Project Management

Do you understand what legal project management is? Do you know how to apply the principles to build your practice, increase your efficiency, and keep your clients satisfied with your services?

LESA’s upcoming Legal Project Management program, with experts Pamela Woldow and Patricia Olah, will answer all these questions and more.

Today’s blog, with Pamela Woldow, fills you in on why you won’t want to miss this program and the chance to add another useful tool to your practice management tool box.

What is legal project management?

People often want it to be like a cookbook: you add 1 teaspoon of this and ½ a cup of that and then you come out with a wonderful result. But it’s not mechanistic. Legal project management is largely a mindset and an approach to preforming legal services. It is a methodology for assessing more carefully at the outset what really the client needs from the law firm, rather than assuming or guessing or just turning on the meter and starting to chase rabbits. It’s a highly collaborative methodology for assessing need at the outset of the matter or transaction and then planning what should be done. The client-facing part is assessing the need. Planning is very much the internal part within the law firm: planning who should be doing the work, how they should be doing it, and how to continually improve what we do so that we can deliver it more efficiently and become more proficient at doing that type of work. Then you need to carry it out. The part that is probably new to a lot of firms would be to monitor and measure the progress. Are we getting more efficient at what we’re doing? How do we know? What are the mechanisms we have to … capture the knowledge of if we were more efficient? … How do we spread that knowledge?

What will I gain from the Legal Project Management seminar?

Attendees will gain a new tool to keep current clients, make them happier, and potentially obtain new clients who are not so happy with their current counsel. The legal market in Canada, in the world frankly, is quite competitive these days. The flat legal spending that we’ve seen for the last 5 years is going to continue to persist, and the only way to be more profitable is to keep your current clients and get some new ones from other firms. This is a tool, a mindset, an approach … [for how] one lawyer can go back to his or her office and apply these practical steps to move them along the way.

What type of law practice should use legal project management techniques?

This isn’t just for big corporate clients. Legal project management is just as applicable for a small business or for individuals; it may even be more important for small and mid-sized clients because they’re even more cost-sensitive than big corporations. This isn’t just for big law or big clients. It’s across the board.

What will be the main takeaways from the program?

Part of the materials will be certain kinds of checklists. They’ll necessarily need to be adapted, but, instead of starting with a blank piece of paper, you’ll have some scoping checklists, some approaches on how to have a conversation that is more focused, and what you need to ask or obtain when you’re discussing with clients so that you can better focus the services that you’re going to provide. They’ll be some checklists; they’ll be some budget templates that we see some clients using. … The other thing that … I’m certainly seeing with the larger Canadian entities, is that they’re using RFPs (Request for Proposal) more extensively. … I know that your big banks and some of your large manufacturing companies are using RFPs to make selections about outside counsel. So we will be suggesting good ways to go about pricing and getting the information you need so that you don’t look like every other law firm that’s answering the RFP.

Can you give me a sneak preview of one tip you’ll share at the program?

One of the things that I’ll make readily apparent is how to learn about the larger issue for your client, so that you’re really meeting their needs. About 64% of clients – and this goes for Canada as well – … report that they’re dissatisfied generally with their current counsel: that their counsel don’t really understand the problem, that they’re focused on the legal issue not the larger business issue. One of the things that participants will walk away with is how to get to the real issues that are bothering your clients, not just the narrow legal focus. This is very important in today’s world, because the number one thing that clients say they want is for their lawyers to understand their business.

Is there anything else you’d like to add about the program?

If people don’t know what legal project management is, it is critical that they know that term. That term is appearing in almost every RFP that goes out today. … You need to at least understand it. You can’t be effective with clients if you don’t even know what they’re talking about. … There will be examples; you’ll see how it works and how it is different than the normal, traditional approach. It will expand your view of how to use it, and you’ll get an understanding of what that means. A lot of people think it’s just an add-on to something that you do to legal work, but it’s a really different way of approaching your work.

Register Online

To get in on all the tips Pamela and Patricia will be sharing at the Legal Project Management seminar, register now to save your seat in Edmonton (April 13) or Calgary (April 14).

Register by March 8 to take advantage of the special early bird registration pricing!