July 18, 2023

Practice Advisor Online Scheduling Tool Pilot Program

The Office of the Practice Advisor is introducing a new online scheduling tool to improve the booking process for a lawyer to meet and consult with a Practice Advisor.

The Practice Advisors receive a significant number of inquiries every day from lawyers across the province. Many of these inquiries result in several back-and-forth communications – games of “phone tag” – before the Practice Advisors are able to connect with the lawyer. This new online scheduling tool addresses that issue by allowing lawyers to book a specific time to speak with a Practice Advisor in advance. The tool is simple and easy to use from any web browser or mobile device.

Lawyers can continue to call the Practice Advisor line at 1.866.440.4640 or email the general inbox with their inquiries. Requests for consultation will be triaged and lawyers will receive a link to book a meeting time depending on the nature of their request. Once booked, lawyers will receive a confirmation email with the ability to cancel or reschedule the appointment as needed. Matters that are considered urgent will receive a response within the same or following business day.

The tool will be piloted from July through September 2023 and we will collect feedback to help us assess the program. Additional details regarding future use of the tool will be provided at the end of the pilot program.

For more information, visit our website or contact the Office of the Practice Advisor.

Update on Remote Legal Services Obligations

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Law Society provided guidance for lawyers to support them in the delivery of legal services. One of the ways the Law Society assisted lawyers was to temporarily not require lawyers to verify a client’s identity in the client’s physical presence for the government-issued photo identification method. Alternative means, such as video conference, were permitted temporarily.

With the relaxation of public health measures and general return to in-person legal services, the Law Society believes it is prudent to return to regular risk management measures. Therefore, the temporary exception to the client verification requirement, in Rule 119.50, no longer applies. When a lawyer engages in or gives instructions on behalf of an organization involving the receiving, paying or transferring of funds, it is mandatory to conduct client verification using one of the three methods available. However, for the government-issued photo identification method, the lawyer or agent may virtually verify a client’s identity using only the technology products for client identification and verification that have been approved by the Law Society’s Innovation Sandbox.

See the Client Identification and Verification Flowchart and FAQ for more information on obligations applicable to remote legal services.

Reminder: Recruiting Firms and Organizations for the Articling Placement Program

The Articling Placement Program (the program) assists articling students who are in unsafe or untenable articles due to harassment or discrimination with exiting their articles. The Equity Ombudsperson determines the student’s eligibility for the program and subsequently places the student at a roster firm/organization to complete the remainder of their articles.

Since the launch of the program, the Law Society has received positive feedback from both principals and articling students, demonstrating the value and continued need for the program.

The Law Society is seeking to increase the roster of firms and organizations that can provide students with replacement articles. We hope to increase the diversity of environments that students can complete articles in after leaving an unsafe or untenable article. Firms of various sizes as well as legal departments in corporate and government settings are encouraged to apply. Firms and organizations that are interested in participating can review the criteria for the program and submit an application to be enrolled on the Roster Firm/Organization list.

If your firm or organization would like to learn more about the program, please visit our website or contact the Equity Ombudsperson.

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Upcoming Events

Understanding the Neuroscience of Belonging | July 19, 2023

Danger Assessment Training | July 19, 2023

Visit our website for a full list of upcoming events.

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