Category: Solo Practice

Carolyn Grogan to join Round Table Law as Virtual Articling Student

Carolyn Grogan to join Round Table Law as Virtual Articling Student

Photo of Carolyn GroganI’m very pleased to announce that Round Table Law will be expanding its ranks on April 4.  Carolyn Grogan has agreed to join as an Articling Student.

I think that must make Carolyn the first articling student at a virtual law firm in the history of Alberta. If she’s not the first, she would have to be in the first few. Improvements in technology and recent changes to the requirements placed on an articling program by the Law Society of Alberta mean it is very unlikely that this sort of arrangement could have existed before.

What makes being a virtual articling student different?

Carolyn will be operating primarily out of her own home, but like me can operate anywhere she has an internet connection. We will be in constant contact and collaboration, but through the cloud, not in person.  She will have complete access to all of Round Table Law’s resources, because Round Table Law is 100% cloud based.

But more than just being virtual, Carolyn’s articles will be outside of the usual in another way.

Round Table Law exists to prove and share the experience of working as a solo practitioner in a low overhead, low volume, technology centred practice of law. The idea is to provide greater access to the practice of law for Alberta lawyers, and in turn provide greater access to justice for Albertans.

Staying true to that mission means that Carolyn’s articles will not be geared toward just learning to be a lawyer at Round Table Law. They will be geared toward learning to be an independent lawyer, with the skills, confidence, knowledge, and support to go it alone.  Then, and only then, can I feel good about trying to convince her to stay.

Having never acted as a principal to an articling student before, it will be a very new experience for both of us, and there will be challenges along the way. But I look forward to learning with Carolyn over the term of her articles, and to witnessing the contribution she makes to our profession in the future.

Carolyn wants to use her legal education to help people struggling with family law issues. If you or someone you know needs that sort of help, send them her way.

Welcome to the Round Table, Carolyn.

Do you really do house calls?

Do you really do house calls?

A friend of mine asked me today, “Do you really do house calls? Instead of having an office and board room?”

The short answer is yes, I do.

The long answer is that I don’t do house calls “instead” of having an office and a board room.

Do I do house calls instead of having an office?  No.  I use cloud services instead of having an office.  My office is wherever I am as long as I have my cell phone and/or laptop.

Don’t get me wrong… I need a place to put my printer, my scanner, my shredder. And try as I might, I still need to keep a few paper documents. I have a place that I keep those things in my house.  And I also have a place where things can be delivered or mailed to me.  And I have a place where I can meet clients in a board room that I pay for by the hour. A couple of those places, actually. But those three places are not necessarily the same place.  They are not my “office.”

My office is where I can get work done that is convenient for my client, and sometimes that’s my client’s house.

Jason Morris of Round Table Law featured in National Magazine

Jason Morris of Round Table Law featured in National Magazine

Jason Morris and Crystal Schening at lunch
Jason Morris and Crystal Schening, Courtesy CBA National Magazine

I had the pleasure of sitting down with classmate and colleague Crystal Schening of Kinetic Legal Services a while ago for lunch and a chat about starting a home-based solo practice.

CBA National Magazine was there, and have published an article about our chat which you can read online here.

As always, if there is anyone out there who wants to bend my ear about starting a home-based or solo practice in Alberta, I’m more than willing.

I promise to wear a quieter shirt. 😉