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The role of leadership

Editorial Obiter

If you ask most people what they love about their jobs, they’ll list a lot of things that make their work meaningful.

What is most interesting to me is that, most of the time, when I chat with lawyers about why they do what they do (a perk of my job!), they’ll list the people around them as the determining factors.

(In the thick of the bencher election, one of the most common sentiments I hear from people who have served is that their favourite part of the role is the people they got to meet.)

It can admittedly be hard sometimes to think strategically about managing your practice when the paperwork on your desk is stacked up, but this issue provides some invaluable insights into long-range planning.

Working on writing skills is also crucial.

“Written advocacy is probably the toughest job for a litigator. The glamour is in the oral argument, but the written advocacy is usually more important,” says Greg Temelini, a partner at Wright Temelini LLP in Toronto. One of my favourite pieces by Shannon Kari is about the importance of delegation within a law firm.

“I see my role, at least initially, is to teach and to guide,” says Lai-King Hum, chairwoman of the April 2 event at the Law Society of Ontario on Practice Management for Litigators, which includes the discussion on training and delegating. “The person with the ‘straight As’ in law school is not always the best hire. I always look to see whether someone can engage with people,” she adds. These features were especially meaningful because this issue is the last for managing editor Jennifer Brown. Jen is a prolific writer and a thoughtful leader  who knows law inside and out. Her influence on this paper, which is produced by a team, was immeasurable. Of the many things she has contributed — in these pages and outside — was a strong legacy for Law Times and its employees. We will miss her.

Law Times Poll

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has announced that real estate lawyer Doug Downey will be Ontario’s new attorney general. Do you expect Downey to take a substantially different approach to his portfolio than his predecessor in the role?