Starting Your Own Firm |

Starting Your Own Firm

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Professionalism (Ethics, etc.): 2.25
140 minutes
Gosia Bawolska
Erin Cowling
William Hutcheson
Noah Singer
Tannis Waugh
Toronto Lawyers Association (TLA)
100 minutes
$149.00 plus tax
Includes Handouts

Thinking about going out on your own, but don’t know where to start?

From what technology to use, to office space versus a virtual office, there are so many decisions to make. In a changing landscape of the delivery of legal services, there are a number of options that get away from traditional notions of what a law practice should look like.

But, setting up a sole or small practice doesn’t have to be a daunting venture!

This program has been designed to give you a good handle on where to start and what questions to ask. Four different lawyers who set up practices in different ways with different levels of seniority will share their stories on how they did it in a roundtable discussion. 

Where to work: virtual office, shared space, temporary space, home office (20 mins: Confidentiality, Business of Law and Strategic Planning): Dealing with confidentiality in different arrangements and conflicts in shared space arrangements

Technological Innovations: cloud computing and email, VPN and remote access, software and automation, moving towards paperless, and payment systems (20 mins: compliance, professionalism, technology in a law, security of information, productivity and efficiency): This section will be addressing not only the technology but the expected professionalism and compliance issues, i.e. what guidance if any has the law society provided in any of these areas?  What are our responsibilities safeguarding data in all of these new technologies, what new banking and payment systems can and cannot be used when dealing with trust funds?

Compliance: Bookkeeping and trust account audits (20 mins: confidentiality, trust funds, conflicts and relationship to other lawyers)

Business Generation: traditional vs. non-traditional, using technology (5 mins: conflicts and referral fees)


Gosia Bawolska

Erin Cowling

Co-founder of Flex Legal Network and freelance lawyer.

William Hutcheson

Will Hutcheson articled in criminal law at the firm of Greenspan Humphrey Lavine.  He was called to the bar in 2008.  He worked in family law as an associate for Martha McCarthy & Company for a year and a half and then started his own firm.  He is now into his 9th year running his own show.  He practices primarily as a family lawyer but he also does simple wills and POAs.  He has no assistant, no associates and no clerk but he always has shared space with at least one other lawyer.  Will views going out on his own as one of the best decisions he has ever made.

Noah Singer

Tannis Waugh

Tannis Waugh

Tannis was called to the bar in 2003 and practices in the areas of real estate, corporate/commercial, and estate planning. In 2018, she was certified as a specialist in real estate by the Law Society of Ontario.

As a former Trustee for the Toronto Lawyers Association, Tannis has been involved in advocacy and education initiatives, most notably the moderator and presenter of continuing education programmes and writer of articles for the TLA journal. She currently sits on the education committee which is responsible for producing CPD programmes for Toronto lawyers.

She is also a member of the Condominium Sub-documents Committee of the Working Group on Lawyers and Real Estate which is responsible for producing province-wide precedent materials for condominium transactions.

Tannis is a frequent presenter for continuing legal education programmes and, in the past, has spoken on the issue of real estate, estates and ethics for the Canadian Bar Association,/Ontario Bar Association, Law Society of Upper Canada, The Commons Institute and the Toronto Lawyers Association.

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