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Sole practitioners ‘the front lines of our profession’

|Written By Michael McKiernan

Small firm practitioners from across Ontario are gathering at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre today for the Law Society of Upper Canada’s sixth annual Solo and Small Firm Conference and Expo 2011.

Law society Treasurer Laurie Pawlitza opened the two-day conference this morning, telling the 650 attendees that she was proud to have small-firm practitioners as the “face of our profession in Ontario.” Despite never having practised in a small firm, she said she got insight into the difficulties her own partners faced as a sole practitioner.

“Our job is to regulate the profession in the public interest and facilitate access to justice,” she said. “If we can help you help the public, then we’re doing our job and you can keep doing yours. You’re the front lines of our profession.”

About 12,000, or more than half of all private practitioners in Ontario, work in firms with five lawyers or fewer, while 86 per cent of all firms in the province contain five lawyers or less, Pawlitza said, noting they are also responsible for almost all legal services in languages other than English.

This year, more than 200 registrants are taking part on through a live webcast.

If you wish you were here but can’t attend, tune into Twitter at #soloTO and you’ll feel as though you are because attendees and speakers are tweeting updates throughout the two-day event.


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