Maintaining the best traditions and changing the rest

In the August issue of Canadian Lawyer, you may notice some small changes, writes Tim Wilbur

In the August issue of Canadian Lawyer, you may notice some small changes to the design and articles, but the core of what we cover is the same. Like the legal profession, we feel it is important to maintain traditions if they continue to serve those for whom they were designed. So, we continue to explore regional developments across the country, analyze legal trends from a national perspective, offer practice and career development tips and provoke debate with engaging commentary.

Our August issue includes our most popular feature of the year, the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers and, other than the list of winners, nothing fundamental has changed for that. We are yet again amazed at the achievements of this group of leaders in the legal profession. While the list has prominent politicians, practitioners, academics and public servants as it always does, it also offers leading-edge lawyers in areas such as cannabis and animal rights, where traditions have been put aside to do things differently.

We have also included a special report for law students. It explores a nationwide conversation about how well the articling system is working and whether it should be scrapped. The adherence to tradition has kept that system going for many years in Canada, but critics say the opportunities for law students are scarce and the system needs to change to take that into account.

On our back page, we hear from Jim Middlemiss about how law firms are testing the use of blockchain technology in their legal business, as organizations grapple with standards. While tradition often holds the legal profession back from adopting new technologies, law firms will either be willing participants or dragged along kicking and screaming as clients and technology companies build blockchains into their own ecosystems, argues Middlemiss.

Finally, we are now including a Law Times supplement in this issue. We have changed our coverage on lawtimesnews.com to a daily approach, and the weekly print format was a Law Times tradition that was put aside for the magazine format you hold in your hands now.

Like the profession we serve, we believe tradition is important, provided it also allows for change.

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