The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Fred Headon

Opportunities through innovation

May 5 2014 5 May 2014

At a recent event held at the University of Montreal and co-sponsored by National Magazine and the CBA’s Legal Futures Initiative, I had the pleasure of introducing an impressive roster of panellists, assembled to converse with students about future opportunities in the legal profession through innovation.

Sitting on the panel were Monica Goyal (Aluvion Law), Mitch Kowalski (innovation consultant and author) Marie-Claude Rigaud (law professor, UdeM), Mathieu Bouchard (a partner at boutique firm IMK), Béatrice Bergeron (Juripop). Also brought in by videoconference were legal entrepreneur Natalie MacFarlane and legal futurist Richard Susskind. 

The purpose of the discussion was to get students to imagine the skills — not just the job title — that they want to consider where the opportunities lie in the future and how to get there.

What was most striking about the event wasn’t so much the setting — the law faculty’s state-of-the-art Cyberjustice Laboratory — but the sense that the panellists, all practitioners and pioneers who embrace the modern practice of law, would have happily traded places with the students sitting there facing them.

Not because they wished they were back in law school. Rather, they could see that today’s law students, ultimately, are the ones with the most incentive to harness their own entrepreneurial spirit to meet the challenge of improving the practice of law.

Of course, the CBA’s Legal Futures Initiative has been looking at how our profession can do just that. Our final Futures report, to be delivered in August, will outline many of the paths to serving Canadians better. And we hope that young lawyers will carefully consider which one suits them best. 

But let us remember also that each of us — not just tomorrow’s lawyers — would be well advised to seize the emerging opportunities now.

Indeed it is an exciting time to be a lawyer. Why miss out on it?

Comments can be sent to

No comments

Leave message

 Security code

Fred Headon is a past President of the Canadian Bar Association and chair of the CBA Legal Futures Initiative. / Fred Headon est le président sortant de l'Association du Barreau canadien et préside le Projet de l'ABC Avenirs en droit.

Current Issue

Editor's Picks

SCC backs law societies in denying accreditation to TWU

Editor's Picks

Global cybersecurity: Do we need more law?

Editor's Picks

Canada’s trade fight: The legal options are slim