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ABOUT practicePRO

About practicePRO  

Lawyers today practise in an increasingly complex world. Technology is driving our communications and access to information. Consumers expect more. Courts are expanding the legal bases for liability. The demands on the legal profession, and the related risk of a claim, have never been greater. The practicePRO program provides risk management, claims prevention and law practice management information to Ontario lawyers to help them meet these challenges. Our resources, precedents and checklists help them take proactive steps to avoid a legal malpractice claim, and show them how to grow successful and thriving law practices.

The practicePRO program has been an integral part of LAWPRO's claims prevention efforts for the past seventeen years. In 1997 work began on a risk management program to complement LawPRO's success at claims management. We recognized that lawyers needed help adapting to changes in the world around them and adopting new ways of doing business. LAWPRO's actuarial data was examined to see how claims were affected by such factors as years in practice, geography, area of law, and firm size. To this mix of data was added the findings of Professor Neil Gold (former dean of law at the University of Windsor) whose research concluded that the underlying causes of claims include failure of the lawyer-client relationship, poor communication, poor file management, and self interest among others.

Four founding pillars of the practicePRO program:

Information: Aim to bring lawyers the latest information on claims and claims prevention. We work to get this knowledge in the hands of lawyers through a variety of means, such as this website, LAWPRO magazine, the lending library, and articles such as "The Biggest Malpractice Claims Risks"

Practice Aids: Create tools and resources to help lawyers address these issues. Our "managing" series of booklets, precedent letters, checklists, and reading lists on technology and e-discovery put practical practice management tools in the hands of lawyers.

Education: Work closely with CPD organizers at the CBA, OBA, Law Society and the local law associations to get our practice and risk management message out to as wide and varied an audience as possible. We also get out on the road to speak to groups of lawyers at both large conferences and small gatherings at individual law firms.

Wellness & Balance: Lawyers who are overly stressed and unhealthy are highly likely to make mistakes resulting in claims. Together with the Law Society of Upper Canada, we provide financial support for the Member Assistance Program (MAP) for Ontario lawyers, law students, licensed paralegals, and their families provided through Homewood Health.

For a more indepth look at the history of practicePRO, plus a some thoughts on where the program will go in the future, please see the following articles from the September 2013(practicePRO's 15th Anniversary) issue of LAWPRO Magazine and Summer 2008 (practicePRO's 10th Anniversary):

The evolving face of risk management
practicePRO: The next 15 years.
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The practicePRO program
Looking back on what has and hasn't changed in the first 15 years.
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The next 10 years
What are the principle lessons of practicePRO and what does the future hold in store? An interview with Dan Pinnington.
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A look back
Malcolm Heins and Karen Bell talk about the origins of LAWPRO's risk and practice management program.
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