Archive for the ‘Lawyer Professional development’ Category


Jan 10

The British Columbia Court of Appeal’s 100th Anniversary

2010 marks the British Columbia Court of Appeal’s 100th anniversary. Skunkworks is honoured to have been selected to create a new logo, website and conference collateral in conjunction with the Court’s centennial.

The new website includes a photo gallery drawn from the Court’s archives including portraits of every Chief Justice of British Columbia, the original ground-breaking of the old courthouse building (now the Vancouver Art Gallery), and significant historical events such as Lord Denning’s visit for the opening of the current Vancouver Courts in 1979, and the first all-woman panel of the Court of Appeal.

Plans for the 2010 centennial include a one-hour documentary “Though the Heavens Fall: 100 Years of the BC Court of Appeal“, a book by author Christopher Moore, and a judicial and academic conference in April 2010 featuring professor and legal futurist Richard Susskind and keynote speaker the Right Honourable Madam Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin P.C.

For more information, please visit the Court’s centenary website here:

On a personal note, I must add that this project has afforded me the unique privilege of learning more about both the inner workings of the Court of Appeal’s operations and British Columbia’s legal history. For that I am deeply grateful.


Nov 09

Courthouse Libraries BC New Website

Courthouse Libraries BC have just launched their new website. The revamped online presence can be found at and represents a completely fresh take on how the organization interacts with its user base on the web. In addition to a significantly updated design, key features of the new site include:

* Integrated search – a single, powerful search application that can search any or all of 10 different library sources (e.g. the library catalogue, their in-house “asked & answered” database, their unreported decisions database, etc.);
* Practice Portals- practice-specific hubs designed to provide practitioners’ with ready access to key resources, texts, legislation, leading authorities and recent news in a single environment. There are five practice portals initially (Civil litigation, Family law, Personal Injury, Wills & Estates, and Practice Management & Technology) with plans already underway to add more;
* User Accounts individual user accounts that can save preferences, order histories and searches;
* News filtering by practice area – self-explanatory; and
* A new blog, “The Stream” which will serve as a platform for Library staff to provide their insight and commentary on law and legal research developments relevant to British Columbia lawyers.

Also of key importance in my view is that CLBC’s extensive involvement in the development and operation of a separate (and excellent) legal information site geared specifically to the public – CLICKLAW – has enabled the organization to focus the new site squarely on the needs of practicing lawyers. While both sites are fully accessible to anyone, separating out the offerings to cater more specifically to their respective user bases can only result in better user experiences across the board.

Skunkworks is proud to have been involved in several aspects of this project although full credit goes to our friends at Habanero Consulting Group for the top-notch site build and to the Courthouse Libraries’ team for their vision both in engaging in extensive user consultation and research into what users wanted from a new library website and in their willingness to explore new approaches and priorities even where such choices represented fundamental shifts away from established library processes. It’s accepted wisdom in marketing circles that brave clients make for interesting work. For me, this has been a textbook example of exactly that.


Apr 09

RSS in plain english

In my discussions with lawyers about blogs and internet marketing at various seminars and events it is usually the case that only a very small percentage are familiar with RSS feeds. In a nutshell, RSS “feeds” allow people to subscribe to the various websites, blogs or sections of websites that are of interest to them. It’s an important technology for a whole myriad of reasons and “hardcore” technology and legal marketing folks tend to take it for granted but I think most lawyers are still at something of a loss as to what it is, how it works and why it matters. Therefore, I want to share one of Common Craft’s terrifically simple “In Plain English” videos that explains RSS more clearly. (Also, credit to Rex Gradeless at Social Media Law Student for giving me the idea via his own blog which I am shamelessly poaching here because I think it warrants broad distribution).

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