Cheryl Siran

Lawyer Candidate – Northwest Region

Priorities

The legal landscape is changing rapidly and the LSO must continue to try to keep up with these realities. (1) The LSO needs to lead the profession on the delivery of legal services with innovative technologies, including appropriate rules and regulations to permit these innovations to be used by everyday practitioners. This, in turn, will allow practitioners to look at adapting the traditional business model of law, which should improve client services. (2) With that, the LSO must be transparent in its governance and adapt how it governs licensees and spends their money. (3) Finally, solicitors need more representation at Convocation – please vote for a solicitor!
We may not agree, but I will listen to your viewpoint to better inform myself and my decisions.

Background

I am in Kenora (go ahead, check google maps!), practice in a small firm and have committed a significant amount of my time as a lawyer to working for the improvement of legal practice, in particular for the solo and small practitioner, with the Federation of Ontario Law Associations. I do about half litigation (Construction, Estates and Real Estate) and half residential real estate. I have operated a paperless office since 2011 and recognize how technology improves your ability to provide service to clients. Also, I live off-grid, with my husband, where he operates a small fishing resort in the middle of nowhere.

Enjoy this candidate’s “Of Counsel” interview while you read more about them!

Candidates I support

I will update when nominations close but believe there needs to be a good mix of new benchers, those from diverse backgrounds and more solicitors to best lead the LSO into the future.

Something the LSO does that it should stop doing

Something the LSO doesn't do that it should start doing

The LSO needs to provide leadership on legal technologies.

website

email

csiran@hsllaw.ca

social media

Twitter @cherylsiran
www.HSLlaw.ca

All Candidates were invited to comment on any or all of the following topics

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Can’t talk about A2J without talking sustainable Legal Aid. I have previously advocated for FOLA with LAO and hope to continue to do so. With that, I understand ProBono Ontario is facing funding threats and intend on looking more into the issue, and how it could be expanded to more jurisdictions around the province.

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Review, reflection and reform needs to continue for LSO, as it works to adapt to the changing legal landscape. I also believe reviewing the current remuneration model for Benchers is important to encouraging diversity in Convocation, as many licensees are unable to afford to be a representative. This disproportionately affects those in solo or small firms, and from rural/or geographically difficult areas.

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The cost is ridiculous. Graduating with unbearable debt exacerbates the A2J crisis. Students stay in larger centers to earn the most they can, in the most lucrative areas of law, leaving smaller centers and the most needy clients underserviced. The LSO has no control over universities, but this is a clear part of the A2J crisis.

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This was passed by Convocation already .

Artificial Intelligence in Legal Service Delivery

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AI is not the answer to all, but these technologies are available now, particularly in the area of legal research. The LSO should be investigating and promoting appropriate technologies and making them available in law libraries.

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The recent enhancements haven’t changed the current pathways significantly, so this will continue to be a high priority. It is a complex issue that intersects with …[other issues discussed here]…, amongst others.

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I support unbundled services but they can be problematic under current rules for practitioners in smaller communities and firms.

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I am interested to hear what focus groups have to say about this initiative and how it could be developed and implemented. I have no hard view at this stage.

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Not sure what is meant by duty here. Tech is an important part of promoting adaptation to legal services delivery.

Reconciliation and Indigenous Communities

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Fundamentally important to continue to promote, and actively work towards reconciliation.

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I am not convinced, but haven’t kept up with recent developments in the area.

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Not an area I am very familiar with.

Specific Enhancements to Licensing System

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Yes, because they are in the competence business.

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A healthy bar, supported by the LSO, is in the public interest.

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A2J and advancing guidance and training re technology. I believe the second will function to increase the first.

Diversity and Inclusivity Priorities

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This has been some of the most valuable work the LSO has done in the last few years, and must continue to be a priority, particular to address barriers to entry into the profession that disproportionately affect those of racialized communities.

Scope of practice for paralegals and non-licensees

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FOLA asks: Thoughts on Funding Staffed Local Law Libraries

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Other topics

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It’s my belief that professional development and competence of lawyers (solo and small firm practitioners in particular) is served by continued funding for the county and district law libraries, and will continue to advocate for that funding. I am currently on the LibraryCo board and am excited about the implementation of LIRN in the near future.

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Candidate contributions on additional topics

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