Simply put, legal research is the identification and retrieval of information necessary to support legal decision-making. Sources of legal information include legal precedents (case law), primary (statues and regulations) and secondary (commentary) sources. Angela consults both online resources and LawSource when faced with an information need that needs scratching.
Records and Information Management (RIM)
Information retrieval from a legal file is one of the many tasks lawyers perform in their day-to-day role as a service provider. In order for lawyers to perform this task efficiently, they require meaningful file management systems, ranging from an efficient (paper) filling system to effective management of digital material (e-mails and archived material), in order to maximize information retrieval and minimize time lost searching for a document.
Trial and discovery preparation
Life is better when your records are indexed, labeled, and organized, ideally in binders (when examinations or hearings are fast approaching). From review and organization (chronological, or by subject matter) of the financial documents of new clients, to a summary of previous court documents on a transferred file, and a tracking system with respect to answers to undertakings, Angela can help with that. And will love every minute of it. It’s her thing.
Consulting services will be offered at an hourly rate of $150, plus disbursements. This rate will increase to $157.50 once the business is required to remit GST. It is anticipated that most of Ashton Legal Solutions services’ will be billed from the solicitor to their clients directly, like any other lawyer working on the same file. The exception is where an upgrade to the records management systems is required, in which case the firm/lawyer would pay for the services directly.
I am an Edmonton lawyer with a background in family law and a lifelong obsession with organizing. I obtained my LL.B. from the University of Ottawa in 2003, and was called to the Alberta Bar in August of 2004. From 2005 to 2012 I worked as Legal Counsel and Assistant Program Coordinator at the Family Law Information Centre, a project managed by Alberta Justice. In the fall of 2012 I became a non-practicing lawyer in order to pursue my Masters in Library and Information Studies (MLIS). When I obtained my degree in June of 2016 I decided to create an unholy union of my legal experience, academic background and passion for organization.
The lawyer-librarian advantage
As a result of my legal practice, I understand how legal practice and files are, and should be, organized, and how family lawyers in Edmonton are struggling to keep up with client demands. In addition, there is a current movement within the profession reconsidering the provision of legal services to the public, including the unbundling of legal work to reduce costs to clients, and importantly, to provide lawyers with more time. During the course of my studies, I had the opportunity to consider how lawyers seek information, and how they execute the roles of advocate and administrator/manager. It occurred to me that there was a need for complimentary on-demand services in this niche area. Finally, as a super organized person (SOP), I take pleasure in many of the mundane tasks that lawyers either do not enjoy or lack the time to do thoroughly (legal research and trial binder preparation to name but two).