Us in the Media 

"The Legal A Team is in the news, folks! And, no, it never gets tired." 


The Lawyer's Daily 
October 30, 2020
Elder abuse, nursing home negligence goes back decades 


The Lawyer's Daily
August 5, 2020

Four PR lessons for lawyers from the WE charity schmozzle



The Legal Marketing Institute, MONDAQ
June 2, 2020
How media relations for lawyers is like online dating READ MORE

The Legal Marketing Institute, MONDAQ

May 5, 2020

5 Ways to Use Public Relations to Make your Law Firm Stand out During COVID-19



The Lawyer's Daily
April 14, 2020

Six positive things about COVID-19 and working from home


The Lawyer's Daily
January 10, 2020

Eleven simple but effective law firm marketing resources 





The Lawyer's Daily
December 19, 2019

Nine startling Google factoids about law firm marketing 

1. Fact: Google owns 93 per cent of all web searches.

This means: Your website needs to be optimized for Google Chrome.

2. Fact: 92 per cent of people don’t go to page two of any Google search.

This means: There is a battle for all 10 organic spots on page one of any search.


The Lawyer's Daily
December 6, 2019

Law firm marketing: Asking the big questions 

Before you sit down to write a law firm marketing plan, before you spend a dime on selecting a supplier to help you with law firm marketing, here are some questions to ask yourself.



The National Blog
Canadian Bar Association (CBA)
November 22, 2019

Feeding the media

“You have to understand that this is not a transactional relationship. To get coverage, the story must be legitimate,” says Jana Schilder, a former director of marketing at a major law firm who now runs her own legal communications consultancy in Oakville, Ont.

“The best frame of mind when doing media relations is to be of service — to be helpful to a reporter,” says Schilder. One useful shortcut, she suggests, is to set up a folder of Google alerts — “so you know whether your area of practice is blowing up in the news somewhere.” Offering commentary to the media is always going to be easier when you know reporters want that commentary right now.




The Lawyer's Daily
April 4, 2019

Playing viral roulette with everyone’s health: Vexing anti-vaxxers 

Choosing not to vaccinate your children may not be illegal, but it is negligent and immoral. Vaccines only work to control disease when we are all immunized. Vaccines do not work on the legal principles of “the balance of probabilities” or “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Vaccines are binary: you are either immunized and therefore protected from disease, or not.

Choosing not to vaccinate your children is also selfish and shows an ample disregard toward living in modern society that has certain minimum standards by which we all abide. Vaccines are not a “personal choice,” but the foundation of public health for all citizens. If parents opt out of vaccinating their children, they are putting all other children at risk. That’s how the system works, folks.



The Lawyer's Daily
September 27, 2018

How to screen for domestic violence, intimate partner homicide and safety

There are a number of tools that can help a Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) professional ask the right questions to discern the likelihood of violence. Understanding (1) both the most dangerous times during a family law file and (2) predictors of different forms of violence are also useful to the screener.


For example: “Separation is the most common risk factor. While leaving may be the best response to a violent relationship, it is in leaving without adequate safety planning that the majority of women are killed,” said Hilary Linton, a family lawyer, family mediator, family arbitrator, international mediation instructor and a director of the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO).


The Lawyer's Daily
September 18, 2018

Risks of intimate partner homicide to lawyers, mediators, clients and families

It is a fact that many more women die by the hand of their intimate partner than by any other means. There were 18 women killed and two men killed in Canada from January to April 2018 by their intimate partners.  

Separation and divorce escalate risk of harm, and involvement with lawyers and the legal system further aggravates risk of a party or child being harmed or killed.


The Lawyer's Daily
June 4, 2018

Family mediation finally going mainstream: Justice Gloria Epstein

“There has been a paradigm shift in family law, away from the traditional adversarial role of solving family law disputes,” Justice Gloria Epstein, a judge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, said in her keynote address to more than 120 attendees of the second bi-annual Unconference, held May 3, 2018, at the Centre for Social Innovation and organized by the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO).



The Lawyer's Daily
February 22, 2018

From fraud to windfall: My saga with German heir searchers

I wasted two hours out of my day with this, a strange mix of curiosity and wanting to catch the bad guys red-handed. I blamed it on Penelope Garcia and binge-watching Criminal Minds. In the end, I replied: “Yes, I am the person you are looking for.”

Two days later, there was an e-mail; “Please sign the attached documents, agreeing to a 25 per cent commission on the money of the estate of the late Dr. Vladimir Jaluvka (1932-2009), a distant cousin of your late father, on his mother’s side.”

What if this is a scam created by some sweaty, teenage hacker named Roman? What if there is malware or ransomware in the attachments? I downloaded the attachments to a USB key, still not convinced of the veracity of this.


The 7 things clients want to know before they hire a lawyer

February 2018

Clients with a legal problem are in the market to hire a lawyer. They have an urgent need. With the help of Google searches, social media, practice specialty “best lists,” professional reviews and referrals from friends and family, prospects quickly form a short list. 

Before spending hundreds and thousands of dollars on legal fees, the lawyer or law firm they hire will have a great story for each of these seven points. The lawyer or law firm will have made the “sale.” 



Are you ready for your close-up? Prepare before reporters come calling 

NATIONAL Magazine - Canadian Bar Association

October 26, 2017

Ann Macaulay

“Lawyers have important things to say and they should be saying them,” says Jana Schilder, co-founder of boutique agency The Legal A Team in Oakville, Ont. But media relations is a unique set of skills, she adds, and there are critical things that lawyers need to know about how the media operate.


Family mediators share their "Top 10" online resources

JUST Magazine - Ontario Bar Association

October 3, 2017

Jana Schilder

We asked Ontario mediators to open their toolboxes and share some of their favourite resources for family mediation in Ontario.


Every person, represented or not, at every attendance at court—case conference, settlement conference, motion, trial, appeal—can access this free government-funded and regulated resource. Provided by highly experienced mediators—usually lawyers or mental health professionals— this is one of Ontario’s best kept secrets. 


Managing partners who empower associates, staff, have more profitable law firms

The Lawyers Daily
September 29, 2017
Jana Schilder

The job of a managing partner at smaller and mid-sized law firms is to be both the cheerleader-in-chief and the empowerer-in-chief. And as we learned in the 1980s and 1990s, those managers and managing partners who rule with an iron fist soon find themselves with a revolving door problem — and a line that forms to the left.

While it’s easy to be flippant about resignations (“Meh! We have a pile of resumés on file ...”), it sends a signal to the legal marketplace and to your competitors that all is not well at your law firm. Pretty soon, people come to the conclusion that something’s askew at your law firm. And gossip spreads quickly in the legal community which is pretty tight; everyone knows someone.  



Wills and estates bar needs to rethink its approach to marketing

The Lawyers Daily
July 19, 2017
Jana Schilder

For the last decade — and probably longer — the surveys have been saying the same thing. A 2013 CIBC survey put the number at “about 50 per cent,” while a 2012 LawPRO survey claimed that 56 per cent of Canadians did not have a will in place. In 2014 the BC Notaries reported a number of 55 per cent of British Columbians without a will. And in March 2017, a BMO survey found that 48 per cent of survey respondents don’t yet have wills. For those aged 35 to 54, that figure jumps to 55 per cent.

Bottom line is: the number of Canadians who still don’t have a will is not budging. Stuck. Well and truly immovable. 


Client surveys

Canadian Lawyer
May 29, 2017
Marg. Bruineman

Surveys can be a great way for law firms to manage relationships and to learn about potential problems, says Jana Schilder, co-founder of Toronto-based marketing and public relations firm The Legal A Team. “You always want to know what your clients are thinking. You always want a frank relationship with clients. You want to be proactive and offer solutions before you get called on the red carpet,” she says.



High stakes bring high emotions 

The Lawyers Daily
May 26, 2016
Saul Chernos

Jana Schilder, a Toronto communications professional who advises lawyers, says anger is usually the result of miscommunication or missed expectations.

Lawyers should communicate clearly and consistently, ensuring that when they delegate tasks such as document preparation to staff they’re clear about content, deadlines and other expectations, Schilder says.

“Time limitations get in the way. But associates and support staff aren’t mind readers. You have to communicate.”

In some cases, an expression of anger might be constructive and effective, but it should be applied sparingly and with forethought and consideration.

“Anger might signal to an associate that sloppy work won’t be tolerated,” Schilder says. “But as a routine way of handling issues…anger incites fear and loathing of the person who is angry all the time. It becomes counter-productive.”

When expressing anger, focus comments on behaviour rather than the person, Schilder recommends. A person being yelled at can offer to talk and resolve the situation when the yeller has calmed down.

Anger can rear its ugly head not only in the office but also the courtroom. Schilder says tensions sometimes flare when one side finds itself besieged by new evidence that was missed or not disclosed during discovery.

“There’s a disconnect,” Schilder says. “Lawyers are frequently if not always under pressure and under deadline, and when this kind of stuff happens they can get angry.”



The building blocks of a successful career​

The Lawyers Daily
September 17, 2015
Geoff Kirbyson

It doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, sometimes credibility can be boosted in the most simple of ways. Jana Schilder, Toronto-based co-founder of the Legal A Team, a provider of business development coaching, training and marketing, recommends young lawyers explain the basics of law and the process of their practice area to their prospective clients. 


Flexible hours create unpredictable days 

The Lawyers Daily
March 12, 2015
Natalie Alcoba

Jana Schilder, a co-founder of the Legal A Team, a coaching, marketing and PR firm for lawyers, says there are other practical ways in which lawyers can build more predictability into their careers, and it starts with choosing a practice area carefully. Real estate closings are predictable and transactional, she notes. Family law is emotional. Criminal law, by definition, is unpredictable, she says, as is M&A work. “It’s not reasonable to go into these types of practice areas and expect predictability,” says Schilder. 



Lawyers, Law Firms and Exceptionalism
February 12, 2014
Jana Schilder


The partner-to-associate ratio at Heenan Blaikie was almost 1:1 (217 partners to 238 associates, according to one report). At KPMG, it was between 4 or 5 associates to one partner; over at PWC, it was about 7 or 8 associates to one partner. The higher associate ratio helped to cover overhead, training, and topping up the pension fund. 


After the demise of Heenan Blaikie, is law firm management at other firms proactive enough to see what changes need to be made now? And, make those changes promptly?

Law schools need to teach courses about business, marketing, finance, operations, HR, and so on. In future, many lawyers will have to start their own boutique firms, or change careers to deal with the glut of lawyers. Young lawyers deserve to be prepared for a vastly different future, which is already on our doorstep. 



The future of e-discovery: An interview with author Michael Rogers

The Law Times
May 9, 2011

Jana Schilder

Michael Rogers is an author and journalist whose consultancy, the Practical Futurist, helps businesses think about the future. He has consulted to FedEx, Boeing Co., NBCUniversal, Prudential Financial Inc., Dow Corning Corp., American Express, and Genentech Inc. 

For two years, he was the futurist-in-residence at the The New York Times. For 10 years, he was vice president of the Washington Post Co.’s new media division, which included both the newspaper and Newsweek. He was recently a speaker at the LegalTech 2011 conference in New York. In an interview with Law Times, he discusses the future of e-discovery.

LT: E-discovery is the confluence of law, information technology, and records management. Will evolving technology help or hinder e-discovery?



Are the lights brighter for lawyers in the 905?

The Law Times
August 30, 2010
Jana Schilder

Is it better, then, for Toronto-area lawyers to work in the 416 or 905? The issues at hand include the number of clients; their calibre; the types of files available; billable hours; work-life balance; and the thorny issue of the lack of women partners.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer. Instead, whether it’s better to work in the 416 or 905 depends on the type of law lawyers want to practise; the strength of their personal networks; and the firm’s ability to do quality work and provide good service at a fair price as well as its reputation.



Canadian corporations unprepared for future lawsuits stemming from e-discovery challenge

The Law Times
July 5, 2010

Jana Schilder

“E-mail is the 800-pound gorilla in the room,” Christopher Olsen told conference delegates. Olsen, principal systems engineer at Lockheed Martin Corp., shared some startling factoids with the group.

According to a 2009 study by Cohasset Associates Inc., 98 per cent of all information is created electronically, yet 80 per cent of those documents are never printed. Further, only 53 per cent of all corporations have an e-mail policy.


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