Michael Ford (post until Oct. 31/19)
Legal Suppliers

In-person networking one of the many benefits of TLA membership

The Toronto Lawyers Association (TLA) reminds members of the benefits of real-world networking in a digital era, its executive director Joan Rataic-Lang tells AdvocateDaily.com

Rataic-Lang says the TLA's calendar of social events is one of its most popular features.

“Although we live a digital world, we find that people really love connecting in person,” she says. “We don’t do a big welcome at these events because we find that people hate being interrupted when they’re standing around talking to each other.”

From wine and cheese to fireside chats with authors, she says there are events to suit any style.

But member benefits don’t stop at socials, especially for sole and small firm practitioners, according to Rataic-Lang.

She says the TLA’s other resources help close the gap between those at smaller outfits and their colleagues at large Bay Street firms.

“Lawyers who work on their own probably most appreciate the opportunity to connect with other members,” Rataic-Lang says. “Larger law firms have more money and library staff to support their lawyers, but we can provide our members with the tools they need to stay on top of what’s happening in the legal world.”

For example, the Toronto Law Journal, written by TLA members, is published nine times a year, while the association has partnered with Lexology to produce TLA Newsstand, an update service on current cases and legislative changes.

The TLA also has an extensive CPD offering, with special rates for members.

“Our programs all start after 5:15 p.m., so they’re not going to interrupt the workday or time in court,” Rataic-Lang says. “It’s a very comfortable and intimate setting, and we always get a good discussion afterwards.”

Away from the substantive side of the law, TLA Weekly Verdict keeps members current on comings and goings in the Toronto legal scene.

“It has a more social and gossipy flavour,” Rataic-Lang says. “It’s easy to miss things when you get caught up in the day-to-day business of practice, but you can’t be a good lawyer without following what’s going on in the legal world.

“The other thing we feel we can help with is increasing productivity,” she adds, pointing to the TLA’s other facilities.  

Staff at their Courthouse Library base at 361 University Ave., home to one of the largest private law library collections in Canada, can assist members with legal research, Rataic-Lang explains.  

The library offers free Wi-Fi to TLA members, as well as access to Westlaw, LexisNexis Quicklaw, Lexis Practice Advisor, HeinOnline and DivorceMate. Besides these online services, there is also a comprehensive, up-to-date collection of library resources, including current legal treatises and ebooks, precedents in electronic and print format, court rules and forms and law reports.

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