BarTalk Focus

On SoloLink

BarTalk Focus

Picture this for a moment: 

You are a young lawyer working on a challenging case in Victoria. You encounter a complicated quandary while preparing your documents for discovery. You look around your small firm and realize you are the only lawyer in the office. You frantically dig through your files. No luck. You scour the Internet and cannot find a satisfactory answer to your particular issue. 

You need advice from someone who has dealt with this problem before, but there is no one to ask. What do you do? 

Then it hits you. Eureka! 

You remember you are tapped into a community that is ready and willing to come to your aid. You are a member of SoloLink. You log into the online community, ask your question and receive an answer in almost no time at all. 

While this is a hypothetical example, it is a regular occurrence for dozens of CBABC members. 

SoloLink launched as a CBABC-hosted pilot project in 2014. It was designed as a way for sole practitioners, as well as small firm and in-house counsel, to seek and share advice with other lawyers. The project was developed by the Solicitors’ Practice Issues Committee with the assistance of the Law Society of Alberta’s SoloNet project. 

In less than two years, SoloLink has quickly become a vibrant community of 175 CBABC members who ask questions and receive substantive answers in real-time. 

Members are free to ask questions about anything impacting their practice. This open-ended approach has facilitated a positive culture where lawyers discuss a wide range of topics from how to handle unpaid client bills to tips on working at home. Or more complex issues like obtaining mortgage discharge from a defunct company and most recently, evicting a squatter. 

While SoloLink members openly use the private online environment to share advice and practical information, a CBABC staff member can also post questions anonymously on a member’s behalf. 

One such post sparked a lively discussion that solicited a high number of responses last January. The SoloLink member was acting for a private lender looking to register a second mortgage and was concerned that a broker was trying to bully them. The SoloLink community sprung into action and provided support and expertise in less than 24 hours. 

Under this issue’s “Start-Ups and Small Business” theme, we decided to reach out to the community to learn about their experience. Here is what they had to say:

“When I have a quick question or need a quick second/third opinion, I use the SoloLink. I get an answer quickly, and the answers are succinct, helpful and from the heart (meaning that it is heartfelt and without any patronizing).” — Tom, Vancouver. 

“SoloLink is a great tool for practitioners who are seeking an information sharing network. It is particularly useful for those who may be in solo or small practices and who therefore may not have access to many resources. I have found ListServs in practice area-specific CBA Sections to be a valuable tool for collaboration and sharing amongst practitioners. SoloLink operates similarly but without specificity to a particular practice area, which made it a very attractive and valuable resource when I learned about it.” — Stanley, Vancouver. 

“I have been so pleased with Solo-Link and its content. It has really had a very positive impact on my practice and it is really an incredible tool for sole practitioners (especially in remote communities) and those in small firms. The availability of senior practitioners, including the CBABC practice advisory panel, is beneficial and provides insight, feedback and information that I otherwise would not have… and provides it to me in real time. I can obtain practice advice and input on various legal matters and share my knowledge with others. SoloLink is an awesome resource.” — Denese Espeut-Post, SoloLink Project Manager. 

The SoloLink project is fulfilling its foundational objective to facilitate communication between lawyers throughout BC and is successfully filling an immediate need for lawyers without access to resources available in medium and larger firms. 

If you are interested in taking advantage of this CBABC member benefit, please feel free to contact

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