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For the record, when I referred to biglaw as a pyramid scheme I was i) exaggerating and ii) expressing my frustration over what appears to be some associates and partners who just seem to broker work and not actually do anything (including business development). Of course, when I look closer, I see that they are doing all sorts of work that I'm not privy to. Why would I be? I'm an articling student.

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On 1/16/2019 at 3:11 PM, pzabbythesecond said:

You raise an interesting point RE the distinction between management and employees. In the industries I'm familiar with, there are very strict and clear splits between management and employees. In a law firm/partnership context, this is blurred - especially when you get away from the big law pay structure and enter into "pay plus commission" models that smaller firms employ more often. 

I would just reiterate that collective bargaining doesn't have to conform to traditional industrial agreements. Even physicians, who are private business owners with an incentive to maximize profits, bargain collectively with many provincial governments (and in some provinces, like Alberta, that right is enshrined in law). 

Also, there is often lots of ambiguity between management and employees. Determining whether a "supervisor" is an employee (and in a bargaining unit) or a manager (and therefore excluded) is bread-and-butter work at labour boards. There are established tests and lots of decided cases.... Associates would clearly fall within the employee category. 

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On ‎1‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 10:07 AM, Diplock said:

I don't know if you even realize how non-sensical what you are saying really is. Organized labour politics has an extremely important role to play in ensuring that workers are appropriately compensated. But there's a point beyond which it stops working or applying to certain professions, and it should stop working also. Lawyers are all compensated very well, as a group. It may be hard to find a job in the profession for some people, but anyone who is employed as a lawyer is making a good income in Ontario, ranging all the way up into the top 5-10% of all income earners. It's unreasonable to expect to unionize the profession such that ... what? No lawyer earns less than $100,000/year? Make sure that everyone is equally able to afford a cottage and a boat? What are we even talking about here?

I don't necessarily agree with the post you were responding to (i.e. I don't think lawyers necessarily need to be organizing for the purpose of higher incomes), however, I don't know think lawyers' place of relative economic privilege is reason enough to say lawyers should never organize or that they shouldn't have the right to do so. 

Increasingly, professionals have shown a desire to partake in collective bargaining (even if it isn't done according to legislation - for example, when it comes to doctors in Ontario, they are subject to a system that looks very much like collective bargaining (e.x. exclusive rep. by the OMA, good faith consulting, and dispute resolution process). Also, when professionals (versus blue-collar workers) look to unionize, it usually centers more around issues like professional control, contributing to political debate, and so forth (collective bargaining isn't just about economics). 

I'm very iffy on making a blanket statement that lawyers should be excluded from collective bargaining. 

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