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Law in the 21st

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Legal Profession

Regulation of the profession

  • Regulation of the profession:
  • Barristers and solicitors – distinction without much relevance in Canada remains important in the UK
  • Provincially regulated by law societies (law society of upper Canada)
  • Osgoode Hall, 1829 (the Great Library). 1949 schism: academics found Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, 1958. Law school moves to York in the 1960s

Legal Education

  • Traditional approach: mentorship. Law schools (as we known them begin in the 18th century
  • Harvard law, 1817 (McGill Faculty of Law, 1848)
  • Dean Langdell, 1870s-1900: case method
  • LL.B. vs. J.D. vs. B.A.: LL.M & S.J.D.
  • LSAT
  • No degree allows you to practice in Canada- must be a member of a bar society (articling and then exam)
  • Canada gate-keeper is the law school admission; U.S. bar exam.
  • Be cautious of work-arounds. They often don’t

Picture on law school statistics

  • Practice more than 25 years, 11% female and 89% male
  • Partners 2015 (private sector firms), highest form of partnership, 14% male and 4% female
  • Bad job in legal practice because, masculine profession
  • Women served a purpose in rise of law firm
  • Always self-governed = law firms
  • Small number of people at top who make the most
  • Law firm’s pretty small
  • People at lower level will always want to advance, split firms if being held back
  • No law firm had over 150 lawyers
  • Introduction of women into legal work force cause if done with men you would have pressure; women would choose thins like family etc. which would help the pyramid structure.
  • Structural bias against women (law firms)

Regulation of the profession

  • Codes of conduct- discipline applied by the law societies (administrative tribunals! Given considerable deference).
  • Canada (attorney General) v. Federation of Law societies of Canada [2015] 1 S.C.R. 401  
  • Dangers of self-regulating
  • Federal law passed after 911
  • To track financial transaction
  • Record any transaction over $3,000 to government and keep for 5 years
  • If request you must produce them in 30 days (this was the law)
  • All got together and challenged this
  • Confidentiality: Things you say to your lawyer cannot be used in any proceedings, make sure no one is in the room, when you commit crimes asks everyone to leave just you and lawyer
  • SCC accepted this, this was problematic, because when produced money laundering list, lawyers were first on the list
  • Discipline actions
  • If you do bad lawyer misconduct you go to a hearing panel made up of other lawyers and they judge, you
  • They can fine and suspended license of practice all the way up to a disarm (take it away for ever)
  • Administrative tribunals, there discussions can be appealed
  • Only reasonable decisions are going to be upheld

The civility Movement

  • Rambo Lawyers and Rambo Litigation: Are those who push boundaries 
  • “a lawyer, esp. a litigator, who uses aggressive, unethical, or illegal tactics in representing a client and who lacks courtesy and professionalism in dealing with other lawyers.”
  • Scream at parties, unethical grammar and actions
  • Atticus Finch Model: “Gentlemanly” law
  • Allows outrage to come through in gentlemen way
  • Doesn’t take advantage of opponent
  • Salyzyn Critique of debate (special article) final exam!!!
  • Both men and white, core of the critique
  • Exclusionary, two masculine forms
  • Excludes other forms of lawyer, maybe women lawyers can do something differently other than these two types
  • Women could have a better form of professionalism

Access to justice

  • Paralegals and relationship to legal profession
  • Legal fees, class actions, advertising
  • Legal aid and pro bono work  



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