CanLaw Lawyer Referral Service

Canada Trusts CanLaw -- Online Since 1996


Lawyer Bradley Wright said. "Because no one fails any more, being accepted into first-year law school guarantees you a call to the bar

Just show up at the door and you will be accepted into our profession."

Search Lawyer and Paralegal Directory

You can choose to search the complete list of names in the directory or only the lawyer listings or paralegal listings. You can search by name (first or last), city, postal code or any combination of these. You can also choose to search by part of a name: simply enter the first few characters of the word you want to search against. If you are unsure of the spelling of a name, enter only the first or first few letters of the name and any other information that may help to limit the search.

Note that if more than 500 results are found, you will need to revise your search criteria (e.g. add a postal code rather than just searching for all lawyers in Ottawa). Area(s) of law/legal services are only displayed for lawyers and paralegals in private practice.

You may also need to revise your search criteria if no results are found. Consider completing fewer fields, entering partial words or checking your spelling/punctuation.



Top lawyers fear their profession is broken

copyright The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Nov. 22 2012, 8:53 PM EST

The public has been given a rare window into a profession in turmoil, as leaders of the Ontario bar debate the future of articling, the treatment of female lawyers and whether young lawyers are unprepared to practise law.

At the end of 10 hours of emotional debate in the Law Society of Upper Canada’s governing council Thursday, it was clear that some of the country’s top legal minds believe their profession is, in effect, broken.

More Related to this Story

Some members of the regulatory body warned that other provinces are already worrying about whether Ontario has lost its way.

What does that say about regulation of the profession in Ontario? asked council member Gavin Mackenzie.

Toronto lawyer Beth Symes, a fierce defender of a parental-leave program aimed at keeping female lawyers in the profession, expressed astonishment that influential members of the law society were prepared to kill it off to save money.

How did we get into this mess,” Ms. Symes said. “How did we get so far offside?

Another council member, criminal lawyer Clayton Ruby, accused the law society of harbouring a “death wish” on the parental-leave issue.

It is not acceptable in 2012 to say we will keep incurring these losses of young women from our profession, Mr. Ruby said.

In the end, the council voted by a large margin to keep the program, which pays benefits of up to $9,000 to women with small law offices who cannot afford to maintain their overhead.

In a compromise that salvaged the program, a means test will be incorporated by 2014 to restrict benefits to those whose legal practice nets less than $50,000 a year.

In another vote Thursday, the council responded to a critical shortage of articling positions by creating an alternative path to the profession. It calls for four months of extra classroom education as well as an unpaid  work placement.

During debate, some council members expressed misgivings about the competency of many students flocking to a legal career.

The law schools are now sending us flood upon flood of students,” said lawyer Bradley Wright. “Because no one fails any more, being accepted into first-year law school guarantees you a call to the bar. Just show up at the door and you will be accepted into our profession."

Marion Boyd, a former Ontario attorney-general, said the profession is risking its credibility by watering down its high standards.

I think the public would be concerned to hear how many of us have reservations about how the current system is preparing them [young lawyers], Ms. Boyd said.

Another council member, Mark Sandler, said the articling problem has added to a worsening problem.

Judges increasingly report that lawyers appear in front of them without having basic legal skills, Mr. Sandler said. These newly minted lawyers are unable to adequately argue a case, question witnesses or make calculated judgments on how to pursue a case, he said.

We have to acknowledge that the problem is profound, Mr. Sandler said. You cannot learn how to practise law from a book.

Toronto lawyer Christopher Bredt decried that fact that lawyers can practise in virtually any field of law regardless of whether they know the basics. Most professions don’t allow people to practise in areas where they are not competent to practise, he said.

Articling positions have been an indispensable prerequisite for those entering the profession. About 400 law students were unable to secure an articling position last year

Justice only works when it is applied equally to both men and women.

Men, especially poor or black men, do not receive equal treatment in Canadian courts.

Gender McCarthyism stalks all men.

Canadian judges routinely give women lighter sentences, almost always give them custody and tend to believe they are the innocent dupes of men.

Directory and Index for all of CanLaw

Law Society Cautions Against Use of Canadian Lawyers Index

Law Society Cautions Against. Use of Canadian Lawyers Index. As a lawyer, you may have recently received an invitation from CanLaw or the Canadian Lawyer ...



Asking a law society to help is like asking a snake not to bite you.

We are NOT lawyers. We caution all consumers to be very careful in dealing with any Law Society since they represent lawyers only. They do not represent you the client.  CanLaw provides legal information and resources. CanLaw never provides legal advice.