The Law Society of Upper Canada and Ontario's Lawyers, 1797-1997
At the end of the eighteenth century, when ten lawyers gathered in what is now Niagara-on-the-Lake to form the Law Society of Upper Canada, they were creating something new in the world: a professional organization with statutory authority to control its membership and govern its own affairs. Today's Law Society of Upper Canada, with more than 25,000 members, still wields these powers. Marking the bicentennial of the society's foundation, Christopher Moore's history begins by exploring the unprecedented step taken in 1797 and follows the evolution of lawyers' work and the idea of professional autonomy through two hundred years of growth and change.
The Law Society of Upper Canada and Ontario's Lawyers is a broad-ranging story of the growth and development of the Law Society and the legal profession, from the days when horseback barristers travelled the backwoods by horseback, through the reforms of the late nineteenth century to the period of reaction between the two world wars and the long struggle of women and minorities for access to and equity in the legal profession. Writing in a style that is scholarly as well as entertaining, Moore traces to the present a story rich in personalities, and shows how, after a period of tremendous growth and change, questions of governance, legal aid, and practice insurance triggered a series of crises that rocked the society to its foundations.
This is the first study to be based on full access to the society's two hundred years of historical records. Moore, who has organized his research into themes and periods to illuminate the story, also includes new material on the lives and careers of Ontario lawyers and on the place of the Law Society in professional and public life. Readable and extensively illustrated, The Law Society of Upper Canada and Ontario's Lawyers shows that such issues as professional autonomy and the internal organization, at the forefront of debate at the society's inception, continue to dominiate discussions today.
- Series: Heritage
- World Rights
- Page Count: 396 pages
- Dimensions: 7.1in x 0.9in x 10.1in
Reviews'I began to read this book out of a sense that the Secretary of the Law Society of B.C. probably had a duty to do so. In fact, the book turned out to be a thoroughly absorbing read that contained valuable information, engaging anecdotes and an important perspective on the role of a significant part of the legal profession in Canada.'
Honourable Mr. Justice Bryan F. Ralph
'This is a heavy volume – literally and figuratively – that is nonetheless leavened by tangy stories of legal history, charmingly eccentric characters and the experiences of women and minorities seeking to take a place in the esteemed profession.'
The Victoria Times-Colonist
'The Law Society of Upper Canada and Ontario's Lawyers 1797-1997 has four appendices, a couple so intriguing that I read them first! It is also richly illustrated and footnoted throughout, in a way that enhances the work without distracting the reader. The print is easy to read, and the text is printed on acid-free paper and bound so that the text block lies obligingly open at the page you want. It is a work that should be in every academic law library with a Canadian collection. It is also of interest for a more general readership.'
Canadian Law Libraries
Christopher Moore is the author of several notable books in Canadian legal history. A two-time winner of the Governor General’s Literary Awards, he writes regularly for both Canada’s History and Law Times.
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