No one would say it was a dull year.
While 2016 might have brought external developments that few could have anticipated, the most interesting facets of the legal profession in 2017 were the discussions that took place internally.
A widening set of voices spoke out about lawyers’ interests, with often split or contrasting views.
In fact, many of the issues that some would say were latent for years finally came to the fore.
Some notable stories this year touched on diversity within the profession (or lack thereof), with extensive debate at the Law Society of Upper Canada around the statement of principles, as well how to remove barriers faced by racialized lawyers who practise in Ontario. Some other stories touched on the duty lawyers have to the public, and their relationship to professional organizations such as the Canadian Bar Association, highlighted by debate over proposed changes to private incorporation tax rules.
And some debates were fast-moving — with the controversy over the change in a name to the Law Society of Upper Canada coming to conclusion, within months. (Spoiler alert for those who weren’t paying attention — it’s biting the dust, and now will be known as the Law Society of Ontario).
Law Times has covered these issues, and more, this past year, including an in-depth look into how the LSUC discipline process works. We also launched a newly designed website at lawtimesnews.com. In the year ahead, I expect more discussions (and debates) about how legal education is delivered, how licensing could be re-structured, and about how the profession can serve a special role when more and more non-lawyers are entering the legal space.
We’re grateful for your readership, and we’ll be there to cover these and more issues.
Have a wonderful holiday. And in the meantime — rest, listen, and come into 2018, ready to share your views.