With the media facing difficult times, the fact that a publication like Law Times continues to thrive after 25 years is something to celebrate. So in this week''s issue, you’ll find what’s hopefully an eye-opening and engaging look back at 25 years of this paper.
It’s been fascinating to read the past issues. What’s clear is it was always a great paper. With a mix of news stories about the profession you likely wouldn’t find elsewhere and extensive coverage of the cases lawyers need to know about, Law Times has long been a great read. After all, as you’ll see on these pages, we were the publication that told you about former attorney general Howard Hampton’s battles with then-deputy attorney general Mary Hogan. And, of course, we always covered the big appeal cases, the latest from the various Ontario courts, and the laws and rules affecting the profession. The aim is to cover the stories lawyers are talking about as well as the ones you need to know about for your practice. Hopefully, the information assists you in your work.
Taking a look back is both comforting and sometimes sobering. As you’ll see, many things haven’t changed, such as the fact the profession continues to worry about the retention of women lawyers in private practice. But while many of those things need to change, it’s somewhat comforting to know we’re in many ways still the same despite all of the advancements in technology we think have fundamentally altered our society.
As for Law Times itself, many things have changed. The paper was often much thicker, which makes me wonder how the editors managed to get it out each week with manual production systems and things like hard-copy photos. At the same time, some aspects of the work have gotten more difficult. People like Hogan regularly gave interviews with the paper and it was actually possible to talk to some of the people who ran the justice system rather than relying on government spokespeople whose role hardly seems to be to promote openness and transparency. That’s not their fault as it’s obvious the head bureaucrats and politicians have made that decision, but it’s too bad. Governments should recognize constituents have a right to know about what they do and that the information they hold isn’t theirs (subject, of course, to legitimate privacy and other considerations). Regardless of those challenges, it’s still our job to find a way to get the stories you want and need to know about.
What has remained consistent is the profession’s willingness to engage with Law Times. Lawyers have long made themselves available to talk to us, a fact that still amazes me given how busy they are. It helps us bring the news to you, and we thank you for that and for continuing to read Law Times in our various formats. How we deliver the news to you may change — whether it’s in real time on our blog with analysis later in print on or via our various digital channels — but we’ll keep bringing you the stories you want and need to know about.
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy our 25th anniversary feature in this week's paper. For the first time ever, we're opening up the pages of Law Times to the entire Canadian legal community. The feature includes includes an 11-page section with a retrospective including notable cases, benchmark decisions, significant legislation, major stories and scandals, and a look at how the practice of law has evolved.