chapter  8
41 Pages

The Legal Profession

BySteven Vago, Adie Nelson, Veronica Nelson, Steven E. Barkan

This chapter analyzes the character of the legal profession and the social forces shaping it. It begins with a historical background of law, with an emphasis on the professionalization of lawyers and the evolution of the legal profession in Canada. The development of the legal profession has been intimately connected with the rise and development of legal systems. The occupation of lawyers arose together with a sophisticated legal system, and the complexity of that system made the Roman lawyer indispensable. The Canadian legal profession reflects the influence of the "charter groups"—the English and French. A hybrid legal system developed, with certain concessions made to traditional French practices. In 1994, the Canadian Bar Association adopted a recommendation to conduct a full inquiry into racial equality in the legal profession. The chapter concludes with some comments on bar admission, bar associations as interest groups, and professional discipline.