Lawyers occupy a unique place in society. They are loved by some, distrusted or hated by others. More often than not, our perception of lawyers is shaped by the way the profession is portrayed in popular literature, on television, and in film. Many people think that lawyers only serve to help the wealthy, while others view them either as protectors of the innocent or as amoral defenders of the guilty. But do we really know the many roles that lawyers may play, the aims and goals of the profession, and whether lawyers meet those goals?
Why Good Lawyers Matter endeavours to provide an accessible look at lawyers in modern society. With contributions by leading commentators, this informative, thought-provoking collection contends with the questions of what is a lawyer, and what role lawyers do—and should—play in society.
Foreword: The Lawyer: A Material Witness
George Elliott Clarke
The Honourable Thomas A. Cromwell
Part I: What is a Lawyer?
“Better . . . or Worse?” The Satisfactions and Frustrations of the Lawyer‑Client Relationship
Was Lincoln Right?
Lawyer or Liar? Breaking Down Public Perception
Stephen G.A. Pitel
Lawyers, Guns, and Money: Lawyers and Power in Canadian Society
Adam M. Dodek
Part II: What Role do Lawyers Play?
Why We Love to Hate Lawyers
The Better Part of Average
Why Do We Regulate Lawyers?
Lawyers, Snails, and Bottles: The Creeping Pace of Change in the Law
Part III: What Role Should Lawyers Play?
More and More Lawyers; Less and Less Justice
The Great Canadian Lawyer: A Manifesto, Eh
Jocelyn Downie & Richard Devlin
Trevor C.W. Farrow
Guiding Lawyers To Be the Best They Can Be: The Fundamental Ideals of the Legal Profession
Stephen T. Goudge
“Ultimately, the basic ideal of the law
must be that every person or cause merits an advocate who must advance
well-informed, well-crafted, truthful, and persuasive arguments in aid
of the client. That’s why good lawyers matter.”
George Elliott Clarke, OC, ONS, PhD, LLD (Hon) E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature, University of Toronto (from the Foreword)
“From the beautifully written foreword by George Elliot Clarke, a Canadian poet and playwright, to the final essay addressing “the fundamental ideals of the legal profession” authored by leading Canadian jurist, Justice Stephen T. Goudge, it is clear that this is no ordinary book on legal ethics. One of the major strengths of Why Good Lawyers Matter lies in its success in bringing together a wide range of perspectives on the legal profession. The book features an impressive list of Canadian legal ethics scholars as well as a number of practicing lawyers, judges, and a journalist.”
Amy Salyzyn, Jotwell