Dalhousie Law Journal


Nova Scotia, Canada, legal profession, legal history, legal education, Court of Chancery, Daniel Wood


D.G. Bell has observed that the torrent "of historical writing on Canadian legal education has yet to be matched by intensive study of the legal profession itself." The aim of the present paper is to demonstrate that, for eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Nova Scotia, the development of the legal profession was so closely linked to the evolution of the superior courts, especially the Court of Chancery, that the former cannot be studied in isolation from the latter. By the time Halifax was founded in 1749, the attorney at law and solicitor in equity had not only been statutorily entrenched as the "ministerial" part of the English legal profession, but had also been successfully translated to the colonial legal profession. The union of the two offices in one functionary or general practitioner, moreover, was no less characteristic of the colonial bar than it was of contemporary English "gentlemen of the law."

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