Dalhousie Law Journal


Canada, law firms, legal profession, legal history, lawyer, commercial law, law


This collection of essays edited by Carol Wilton' chronicles the changing character of Canadian law firms from the "golden age" of the sole practitioner in the nineteenth century to the mega-firms of the late twentieth. Most of the essays describe the changing profession through a case study of a single lawyer or firm, and Wilton has collected a representative sample of firms from across the country. Some of the firms remained small or disappeared, while others grew into full-service corporate commercial law firms of several hundred lawyers. Most of the essays focus on the personalities of the lawyers involved, their family connections and their links to the business world. Some place the lawyers in the background, focusing instead on the firm. However, in varying degrees all the authors describe the profession in the context of social and, particularly, economic change.