Dalhousie Law Journal


contract, justice, ethical responsibility, legal profession, cuts, legal aid, pro bono


In the last several years, there has been a growing awareness within the legal profession that access to justice, that is, to legal advice and representation, is becoming increasingly difficult. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the cuts to legal aid programmes. The author argues that the response of the legal profession is inadequate because it remains trapped in a welfarist paradigm of legal aid that is insensitive to the impact of the new economy and the newly emergent social investment state. The author explores the possibility of an alternative response - the adoption of a mandatory pro bono system - and suggests that both ethically and politically, given the realities of the social investment state, it is the most justifiable strategy