the Canadian Bar Association published a report as part of its ongoing “Legal Futures Initiative” outlining a tempest of social, economic and technological forces shaking up the profession, from do-it-yourself clients to software that performs tasks previously done by lawyers poring over books. South of the border, where many a hotshot Canadian law graduate once found work, law schools are laying off faculty and slashing enrolment—in some cases, by more than half—as young American lawyers struggle to find jobs. Earlier this year, the annual fee and compensation surveys published by Canadian Lawyer magazine confirmed the growing fear that the profession has never truly recovered from the economic downturn of 2008. For the third straight year, median income of a first-year associate actually declined, hitting $66,000, or 13 per cent below the level in 2010. Signs were equally worrisome at the cigar-and-Courvoisier end of the field. Fewer than four in 10 partners surveyed were pulling down more than $250,000 per year, compared to nearly six in 10 in recession-ravaged 2009, while the super-well-off—those pulling down $450,000 or more—were also shrinking in number. They constituted just 12 per cent of partners in 2012, compared to 22.3 per cent in 2009. These numbers are unlikely to elicit much public sympathy:
Former deputy judge guilty of theft. The Law Society of Upper Canada suspended Houlahan’s licence to practise law following a hearing last Friday, but the suspension isn’t scheduled to take effect until Jan. 27. The law society had been seeking to suspend the licence after learning that Houlahan was criminally charged more than two years ago but never reported it to the law society.