Cowboy Jurists and the Making of Legal Professionalism

  • W. Wesley Pue Professor, Faculty of Law, University of British Columbia


This article discusses the novelty of the concept of lawyers’ professionalism in the twentieth century. The author discusses the evolution of the structure of legal professionalism in the early twentieth century, outlining the social context in which these changes occurred. Significant reforms were implemented, affecting such matters as the qualifications of lawyers, education and admission to the profession, professional ethics, and the regulatory powers of the professional organizations. The author concludes that twentieth-century professionalism in Canada emerged as a cultural project, undoubtedly influenced by political and social change, as opposed to pure market-based motivations.