Personal Reflection. Advocacy at the crossroads

AuthorLinda R. Rothstein
Acacy a he crsra
Perhaps every generation of Canadian advocates has won-
dered whether and how great advocacy will survive the ascendancy
of a new generation of advocates. Or maybe it’s the oft-described
collective narcissism of my generation, the baby boomers, that makes
us convinced we are always at some sort of crossroads. But I think that
whether you choose advocacy in the courtroom or in the boardroom, the
challenges will be daunting. And I worry that those of us who practise
civil litigation have already lost our way– that we must respond to the
dramatic ways in which law and advocacy have changed in the last 20
years if advocacy is to continue to be the fuel of a fair and robust justice
My generation of advocates has moved through a period of unparalleled
and rapid social and technological change. Our laws, our legal culture
and society’s basic notions of fairness and equity are dramatically dier-
ent from what they were when I was in law school almost 30 years ago.
Consider the sweeping changes in the law. I know you still read
contracts and torts cases that are decades, maybe even centuries, old:
Hadley v. Baxendale, Donohue v. Stephenson, to name just two. You may
not yet appreciate how much our laws have changed since you were

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