Webcast sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and hosted by the UBC Faculty of Law. When lawyers advise clients they help the law to accomplish both its function as a system of social settlement, and the respect for the governed reflected in its processes and structure – i.e. the rule of law. A lawyer can only do so, however, if his/her advice provides an objectively reasonable assessment of the law, while also facilitating the accomplishment of the client’s goals and objectives. The lawyer as advisor is neither an advocate for the client’s goals, nor an adjudicator of the legality of those goals. Rather, the lawyer’s advising role has an irreducible duality, requiring good faith respect for both the law and the client – not unlike the attitude taken by a friend when offering advice.Unfortunately, the law governing Canadian lawyers does not provide sufficient guidance to lawyers as to their obligations when advising clients.

About the speaker:
Alice Woolley is a Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Calgary. Prior to joining the Faculty in 2004 Professor Woolley practiced law in Calgary, working in the areas of utility regulation and civil litigation. As an academic, she specializes in legal ethics and professional regulation, with a particular interest in the intersection between professional regulation, moral philosophy and moral psychology. Professor Woolley is the author of Understanding Lawyers’ Ethics in Canada and co-editor and co-author of Lawyers’ Ethics and Professional Regulation (2d ed.). She has published articles on topics such as the good character requirement for law society admission, the independence of the bar, civility, legal ethics teaching and the normative conception of the lawyer’s role. Professor Woolley has her LLM from Yale Law School and her BA and LLB from the University of Toronto, where she graduated with the gold medal. In 1995-1996 she was a law clerk to then Chief Justice of Canada, the Rt. Hon. Antonio Lamer.

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