Call to the Bar: 378 new lawyers welcomed

Posted: 06/20/2014

Douglas Friedland hoodedIn the second of three Toronto ceremonies, Law Society Treasurer Thomas Conway welcomed nearly 380 new lawyers today at Roy Thomson Hall.

Calling it the “most pleasant task” he has as Treasurer, Conway joked about how candidates called to the Bar would suddenly find themselves changed.

“After all of you have crossed the state, I will formally call you to the Bar, and in the blink of an eye, you will feel yourself transformed from ‘mere mortal’ to lawyer. Don’t worry. It’s really quite painless.”

Later, more seriously, he congratulated them on their choice of profession.

“There is a direct line between your daily work as a lawyer,” Conway said, “and the preservation and promotion of a democratic, free, civil and prosperous society.”

During the ceremony, Professor Martin Friedland received an honorary LLD. In a speech thanking the Law Society for the honour, he offered new lawyers some perspective on the value of hard work.

“I’m not sure that I have any universal advice to give you,” Friedland said. “I can tell you that I do not have any special talents that you do not possess. Every project that I worked on required great determination to complete and long hours of work, and the later projects were no easier to complete than the earlier ones.”

Friedland reminisced about his career and ended his speech on a gracious note.

“Let me end by again thanking the Law Society for bestowing this honour on me and again congratulating those called to the bar. I wish you well in traveling on the unpredictable path ahead of you.”

Lawyers were invited to share comments and photos on social media using the hashtag #called2014. A selection of the best of those posts was published online.