A Leading Canadian Scholar: Professor Carol Rogerson Receives 2019 Law Society Medal

Posted: 05/17/2019

Professor Carol RogersonCalled to the Bar in 1991, Carol Rogerson is recognized as a leading Canadian scholar in the area of support law.

She has played a pivotal role in shaping family law and policy in Canada and has made significant contributions through teaching. Carol is a Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, where she has taught since 1983. She was Associate Dean of the faculty from 1991 to 1993. Carol teaches and writes in the areas of family law and constitutional law. Her work in developing the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines has had a profound impact on the operation of the family justice system across Canada.

She is a dedicated Professor with a passionate commitment to her subject matter and students, and is a frequently sought presenter at continuing legal and judicial education programs and academic conferences.

Carol is one of this year’s recipients of the Law Society Medal which is awarded to Ontario lawyers who have made a significant contribution to the profession.

What does this award mean to you?

On a personal level, I feel incredibly honoured. But to me the award also signifies a recognition of the importance of family law as a part of the legal system that touches the lives of so many people and of efforts to improve the fairness and effectiveness of the family justice system.

What drives you (or has driven you) in your legal career?

For me, the attraction of law as an academic discipline has always been its combination of intellectually challenging issues with concrete, real life consequences attached to the answers to those questions. As a legal academic my research has always had a strong policy focus, directed at improving the operation of the legal system and assisting lawyers and judges in their daily work.

What piece of advice do you have for new legal professionals beginning their career?

I offer a slightly modified quote from Abraham Lincoln that I keep on my desk that clearly applies to family lawyers, but which also has more a more general message about how to be a good lawyer and also a good person: “Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser—in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good [person]. There will still be business enough.”

The Law Society Medal is given for outstanding service within the profession, whether in the area of practice, in the academic sphere, or in some other professional capacity where the service is in accordance with the highest ideals of the legal profession. It may be awarded for devotion to professional duties over a long term or for a single outstanding act of service.

This year, 12 outstanding members of the legal professions will be honoured with Law Society awards on May 22nd.