The Lawyer as Advisor and the Practice of the Rule of Law

(2014) 47 UBC Law Review, Forthcoming

29 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2014

See all articles by Alice Woolley

Alice Woolley

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: June 14, 2014


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 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. Unfortunately, the law governing Canadian lawyers does not provide sufficient guidance to lawyers as to their obligations when advising clients. There are various ways in which that law could be reformed, each of which has strengths and weaknesses.

Keywords: Legal Ethics, Rule of Law, Government

Suggested Citation

Woolley, Alice, The Lawyer as Advisor and the Practice of the Rule of Law (June 14, 2014). (2014) 47 UBC Law Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Alice Woolley (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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