Gail J. Cohen

Gail J. Cohen

One of  Canada’s most experienced and respected legal journalists, Gail J. Cohen is the editor in chief of Canadian Lawyer and Law Times, responsible for the editorial direction of all the publications in the group, which also includes Candian Lawyer InHouse, Canadian Lawyer 4Students, and the daily Legal Feeds blog. Gail has been covering the legal profession in Canada as a reporter and editor since 1997, putting her in a prime position to access and engage thought leaders in the regulatory, legal, and business realms. Canadian Lawyer and its editorial team have been the recipients of many journalism awards and their publications are highly respected throughout the legal profession in Canada and abroad.

Monday, 02 February 2015 08:00

The great debate of 2015

The great debate of 2014 was the future of articling. That issue has by no means been resolved; the Law Society of Upper Canada’s experimental alternative to articling has yet to prove itself worthy. As the first group goes through the Law Practice Program, there are definitely differing points of view on its value. But only time will tell how well prepared those LPP students will be to practise but also how those students will be accepted and valued in the profession compared to colleagues who went through traditional articles. Stay tuned on that.
Monday, 05 January 2015 08:00

In with the new

As you may have already noticed when you picked up this issue of Canadian Lawyer, we’ve refreshed our look. It had been quite a few years since we updated the design of the magazine, so have given ourselves a makeover for the new year.
Monday, 17 November 2014 00:08

Upping your game

The annual Canadian Lawyer Corporate Counsel Survey in this issue has a strong focus on alternative fee arrangements. AFAs are what everyone — law firm management, in-house counsel, law associations, legal consultants, and anyone else who cares about the business of law — is talking about. The thing is, while everyone is talking about them, few can actually pinpoint what an AFA is. Is a discount an AFA? Some say yes, and some say no. Is a flat fee an AFA? Same thing. “What some people put in the category of AFA doesn’t actually create incentives for efficiency. That’s when I question whether they are truly changing the landscape and should they be called AFAs?” says Peter Gutelius, assistant general counsel at RBC, in the “Seeking alternative arrangments” story about the survey.
Friday, 03 October 2014 11:09


The Canadian Lawyer team would like to apologize for the image on our September 2014 cover. The image was intended to reinforce the subject of the cover article — the lack of transparency in the judicial appointments process and the resulting limited diversity on the bench — but as we have heard from a number of readers, it conveyed a very different message and undermined this important discussion.
As such, we have elected to remove the image from our September issue for as long as it lives online.
The editorial team at Canadian Lawyer is committed to a continued dialogue on diversity and all issues relevant to advancing the Canadian legal profession. This has always been at the core of our mission, and we remain committed to this now and into the future.
We thank our readers who cared enough to share their opinions on this important issue, and we sincerely hope that they remain faithful to our magazine.
Yours truly,
Gail J. Cohen
Editor in Chief
Monday, 29 September 2014 10:23

All aboard

A generous amount of this month’s issue of Canadian Lawyer is dedicated to technology and the law. Technology in its various forms and permutations have and continue to transform legal practice and while this issue began with a plan for a special report on e-discovery, it organically morphed into a much wider discussion — one or all of which are going on throughout the profession.
Canadian Lawyer is very concerned about the reaction from some members of the bar to the cover of our September issue. We regret the image has been interpreted in a way that was never our intention.

The intent of the cover was to illustrate a woman waiting and having to bide her time trying to figure out the password or key to get through a locked door, consistent with the theme of the article. The figure behind the door with a speakeasy-type slider is in the shadows, representing the gatekeeper of the establishment/old order looking askew at this person trying to break the code and get into the private club (ie: the bench).

Canadian Lawyer is well known for our promotion and support of diversity issues in the profession and in no way was the image on the cover meant to harken back to old stereotypes or implied threats of danger. The door represents the barrier to a private club and not a prison cell showing “an apparently incarcerated black man glaring at a white woman,” as some readers have suggested.

That said, Canadian Lawyer sincerely regrets that the image was seen as reinforcing negative stereotypes. We do appreciate the input of our readers and value all opinions. Going forward, the editorial team will take all possible steps to be more sensitive and aware of how images may be interpreted.

Yours truly,
Gail J. Cohen
Editor in Chief
Monday, 01 September 2014 08:00

Profits don’t preclude professionalism

The Canadian Bar Association released its report on the future of the legal profession last month. It is absolutely worth the time to read the whole thing (which is at The report’s full title: “Futures: Transforming the delivery of legal services in Canada” gives you a pretty broad hint that it’s a wide-reaching document examining many areas of practice and regulation. It touts innovation, flexibility, and choice as the necessary ingredients for the future health and growth of the profession. The report is one of the most potent recipes for a New Legal Universe that has come from any legal association or governing body in this country, or even in North America.
Monday, 25 August 2014 08:00

The dawn of a new licensing age

Ontario’s new law practice program has taken flight providing budding lawyers with the opportunity to get their licence to practise law outside the traditional articling structure. Ryerson University and the University of Ottawa will be running the concurrent three-year pilot programs in English and French. There has been much fanfare, discussion, and gnashing of teeth about the LPP but the rubber is finally hitting the road on this seismic shift in legal licensing.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin told the Canadian Bar Association's council that  2013 has been a “busy and productive year” for top court and that she feels “proud” of the court’s achievements.

The court heard 75 cases and rendered 78 judgements last year, she said. In 60 per cent of cases, the court was unanimous in its decisions. McLachlin cited William vs. British Columbia, R. v. Bedford, and the reference on senate reform as few of the weightier matters the court dealt with.

Here are her full remarks from Aug. 14.
Monday, 04 August 2014 08:00

The Top 25 Most Influential

Canadian Lawyer announces the 2014 Top 25 Most Influential figures in the Canadian justice system and legal profession. The list, now in its sixth year, honours select Canadians in one of five categories: Changemakers, Government/Non-Profit/Associations, Criminal Law/Human Rights, Corporate/Commercial, and The World Stage.
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