As far as political firestorms go, Justice Minister Peter MacKay’s June was slightly hotter than most. It began innocently enough on June 13 with the announcement the federal government had appointed 12 new judges to the bench. It was undoubtedly expected to be a routine announcement to fill various vacancies across the country; in law firms and wine bars across the country there would be small gatherings of law firm partners to toast the elevation of their colleagues to the bench. Then something unusual happened. It was pointed out not a single one of the new judicial appointments was a woman. The only woman mentioned in the announcement was already a judge being promoted to a higher court.
|Illustration: Huan Tran|
|Illustration: Mick Coulas|
|Illustration: Oleg Portnoy|
Canadian Lawyer’s Top 25 Most Influential in the justice system and legal profession is now in its fifth year. The Top 25 is always one of the magazine’s most-read, and most commented-on features. Of course our choices likely won’t meet with universal approval but a little healthy debate among readers is always welcome. Again this year, we used the tried-and-true formula of asking for nominations from legal groups and associations representing a variety of memberships and locations; last year’s Top 25 honourees; our readership; and an internal panel of writers and editors.
Associate salaries are back on the upswing, but new lawyers may have to do more for their money in the future, judging by the results of Canadian Lawyer’s 2014 Compensation Survey. After two straight years of decline, first-year associates saw a significant 21-per-cent bump in salary, with the median hitting $80,000 in this year’s survey, up from $66,000 in 2013. That’s the highest level since we started compiling the survey in this format in 2010.
|Illustration: Kim Rosen|
|Illustration: Pierre-Paul Pariseau|