THE ADVOCATE 545
VOL. 80 PART 4 JULY 2022
By Derek LaCroix, Q.C.*
FOSTERING WELL-BEING BY RECLAIMING OUR PROFESSION
For many years, the legal profession has been moving from being a profession
to being a business.
Fifty years ago, at least in British Columbia, the relationship with the
client was paramount. The lawyer’s job was to help and serve as counsel.
Bills were rendered based on the relationship with the client, the service
provided, the complexity of the matter, the result of the case, the value to
the client and a variety of other things, one of which was the time taken by
If lawyers kept time logs, it was for tracking purposes and to help them
keep clear about what they were doing and what was—and was not—effective.
The concept of using time to measure our work, and to bill accordingly,
was foreign and arguably aberrant. That is not what a professional
We are so much more than our time. The value of our work and our effectiveness
as a helper and as trusted counsel are only tangentially, at best,
related to our time. Over the years, sometimes slowly, sometimes more
quickly, time as a measure of our work, and worth, has become more and
more important. Today, it is often the only measure.
Where is the sense of meaning in this? Where is the sense of accomplishment?
What pride of work is there in selling one’s time? Most of the lawyers
I see who are distressed or who want to leave the profession have lost any
sense of meaning or purpose in their work. They have lost any sense of the
value of their work, and they have lost their awareness of, or connection to,
their own values and purpose.
* Derek LaCroix, Q.C., is the executive director of the Lawyers Assistance Program of British Columbia. An earlier version
of this article was published online: <www.WorldTrademarkReview.com>.