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The Project

In March of 2012, Captain (ret’d) E. Patrick Shea, C.S., a partner in Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP and a former Reserve Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces, wrote to Thomas G. Conway, the Treasurer of the Law Society of Upper Canada, to propose that honorary calls be provided to the Law Society of Upper Canada students killed in the First World War. Shea’s proposal was accepted by the Law Society and he began to research the 59 students listed on the Law Society’s WWI Memorial to prepare biographies and locate living descendants.

In conducting research to prepare biographies, Shea discovered that a 60th Law Society of Upper Canada student who had enlisted in WWI and died while on active service, Lieutenant Robert William McBrady, was not listed on the Memorial. McBrady was killed in a domestic incident while in Canada after enlisting, but before going overseas. McBrady’s biography is included in this Book.

Had they lived, each of the students would almost surely have been called. In 1914, individuals wishing to be qualified to practise law in Ontario were required to: (a) be admitted into the Law Society of Upper Canada as a student; (b) clerk (article) for either three or five years depending on the persons education; (c) attend lectures at the Law School at Osgoode Hall for three years; (d) pass prescribed examinations; and (e) pay prescribed fees. After the War, the Ontario Legislature passed the Law Society Amending Act, 1919, which permitted the Law Society of Upper Canada to provide calls to any student member who served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, the Imperial Expeditionary Force or the Navy and who was honourably discharged.

Publication Date



Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP


Toronto, ON


History | Law

The Great War Law Student Memorial Project