Risk Regulation for the Legal Profession

  • Adam Dodek Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa
  • Emily Alderson Legal Counsel, Department of Justice Canada


This article explores the current state of Canadian legal services regulation and changes that are impacting it. The authors argue that the only legitimate purpose for legal services regulation is the protection of the public interest, and this goal is best achieved through risk regulation. The article discusses four roles risk plays in regulation: as an object of, and justification for, regulation, as an organizing principle, and as a measure of accountability. It includes practical examples and comparisons to other jurisdictions and professions. Finally, the authors recognize that substantial changes will be required to shift to a risk regulation regime for legal services, but that such a change is necessary.