Signing the Law Society Roll Book

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DiefenbakerRollsm
John Diefenbaker’s signature in the Law Society Roll Book, signed June 30, 1919
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Roll Book Spine with Embossed Title

It is that time of the year again! The students who have completed the Bar Admissions Program will be eligible for admission as lawyers. Those admitted will be required to sign the roll at the Law Society. The Law Society of the North-West Territories started in 1898 with 186 members on the roll. The Law Society of Saskatchewan continued to use this roll until 1911 when a new parchment roll book was procured. The first name entered in the parchment roll is Amédée Emmanuel Forget, the last Lieutenant Governor of the North-West Territories and the first Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Saskatchewan. The benchers hoped that every barrister and solicitor in the province would come to sign the roll. It remained open for one year after which the secretary was instructed to “cause the names of any members who have not signed to be engrossed on the roll in distinctive characters not liable to be mistaken for autograph signatures.” As a result, some early names appear in pencil in the roll. In December 1912, the benchers passed a resolution to create a rule making it a requirement of admission to actually sign the roll.

Signing Roll – Rule amended

Moved by Mr. Acheson seconded by Mr. Black that no one be admitted as barrister and solicitor until he actually signs the roll; and that the declaration of nonpractise required by the Rules be taken at the time of signing the roll and that the rules be amended accordingly. Carried Unanimously.

Law Society Benchers Meeting Minutes, December 1912
Law Society Benchers Meeting Minutes, December 1912

The same 1911 roll is still in use today. It has space for 13,000 signatures. Students can sign the roll in ballpoint pen or a dip pen and ink.

2 thoughts on “Signing the Law Society Roll Book

    Jamie said:
    May 17, 2017 at 11:58 am

    How many signatures are on the roll now? I always find the number to be interesting, and it has grown substantially since I signed it not so many years ago.

    Like

      lsslib responded:
      May 17, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      We are in the 5360s now. But the roll book is not even close to half full yet!

      Like

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