Honoured by the members of the Nipissing Law Association.
Members of the Nipissing Law Association support their community as employers, counsellors and energetic contributors to the life of our vibrant city and surrounding District.
Beginning in its pioneer period, legal practitioners have championed local causes and shared a desire to work with others to realize community betterment.
A G Browning and J M McNamara were pioneers who opened separate law practices in 1889. Both men got involved in community life from their arrival. Browning was chosen town solicitor by the first council and served for 20 years in that capacity. Appointed Crown Attorney for Nipissing in 1895, he was a founding and executive member of the Library. He served many terms as secretary and member of elementary and high school boards and was a key player in the nail biting 1895 district town election that put North Bay on a path to progress. McNamara served two years as mayor in 1899 and 1900. He was solicitor for Widdifield Township, the T&NO Railway, devoted to his church and prominent in local affairs and politics.
As the town grew, new lawyers established their practice in town. In a cooperative spirit, they put their professional training and skills at the service of their community.
Throughout North Bay and District’s history, legal practitioners accepted the challenge to serve the public interest in various capacities. For example, some occupied the office of mayor, many served as members of council, chairs and members of school boards, hospital boards, service clubs, fraternal organizations, religious congregations, chamber of commerce as well as offering themselves as candidates and elected members of provincial and federal legislatures. There is no area of local life without benefit from the active participation, support, and counsel of the Nipissing Law Association. As individual members, they have been key participants in fundraising for charity and ensured pro bono representation for accused persons long before legal aid.
Many very able and prominent lawyers have practiced in North Bay. Numerous local lawyers have become Judges of both the Superior Court and the Ontario Court of Justice. They have served this and other communities in that role. There are presently some 70 lawyers here serving public and private interests.
Members of the Nipissing Law Association are committed to public and volunteer service and accept their sense of duty to advance community values and encourage good citizenship. North Bay’s evolution is largely attributed to the contribution of scores of dedicated residents from labour, business and professions. From Browning and McNamara to present day, Nipissing Law Association is proud to be a part of its daily life and splendid history.