Above: Lawyer Max Putnam poses in the offices of Putnam & Lawson in Morinville. – Stephen Dafoe Photo
Below: Judge Vaughn Myers, Max Putnam, Gord Putnam pose for a photo after the bar ceremony. – Lucie Roy Photo
by Stephen Dafoe
with files from Lucie Roy
A third lawyer has been called to the Bar of Alberta in Morinville.
Maxwell Putnam was called to the bar at the Morinville Provincial Courthouse July 20 in a ceremony that marked the start of his law career. Putnam, the nephew of Morinville lawyer Gord Putnam, has spent two summers articling at Putnam & Lawson.
Judge Vaughn Myers, who conducted the ceremony for Putnam & Lawson lawyers Jessy Inkpen in 2013 and Samantha Olson in 2015, also conducted Putnam’s ceremony. Family members and friends were also at the courthouse to witness the ceremony and congratulate the new lawyer.
The calling to the bar included Judge Meyers accepting the application to the Alberta Law Society submitted by lawyer Gord Putnam on Max’s behalf. After the acceptance, the younger Putnam took an oath, signed the necessary papers, and received his robe in the courthouse.
Uncle and mentor Gord Putnam spoke with emotion on his nephew’s big day.
“Getting called can be highly emotional both for the young lawyers who have worked so long and hard to get there and for their families, who have witnessed the strain, sweat and toil that proceeded to this great moment,” Putnam said, noting he had just completed 25 years as a lawyer.
Before the July 20 ceremony, the 26-year-old lawyer told Morinville News that he was born in Winnipeg but spent much of his life in Hong Kong, where he lived for seven years before his family moved to British Columbia. After a five-year stint in B.C., the family returned to Hong Kong when Putnam was in Grade 7.
Putnam returned to Canada for his undergraduate degree at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He graduated in 2013, was accepted to law school at the UofC and graduated last year.
With a Batchelor of Arts in history, Putnam jokes it was either a choice between applying at McDonald’s or apply to law school as his motivation for pursuing a career in law. The real answer is Putnam finds the law to be an engaging profession.
“You can do a lot of different things with a law degree – it’s not a fixed path,” he says. “I find it interesting always to be meeting with people and always to be involved with your community in a very engaging manner.”
Putnam said he would be focusing on real estate, corporate law, and some wills and estates work at Putnam & Lawson, working with and under his uncle Gord.
The new lawyer said his experience in Hong Kong gives him an international perspective to bring to the table in Morinville and area.
Putnam said he was pleased to follow his firm’s tradition of having new lawyers called to the bar at the Morinville Courthouse.
The Alberta Bar is one of the few that still admits its members one at a time in a personalized ceremony.