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59 Alta. L. Rev. 1 (2021-2022)

handle is hein.journals/alblr59 and id is 1 raw text is: IN MEMORIAM: THE HONOURABLE W.A. STEVENSON

IN MEMORIAM:
THE HONOURABLE
WILLIAM ALEXANDER STEVENSON, O.C., LL.D.
(1934-2021)
PERSONAL REFLECTIONS FROM THE HONOURABLE JEAN COTE
Justice Stevenson was a great Canadian teacher, lawyer, and judge. He cannotbe summed
up succinctly, for three reasons. First, he was good in many ways, some of them ways under-
appreciated in recent years. Some of the ways were well blended with others. Second, he
excelled in some of them in slightly unconventional ways. Third, he was modest, private, and
always more interested in other people and their growth than in himself. He certainly was not
motivated by earning money or by a desire for fame or popularity. Yet he was very likely the
most popular, best-loved Edmonton lawyer or judge since the late Lawrence Cairns.
William Stevenson was clearly one of the ablest graduates of the University of Alberta's
Faculty of Law. Complex litigation was no problem at all for him; he could see all the
connections and keep them all in his head.
He was the true founder of the Alberta Law Review and got out its first issue. Doing so,
he faced two obstacles. The first was that though student law reviews were fairly common
in the United States, there were none in Canada or England. The second was that the first
such student law review in Canada ultimately failed. It was the old Alberta Law Quarterly,
which World War II had starved of students. That left behind some paid subscribers who had
not received all the issues which they had paid for. Like all adults who lived through the
Depression, the Faculty were nervous of any plan for a new business. So a compromise was
reached. The Law Society would give a grant and each lawyer in Alberta would get a free
copy of the new Review. Apart from that, no money would change hands. Benefitting the
University's Law Library, the Alberta Law Review would merely trade subscriptions with
other law reviews in the English-speaking legal world. The success of the Alberta Law
Review so early is a testament to the strong foundation laid by William Stevenson,
encouraged by Dean Bowker.

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