On December 2, 2016, Convocation adopted strategies for the Law Society recommended by the Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees Working Group Report to address issues of systemic racism in the legal professions. The strategies, based on extensive research and province-wide consultations, recognize that racialized lawyers and paralegals face longstanding and significant challenges at all stages of their legal careers.
The five areas of strategic focus are:
1. Accelerating a culture shift
2. Measuring progress
3. Educating for change
4. Implementing supports
5. Leading by example.
What does this mean for licensees of the Law Society?
These strategies include regulatory obligations that lawyers and paralegals are to fulfil in 2017 and beyond, and on which they will be required to report annually.
It is vital that all licensees are aware of their obligations, as implementation of the strategies proceeds.
Lawyers and paralegals are encouraged to review the Final Report of the Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees Working Group and its recommendations for more information.
Resources are being developed to assist lawyers and paralegals. These and additional information will available in the coming months.
Final report: Working Together for Change:
Strategies to Address Issues of Systemic Racism in the Legal Professions –
Working Group and its Research
of its ongoing efforts to promote equity, diversity and inclusiveness in
Ontario's legal profession, The Law Society of Upper Canada created
the Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees Working Group in 2012 to
identify the challenges faced by racialized lawyers and paralegals and consider
strategies for enhanced inclusion at all career stages.
gathering extensive information about the challenges faced by racialized
licensees and best practices to address these challenges, the Working Group
prepared the consultation paper, Developing Strategies for Change:
Addressing Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees. The paper was presented to
Convocation on October 30, 2014, and included a series of questions for the
professions and public to consider and provide feedback on. Consultation
meetings were held in key cities during the winter of 2015. The Working Group
also received a number of written submissions. (see below)
In September 2016, the Working Group, presented a report with 13 proposed recommendations and invited submissions from the public and the professions. The Working Group received positive comments with many individuals and organizations commending the Law Society on addressing this issue.
Twenty-three submissions were received from individuals and 23 from organizations. The Working Group determined that only submissions from organizations are to be public. Many of the individual submissions speak to personal experiences and the Working Group believes that should those individuals wish to make their views public, they should have the option to do so on their own. The Working Group’s final report and 13 recommendations were approved at Dec. 2, 2016 Convocation.
Document: Working Together for Change:
Strategies to Address Issues of Systemic Racism in the Legal Professions - September 2016
2014 Statistical Snapshot of Lawyers
2014 Statistical Snapshot of Paralegals
Developing Strategies for Change:
Addressing Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees - October 2014
Challenges Faced by Racialized
Licensees Working Group – October 2012
Consultation Fact Sheet
from Consultant Engagement Process - Stratcom Final Report
Equity Advisory Committee
Submission in Response to Stratcom Report
Results from Community Engagement Process:
Results from Informal Engagements
Community Liaison Report
Law Society Studies and Scan of Best Practices
following written submissions were received in response to the Working Group’s initial
consultation paper, which was presented to Convocation on October 30,
2014. The authors have consented to the public release of their
Arab Canadian Lawyers
des juristes d'expression française de l'Ontario - French submissions
des juristes d'expression française de l'Ontario - English translation
Association of Law Officers of the Crown
Canadian Association of Black Lawyers
Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers
Canadian Association of Muslim
Women Lawyers in Law
Canadian Association of Somali Lawyers
Canadian Hispanic Bar Association
Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association
Dhaliwal, Manpreet; Kassam,
Abbas; de Mello, Toni; Dabo, Anne-Karine
Equity Advisory Group of the Law
Society of Upper Canada
Family Lawyers Association
Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers
Human Rights Legal Support Centre
Indigenous Bar Association
Law Students Society of Ontario
Ontario Paralegal Association
South Asian Bar Association
St. Patrick Baxter, Michael
University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law Students
University of Windsor, Faculty of
Law, Equity and Diversity Committee
Women Paralegal Association of Ontario
you face difficulties in accessing the submissions, please contact Ekua Quansah
at the contact information listed above.