Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees

 

Challenges-racialized-licensees-EN

On Dec. 2, 2016, the Law Society approved the Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees Working Group’s final report, with 13 recommendations to address issues of systemic racism in the legal professions.

The recommendations form a strategic framework with five areas of action:

  1. Accelerating a culture shift
  2. Measuring progress 
  3. Educating for change
  4. Implementing supports
  5. Leading by example 

The strategic framework is the culmination of thorough study and province-wide consultations, showing that racialized lawyers and paralegals face longstanding and significant challenges at all stages of their legal careers.

 Final report: Working Together for Change: Strategies to Address Issues of Systemic Racism in the Legal Professions – November 2016

The Working Group and its Research

As part 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.

After 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.

Relevant reports

Consultation 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

Results 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

Written submissions*

The 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 submissions.

Arab Canadian Lawyers Association

Association des juristes d'expression française de l'Ontario - French submissions

Association 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 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

Dosanjh, Balraj

Equity Advisory Group of the Law Society of Upper Canada

Family Lawyers Association

Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers

Girvan, Robert

Human Rights Legal Support Centre

Indigenous Bar Association

Law Firm

LawPRO

Law Students Society of Ontario

Luu, Molly

Ontario Bar Association

Ontario Paralegal Association

Professor John Packer

Scorey, Andrew

Dean Lorne Sossin

South Asian Bar Association

St. Patrick Baxter, Michael

The Advocates' Society

University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law Students

University of Windsor, Faculty of Law, Equity and Diversity Committee

Jun Cai Wang

Women Paralegal Association of Ontario

* If you face difficulties in accessing the submissions, please contact Ekua Quansah at the contact information listed above.