Voting in the Law Society of Upper Canada 2015 Bencher Elections is now open: your vote matters!

While the Women’s Legal Mentorship Program (“WLMP”) is not endorsing any of the Bencher candidates, we are encouraging all eligible lawyers to cast a vote for change and innovation.Law Society Picture stainglass

Some of the issues the newly elected Benchers will have to address include the growth of ABS models, the demand for access to justice, challenges faced by racialized lawyers and the future of articling in Ontario.

The pressures of the legal sector have changed. This isn’t the legal profession of ten years ago or even five years ago. The articling issues of yesterday are not the realities faced by law students today, or even law students who were Called to the Bar three years ago. This has not always been effectively represented in Convocation.

Many law students, who are now lawyers, will recall the live streamed Convocation discussion of the articling issue a couple of years ago. The discussion left many disappointed in the lack of diversity of opinion and the lack of understanding reagarding the articling climate. More diverse voices with more recent articling experiences were missing.

There is also a real need to address the inequities facing current law school students in gaining access to the profession from both a diversity perspective and an equity standpoint. Reviewing the Law Society’s articling and LPP articling programs must reflect the current realities and future issues with an air of reality.This issue must be truly dealt with and settled in the next four years in an equitable and progressive way.

Likewise, there is a real need to address the inequities faced by female lawyers, LGBTQ lawyers, Aboriginal lawyers, racialized lawyers and lawyers with disabilities in a meaningful and tangible way. The Law Society has done excellent research and work in mapping these issues. But now, the profession must address them.

Over the past few weeks, the WLMP has published a list of women Bencher Candidates from across Ontario and in Toronto. Because we feel that it’s important to be informed, we’ve embedded links to whatever relevant materials we could find in order to provide you with information about the these Bencher candidates and their priorities if elected. You can still find both Part I and Part II of the list archived on our blog.

By casting your ballot, you play a vital part in shaping Ontario’s legal profession. Your vote does matter. Make your voice heard.

If you are unsure of how to cast your ballot or need information, call the  Office of the Elections Officer at 416-947-3404 or 1-877-947-3404 or email at bencherelection@lsuc.on.ca or checkout the 2015 Bencher Election page on the Law Society’s website: http://www.lsuc.on.ca/bencher-election-2015/

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