In 2016, the Law Society of Ontario (“LSO”) adopted the report of the Challenges Facing Racialized Licensees Working Group. That report identified a number of steps that the LSO needed to take in order to promote equality, diversity and inclusion (“EDI”). One of those steps was requiring every licensee (every lawyer and paralegal) to adopt a personal, confidential ‘Statement of Principles.’
That Statement of Principles requirement has now become a flashpoint that has divided the professions. A slate of Benchers (‘Directors’ of the Law Society) was elected on a promise to repeal the Statement of Principles. Many lawyers and paralegals are concerned that when they’re done with the Statement of Principles, the rest of the EDI initiatives will soon follow.
What are we doing about it?
On June 27th, Convocation (the ‘Board of Directors’ of the Law Society of Ontario) will vote to repeal the Statement of Principles.
But there’s still a chance to convince the Benchers to not repeal it. We need to show them that the legal community supports equality, diversity and inclusion.
Equity-seeking groups, licensees and members of the public will be attending to show their support for equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives.