My last post as Treasurer

This will be my last post on the Treasurer’s Blog, as I left office today — Convocation Day, June 26. Janet E. Minor has been elected as the Law Society’s 65th Treasurer, and the cycle of renewal will start again. I want to thank all of the benchers and staff with whom I have worked over these past seven years. We haven’t always agreed on the direction we should take…

Celebrating Asian and South Asian heritage

Next week, we welcome guests to our annual Asian and South Asian Heritage month event. Panellists will this year consider how best diversity within the profession can be achieved. Is it policy that has the most significant impact, or, does it evolve more organically through steady advocacy? It’s a question we’ve invited several experts from the Asian and South Asian communities to consider. The event is co-hosted with advocacy groups, including…

Law Society’s first ever online Annual Report

At the Law Society’s Annual General Meeting tomorrow, we will reflect on our accomplishments of the year passed. To make the details of our work in 2013 available to the widest possible audience and in a format that is easy to read and access, our annual report is available for the first time as a website –annualreport.lsuc.on.ca. The site is available in both English and French and includes a video address…

“Gay rights are human rights”

Throughout the year, the Law Society organizes a series of symposiums and public education programs with various legal community partners that focus on equality issues. The purpose of these programs is to create dialogue between the public and the legal professions relating to the rights and needs of equality-seeking communities. Earlier this week, I attended the 17th edition of the Law Society/SOGIC Pride event. SOGIC stands for the Sexual Orientation and Gender…

Working together to improve access to justice

June 3 was a very special day for me. It was the launch and inaugural meeting of TAG – The Action Group on Action to Justice I believe it was also an important occasion for access to justice in Ontario. I see it as a tipping point, a time when a certain critical mass was finally achieved. For the last two years – my term as Treasurer – I have…

Justicia: Leading the way to a more inclusive future

As you may know, we’ve made tremendous progress with our Justicia Project over the past several years. The first of its kind in Canada, the Project was launched in 2008 in partnership with law firms throughout the province, to identify and develop best practices that retain and advance women lawyers in private practice. Last week, on May 28, we marked another “first” with a Justicia symposium and public launch of…

Two vital life decisions

My father died on April 1st. Before he died, he lost the mental capacity to make decisions for himself. As a lawyer, I understand the importance of and the need for people to make a Power of Attorney (POA) in order to ensure that they are cared for and their wishes are followed in any circumstance in which they are no longer able to provide for themselves. This was brought…

My 100th post!

I began this blog to better engage legal professionals in the activities of the Law Society. It was hard to know what success the blog would have, but it has proved popular. I am very pleased to have reached today’s milestone: my 100th post. The success of the blog suggests to me that advancements in technology that are reshaping the legal industry and prompting the Law Society to closely consider alternate ways…

Celebrating seven years of licensed paralegals

Today is the seventh anniversary of paralegal regulation in Ontario — on this day in 2007, amendments to the Law Society Act came into effect that made us the first law society in the world to count paralegals as members. 2,171 applicants signed up to write the initial licensing examinations, and by the end of 2008, nearly 2,300 were licensed. Since that first group became licensed paralegals, they have had representation on…

SRL for a day

Regular readers know that I occasionally provide space for guest bloggers. Here is Law Society CEO Robert G. W. Lapper on a new Law Week initiative, designed to look at the challenges faced by self-represented litigants and help us enhance access to justice. ______________________________ Yesterday, I participated in an innovative new event to mark Law Week. “SRL for a Day,” organized by the National Self-Represented Litigants Project, gave me and…