Diversity Report

Diversity

Committing to diversity

  • Ontario Lt. Gov. David Onley endorses general counsel initiative
Written by Posted Date: May 16th, 2011
Rajeev Sharma, vice president and general counsel at Ricoh Canada Inc., signs the Legal Leaders for Diversity and Inclusiveness initiative. Photo: Andi Balla
Rajeev Sharma, vice president and general counsel at Ricoh Canada Inc., signs the Legal Leaders for Diversity and Inclusiveness initiative. Photo: Andi Balla
In-house lawyers at some of Canada’s largest companies have committed to lead efforts to give minorities, including people with disabilities, more access to jobs.

Nearly 60 per cent of the youngest lawyers in Ontario are women, a significant demographic shift driven in large part by the increasing number of "racialized" women entering the profession, according to a report released by the Law Society of Upper Canada last week.


b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2010_January_joel_stern.jpgResearch shows a clear disparity between the diversity of the Canadian population and its reflection in the legal profession. While some law firms are boldly encouraging inclusion, as a whole, the legal profession in Canada seems to be moving forward slowly, even reluctantly. 


Making equity front of mind

Written by Posted Date: November 2nd, 2009

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2009_October_chart.jpgLaw societies regulate the profession in the public interest. As such, is it up to the provincial law societies to be involved in improving and promoting diversity in the profession? If governing in the public interest means ensuring not only high standards of competence and learning but also ensuring the practice of law and provision of legal services are reflective of the all members of the public, then yes.


‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’

Written by Posted Date: October 19th, 2009

The government of Canada’s legal agent program — wherein you’re a lawyer or law firm and do work for the federal government — clearly states that all service providers must have workplace equity programs in place.


The right support can make all the difference

Written by Posted Date: October 9th, 2009

The old adage “it’s not what you know, but who you know” is an old adage for a reason — it’s mostly true. In a profession like the law where personal relationships are frequently the building blocks of success, it couldn’t be more true.


Betty's way

Written by Posted Date: October 2nd, 2009
Courtney Betty has worked in the federal government and large corporate environments, but after years tackling corporate issues, he decided he wanted to get closer to community work and found his way to an old bank building on Oakwood Avenue in the St. Clair and Dufferin area of Toronto. He wanted to help people he felt were left marginalized by the legal system.

A surfeit of clients

Written by Posted Date: September 30th, 2009

Djawid Taheri doesn’t want to turn clients away, even if they can’t afford to pay his fees. As an immigrant from Afghanistan and a prominent member of the Toronto Afghan community, he feels compelled to respond to the needs of people who don’t speak English or understand the Canadian legal system and could probably not find anyone else to help them. Yet, even though Taheri maintains that “money isn’t everything,” he does acknowledge he also has to make a living out of his solo law practice.


Diverse perspectives

Written by Posted Date: September 30th, 2009

Picture this: British Columbia, 1984. A 24-year-old woman is the first black person in 20 years to earn her law degree from the University of British Columbia. She finds an articling position at a small local firm. 


Video: Special report on diversity cover shoot

Written by Posted Date: September 21st, 2009
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_2009_September_diversity.jpgAlmost 50 lawyers showed up for the cover shoot for Canadian Lawyer magazine's October issue, which features a special report on diversity in the legal profession. click here to view video 
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