TORONTO, Oct. 30, 2014 /CNW/ - As part of its ongoing efforts to promote equity, diversity and inclusiveness in Ontario's legal profession, The Law Society of Upper Canada today released a consultation paper, Developing Strategies for Change: Addressing Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees, for input from the professions and the public.
Prepared by the Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees Working Group, the consultation paper provides comprehensive information and describes the statistical data, research results and anecdotal evidence that the Law Society has gathered and received.
Findings show that, despite the significant increase in the number of racialized licensees in the last 20 years, racialized lawyers and paralegals continue to face challenges — many of which are distinct from the challenges faced by their non-racialized peers. For many, discrimination is also a feature of daily life.
"By studying and addressing the realities faced by racialized licensees, the Law Society is leading the way for systemic change that will help the legal profession better reflect the diverse public it serves," says Law Society Treasurer Janet E. Minor.
"We are taking the findings from this extensive research very seriously and that is why we have included several detailed questions in the consultation paper for further discussion and input," she says. "We want to fully engage the professions and the public in considering options to address the challenges faced by racialized licensees."
Questions contained in the report focus on five key areas: enhancing the internal capacity of organizations; mentoring, advisory services and networking; enhancing cultural competence in the profession; discrimination and the role of the complaints process; and the operations of the Law Society.
Lawyer and paralegal professions, legal organizations, firms, law schools and any others interested in issues discussed in the paper are encouraged to provide written comments. The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2015.
Consultation meetings will also be held in key cities throughout the province during fall 2014 and winter 2015. Details will be available at: www.lsuc.on.ca/racialized-licensees.
The Working Group will consider all of the submissions and prepare a final report with recommendations to Convocation.
The Law Society has a duty to protect the public interest, to maintain and advance the cause of justice and the rule of law, to facilitate access to justice for the people of Ontario, and to act in a timely, open and efficient manner.
SOURCE: The Law Society of Upper Canada
For further information: Susan Tonkin, Communications Advisor, The Law Society of Upper Canada, Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5H 2N6416-947-7605, [email protected]