Sheila Block given honorary Doctor of Laws

TORONTO, June 24, 2015 /CNW/ - The degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa (LLD) was conferred upon Sheila Block at today's Call to the Bar ceremony at Roy Thomson Hall.

Block is a partner and a senior trial and appellate counsel at Torys LLP in Toronto where she has a broad civil litigation practice. She is an advocacy instructor dedicated to teaching in Canada and around the world, Block has trained advocates for the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal in Rwanda and the Special Court in Sierra Leone. In 2012, Toronto Life magazine put her on its list of '50 Most Influential in Toronto'.

The Law Society confers LLDs, honoris causa, in recognition of outstanding achievements in service and benefit to the legal profession, the rule of law or the cause of justice. The honorary LLD recipient serves as an inspirational keynote speaker for the new lawyers attending the Call ceremonies.

"You are entering a profession with a long past," said Block to the Call candidates. "You will be able to look back and find traditions and principles that you will make your own and strive to pass on to your students and juniors, and to exemplify in your daily work. There will be other parts of the status quo in the years to come that should change. Just as for my generation, past attitudes at the Bar to gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, even marital status and child rearing, needed to — and did — change for the better. There is no doubt more work to be done. So embrace the change, steer the change," Block said.

Treasurer Minor also addressed the new lawyers, encouraging them to dedicate themselves to the public. "You have the great opportunity to work for the benefit of others, whether it's giving prudent advice, problem solving or advocacy," she said. "This is serious work, but it can be — and it is — great fun," she said.

The Law Society called 336 new lawyers to the Bar of Ontario at the June 24th ceremony. Nearly 1,700 new lawyers will be called at six Call to the Bar ceremonies being held across the province in June.

SOURCE The Law Society of Upper Canada

Image with caption: "Sheila Block (second to left) holds the degree of presented to her by The Law Society of Upper Canada at its June 24th Call to the Bar ceremony at Roy Thomson Hall. Block is congratulated by CEO Robert Lapper (left), Treasurer Janet Minor (right) and Madam Justice Wendy Matheson, Superior Court of Justice (back). (CNW Group/The Law Society of Upper Canada)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Sheila Block (centre) is bestowed the Doctor of Laws honoris causa hood by Law Society Bencher Jacqueline Horvat this morning at Roy Thomson Hall. The degree was conferred upon Block by Treasurer Janet Minor (left) at the June 24th Call to the Bar ceremony. (CNW Group/The Law Society of Upper Canada)". Image available at:

For further information:

Media Contact: Lisa Hall, Manager, Communications & Marketing at 416-947-7625 or

The Law Society of Upper Canada
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Toronto, ON, M5H 2N6
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