As a Bencher since 2008, I have been a strong voice for reform at the Law Society. Some of the key areas of reform in which I have been involved include:
We must expand opportunities for women, racialized minorities and Aboriginal peoples and look to practical solutions to effect change. I supported the recommendations of the Working Group on the retention of Women in Private Practice, and the establishment of a Working Group on the Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees.
The Law Society must be at the forefront of working towards a sustainable Legal Aid program.
The public interest and the interest of the profession are both served by an independent and self-governing bar that strives to improve access to justice and maintains high standards of professionalism. We need to be cautious on alternative business structures (ABS). We also need to do more to ensure competence on entry into the profession.
I have acted on a pro bono basis in a number of constitutional cases, including cases on behalf of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, LGBTQ communities, and adoptive parents. The Law Society must show leadership in encouraging and developing pro bono legal programs.
Sole practitioners and lawyers practicing in smaller firms and communities face unique challenges. The Law Society must expand its level of service, including support of local libraries and creating accessible continuing education.