Posts Tagged ‘Law Society of Ontario’

Law Society elections send a message on diversity and it’s not what you’d hope

June 27th, 2019 by Shelina Ali

This article was first published on

The Law Society of Ontario (LSO) is once again facing a court challenge claiming that it has violated Section 2 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which protects the right to freedom of conscience, speech and religion. This court challenge follows the LSO’s successful defence of its decision to refuse to accredit the proposed law school at Trinity Western University (TWU) because of a requirement that attendees sign a covenant agreeing not to engage in homosexual activities. The LSO took the position that this prevented equal access to the legal profession in Ontario by excluding individuals who identified as LGBTQ.

The new battle relates to a Statement of Principles that the LSO requires lawyers to provide as of last year. It’s another example of the LSO attempting to enshrine principles of diversity, anti‑oppression and anti‑discrimination in a profession that is known for its lack of inclusiveness and diversity. In this case, the opposition to advancing these values is coming from other lawyers and is proving to be divisive for the governing council of the LSO — the democratically elected body that oversees its governance Read the rest of this entry

The Law Society is flirting with the idea of doing away with articling. Should it?

July 26th, 2018 by Celia Chandler

This article was first published on

One hundred thirty-seven — yes, that’s right: 137. And last year, 150!

These are the number of applicants we received for one articling position for the period July 2019 to May 2020. For readers not in law in Ontario, articling is a 10-month work placement under the supervision of a lawyer. Completing articles is a condition to practising law in Ontario.

The competition for securing articles is so intense that the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) has explored alternatives and is flirting with the idea of giving up on articling altogether.

Bad idea. We don’t want to lose an important training ground for progressive lawyers. Our law firm, Iler Campbell LLP, is unusual as a place where young lawyers can gain experience working for non‑profits, charities, co‑ops, social enterprise and the like. We see hiring articling students as an obligation to the legal profession and to the progressive organizations that we serve. Our tagline is “A law firm for those who want to make the world a little bit better.” Articling here and in other like‑minded firms helps build a cadre of advocates for that better world.

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We aim to ‘walk the talk’: our Statement of Principle regarding Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

November 9th, 2017 by Iler Campbell

As many of you have read in the media, and last week on our blog, the Law Society of Upper Canada has decided to take action to improve the circumstances of racialized lawyers and paralegals.

As lawyers, we are already required to follow the Law Society’s Rules of Professional Conduct that apply to all lawyers in Ontario. Among other things, those Rules say that, “A lawyer has a duty to carry on the practice of law and discharge all responsibilities to clients, tribunals, the public and other members of the profession honourably and with integrity.” The Commentary on this particular Rule includes the following: “A lawyer has special responsibilities by virtue of the privileges afforded the legal profession and the important role it plays in a free and democratic society and in the administration of justice, including a special responsibility to recognize the diversity of the Ontario community, to protect the dignity of individuals, and to respect human rights laws in force in Ontario” (emphasis added).

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The Responsible Housing Provider — Who can appear at the Landlord and Tenant Board?

March 28th, 2013 by Celia Chandler

A recent decision of the Superior Court of Justice may have an impact on housing providers who use the services of property managers.

In The Law Society of Upper Canada v. Enzo Vincent Chiarelli, Mr. Justice Goldstein ruled that Chiarelli can no longer appear on behalf of his clients before the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) because he is not licensed under the Law Society Act to provide legal services.

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