Four years as a Bencher has opened my eyes to the difficulty of effecting change in our profession, but also to the challenges that lie ahead and must be addressed. I believe that my experience at Osgoode will allow me to hit the ground running for the next term.
Legal Aid Ontario
I was a member of the Law Society’s Legal Aid Working Group, which produced the recent report entitled, “An Abiding Interest”. The Report recommends that the Law Society take a stronger and more active role in addressing the Legal Aid situation and advocating for the fair renumeration of lawyers practicing in that area. The next challenge is to implement these recommendations. I am on the New Working Group tasked with doing that.
Development of the Profession
The Law Society recently tried but completely failed to address the many issues surrounding entry into the profession, specially that of articling, and the ever-increasing number of new lawyers. These issues, along with proper training standards for the bar exams must continue to be addressed.
Sole Practitioners / Small Firms
Having been a practitioner in a small firm for my entire career, I have experienced the many challenges of running a small business. It is vital that members of small firms, particularly those in outlying areas, be adquately represented by our governing body and be provided the support they require to sustain their practices.
Transparency and Communication with the Profession
The Law Society continues to fail to connect with ordinary members of our profession. A great deal more work must be done to inform and involve members in decisions and policies of the Law Society.
The Law Society must enhance support for and cooperations with FOLA.
What I Have to Offer
The role of Bencher requires a lot of time and commitment; I am at the stage of my life and professional career where I am able to take on the challenges of this important position. I am proud to be a lawyer, and over the next four years I will continue to vigorously advance and defend the interests of the rank and file members of our profession.