News & Events
Legal system not doing enough for racialized members
Report from the Law Society of Upper Canada is a good first step but more needs to be done
“You know you are going to find it very difficult as an Indian Muslim,” said the partner at a Bay Street law firm during job interviews. As a newly minted lawyer to be, I was shocked but expected it to be better within a profession promoting justice and equality.
Yet, a year spent at a downtown firm quickly confirmed what he had said. The firm was wonderfully supportive, but they operated within an environment that was less than welcoming to minorities. In fact, too many times I was mistaken for a photo copy clerk by lawyers outside the firm.
In typical Canadian fashion, the systemic marginalization continues away from the limelight until it’s called out, or controversy erupts.
Last month the Law Society of Upper Canada approved the final report of Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees Working Group. The 13 recommendations revolve around five action areas to address systemic racism faced by lawyers and paralegals: Accelerating a culture shift; measuring progress; educating for change; implementing supports; and leading by example.