Canadian Lawyer

November 2020

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Keeping Canadians in the dark about what the profession looks like today should make no one happy. www.canadianlawyermag.com 1 EDITOR'S DESK UPFRONT www.canadianlawyermag.com EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilbur Senior Editor Elizabeth Raymer Editor Zena Olijnyk Canada News Editor Aidan Macnab Production Editor Patricia Cancilla Writers Bernise Carolino, David Kitai CONTRIBUTORS Jared Brown, Heather Suttie ART & PRODUCTION Art Director Marla Morelos Lead, Media Production Coordinator Amie Suttie Production Coordinator Kim Kandravy Global Production Manager Alicia Chin (on leave) SALES & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT VP, Media and Client Strategy Dane Taylor Sr. Business Development Manager Steffanie Munroe Business Development Manager Lynda Fenton National Account Executive Abhiram Prabhu CORPORATE President Tim Duce Events and Conference Manager Chris Davis Chief Information Officer Colin Chan Human Resources Manager Julia Bookallil Global CEO Mike Shipley Global COO George Walmsley EDITORIAL INQUIRIES tim.wilbur@keymedia.com NAUK SUBSCRIPTIONS CO-ORDINATOR Donnabel Reyes tel: 647 374 4536 ext. 243 donnabel.reyes@keymedia.com ADVERTISING INQUIRIES legaladvertise@keymedia.com T he issue of diversity in the legal profession is contentious. For diversity advocates, the legal profession's conservatism can feel stifling. Advocates will often push for more — and faster — change for all our legal institutions. For sole practitioners and lawyers at small firms especially, mandatory training and lectures from large institutions can feel like ideological re-education or a simple waste of licensing fees. "Whether you agree with critical race theory and the prevailing politics of the [Law Society of Ontario] or not, the foray into the realm of ideological re-educa- tion should give everyone, most especially the public, cause for concern," writes Jared Brown, in our Back Page column (p. 40). Brown argues that there is a lack of evidence that mandatory professional training, whether it is about diversity or anything else, is effective. Diversity champions, on the other hand, would say the duty of law societies is to protect the public interest, and improving diversity is an important way to do that. But how should that be done? Both Brown and diversity advocates would likely agree on one thing: proper data is key. "We're challenging all firms to involve leadership directly in their [diversity and inclusion] efforts," said Rebecca Bromwich, the national diversity & inclusion manager at Gowling WLG (p. 6), at a recent keynote address at the Canadian Law Awards. "And a first step of that direct involvement is to move forward on tracking metrics of demographic data." And it is not just firms such as Gowling WLG that are calling for more data. The Law Society of Ontario will soon be publishing an "inclusion index" of law firms this year, according to bencher Atrisha Lewis, which will name law firms of a certain size and publish their numbers. Not all law societies and law firms take this approach. Tilly Pillay, at the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society, says that, because lawyers can choose not to answer demographic questions, "this data is not 100-per-cent representative of diversity within firms." But what everyone should agree on is the importance of transparency and evidence-based decision-making. Keeping Canadians in the dark about what the profession looks like today should make no one happy. Tim Wilbur, Editor-in-Chief A call for transparency in diversity ISSUE 44.09 | NOVEMBER 2020 Canadian Lawyer is published 10 times a year by HAB Press Limited. KEY MEDIA and the KEY MEDIA logo are trademarks of Key Media IP Limited, and used under license by HAB Press Limited. CANADIAN LAWYER is a trademark of HAB Press Limited. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted without written permission. The opinions expressed in articles are not necessarily those of the publisher. Information presented is compiled from sources believed to be accurate, however, the publisher assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. Canadian Lawyer disclaims any warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or currency of the contents of this publication and disclaims all liability in respect of the results of any action taken or not taken in reliance upon information in this publication. Publications Mail Agreement #41261516 ISSN 0703-2129 ©2020 GST/HST Registration #703184911RT001 RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESS TO: CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT 20 Duncan St., 3rd Floor, Toronto, ON, M5H 3G8 RETOURNER TOUTE CORRESPONDANCE NE POUVANT ÉTRE LIVREÉ AU CANADA AU SERVICE DES PUBLICATIONS 20 Duncan St., 3rd Floor, Toronto, ON, M5H 3G8 HAB Press Limited 20 Duncan St., 3rd Floor Toronto, Ontario M5H 3G8 tel: +1 416 644 8740 www.keymedia.com

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