A recently released report has recommended the Law Society of Upper Canada take a lead role in combatting systemic racism within the legal profession.
The Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees Working Group was established to determine how the law society can tackle challenges faced by racialized licensees within the legal profession.
Raj Anand, WeirFoulds Partner and co-chair of the group said, “We wanted to determine as best we could what would be most effective and what is the appropriate role of the law society in this because this isn’t government. This is not the management committee of a private firm. It’s the regulator.”
The report comes after four years spent studying the issue and holding consultations with more than 1,000 lawyers, paralegals and students.
“Systemic racism is a matter of common knowledge in our society today. We read about it and see it in the news in particular instances every day . . . there is no reason to believe that lawyers and paralegals have experienced systemic racism more or less than anyone else,” says Raj.
The report also made a number of important recommendations for mandatory measures to be taken by all legal workplaces as well as the Law Society itself.