Younger lawyers need to lead the modernization of legal service delivery and drive improvements in access to justice. The challenges facing newer calls are unique from previous generations and can only be addressed through their participation in the leadership of our profession.
I am running for bencher to give voice to the future of law and to ensure the public we serve is heard at Convocation. The LSO must uphold its statutory commitment to access to justice, and adapt that commitment to respond to contemporary challenges and public expectations. I want to help break down silos across the justice sector to address these issues and ensure our profession leads this work.
I have collaborated on a number of significant policy initiatives in the profession through my term on the LSO’s Equity Advisory Group, as the first President of the Law Students’ Society of Ontario (LSSO), on the board of Start Proud (formerly Out On Bay Street), as the current President of the Rainy River District Law Association, and in my involvement with the CBA and OBA (with their Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Community (SOGIC), in particular).
I am a passionate advocate for improving the diversity and financial accessibility of the bar, and have written extensively and contributed to submissions on matters such as the Pathways to the Profession review of licensing and the Challenges Facing by Racialized Licensees.
I supported the LSO in its legal challenge surrounding Trinity Western University by coordinating the intervention of LGBTQ2 groups, and I was the primary author of the LSSO’s 2015 Just or Bust report on the impacts of skyrocketing legal education costs. In my current work, I advocate for the justice and health needs of First Nations in Treaties 3 and 5.
The LSO’s public-facing mandates must remain central to its work. In my practice, through my work with Indigenous communities, as a director of a community legal clinic, and through my time volunteering with Law Help Ontario, I have seen firsthand some of the challenges facing Ontarians navigating everyday legal problems unserved by lawyers. I see a role for the LSO in enhancing public education, outreach, and legal resources, and doing more to integrate technology and pilot innovative practice models to address these unmet and underserved needs.