The next Law Society bencher election on April 30, 2019 marks the first time that lawyer and paralegal benchers will be elected simultaneously in Ontario.
As members of Convocation, benchers play a critical role in the governance of the Law Society and the regulation of Ontario’s legal professions in the public interest.
Lawyers from all communities, practice and work areas, firm sizes and geographic locations throughout Ontario are encouraged to run in the bencher election.
Curious about running? Take a look at our Resource Section!
Take a look at an archived version of an election information webcast that the LSO held on January 10 , 2019. The webcast includes information on the importance of the role of benchers, governance, critical issues for the Law Society and the bencher election process.
Want to learn more about the candidates? You we've got some info for you here!
Remember! If you do decide to run, you MUST submit your nomination forms to the Law Society by 5:00 p.m. on February 8, 2019.
Important Dates to Remember
Nominations Close: February 8, 2019
Voting opens: mid-April 2019
Voting closes: April 30, 2019
Questions regarding the election can be directed to the Office of the Elections Officer at 416-947-3404 or 1-877-947-3404 or email at email@example.com.
“Copyright in certain content on this webpage is held by the Law Society of Ontario and is reproduced with permission.”
If you are thinking about running for Bencher elections in 2019, you may also want to reach out to a current Bencher who does not reside in Toronto to ask them about their experience.
If you decide not to run for Bencher elections this time, FOLA encourages you to read the profiles of those who are running, take the time to seriously consider which candidates will be devoted to the role and do a good job, and vote accordingly.
FOLA will be adding candidate campaign materials that may be useful. If you have anything to share, please email Katie Robinette at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are thinking about running for the 2019 Bencher elections, there are a couple of things you might want to know about the life of a Bencher.
The LSO notes “through their committee work and Convocation meetings, Benchers set policy and determine other matters related to the governance of Ontario’s lawyers and paralegals. Benchers also sit on panels as adjudicators to hear discipline cases concerning lawyer and paralegal conduct, licensing, competence and capacity”.
In preparing their membership for the 2017 Bencher elections, the Association of Women Lawyers (Calgary) hosted an event with Law Society Bencher Darlene Scott, Q.C. and the Honourable Judge Julie Lloyd (a former Bencher).
Here are some key takeaways regarding their observations about the role:
For more, please visit the AWL’s event page.
Brad Wright has been a bencher for 23 years (16 as an elected bencher/ 7 as a life (non-voting) bencher) and, according to him, it has been one of the greatest experiences of his life!
His only complaint - there aren't nearly enough solicitors serving as Benchers. Read his story here.
And if you are a solicitor and even thinking about running this year, feel free to call him. His contact info is in his article.
This section (and the two on the right) links you to an amazing project of Ottawa lawyer Colin Lachance. It was created for the purpose of ensuring that his fellow Law Society of Ontario licensees had sufficient information about Bencher candidates to make informed decisions in the April 2019 election.
Profiles of Lawyers who are candidates for the 20 positions regional outside Toronto (& a section for the 20 positions inside Toronto too!).
Have a look at some of the most important issues facing lawyers today and check out what the candidates think.
It includes issues such as: