LSO BENCHER ELECTIONS - 2019

#BencherElection2019

Important Dates to Remember

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 bencherelection@lso.ca and if you're interested, here's the 2015 – 2019 Law Society of Upper Canada Strategic Plan.


Did you throw your hat in the ring?   Take a look at our Resource Section for tips on running a winning campaign!  Want to learn more about the candidates?  We've got a video here & some info for you here.  There's even a special section just for Real Estate lawyers.


“Copyright in certain content on this webpage is held by the Law Society of Ontario and is reproduced with permission.”

Two awesome websites (detailed below) can help make you an informed voter!  Take a look!

Two awesome websites (detailed below) can help make you an informed voter! Take a look!

CANDIDATES & ISSUES

TWO WEBSITES HAVE ALL THE INFO YOU NEED!

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LSOBencher.com is an amazing project by 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. 


LEARN MORE


Also, the Law Times has a great new website they've built to help keep LSO members informed.  


VISIT HERE

CANDIDATES

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Profiles of Lawyers who are candidates for the 20 positions regional outside Toronto (& a section for the 20 positions inside Toronto too!).


VISIT LSOBENCHER.COM HERE


The Law Times breaks the candidates up by region.  They have the candidate positions there too.


VISIT THE LAWTIMES SITE HERE

ISSUES: WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT

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Have a look at some of the most important issues facing lawyers today and check out what the candidates think:


  • How the LSO can better support lawyers;
  • Thoughts on specific enhancements to the current licensing system;
  • Comments on the scope of paralegal practice and practice by others’;  
  • Commitments regarding funded and staffed local law libraries;
  • and MORE!


VISIT HERE

FOR REAL ESTATE LAWYERS

Real Estate Lawyers - law society of ontario bencher elections



You can find a complete list of 2019 Bencher Candidates who have identified real estate as a substantial part of their practice here at the  Ontario Solicitor Network's  2019 Bencher election page

LSObencher site election video promo

 

The election process, the candidates, and the issues.

CAMPAIGN TIPS

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If you're a candidate for the 2019 Bencher elections, you likely already know what the position entails.  But maybe not.  So here are a few things that 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:

  1.  Benchers must be vigilant in ensuring they are acting in the public interest, which is not necessarily the same as acting in the interest of lawyers;
  2. Serving requires a significant time commitment (a minimum of 600-700 hours per year), and frequent travel across the province;
  3. Sole practitioners or those in small firms may find they will need to reduce their case-loads, which is likely to reduce their income;
  4. Most of the work done by Benchers can be divided into two categories – the adjudicative function and the governance function. Traditionally, the adjudicative function consumes most time.

For more, please visit the AWL’s event page

12 STEPS TO A WINNING CAMPAIGN

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  1. Build a plan and a timeline - make sure your plan integrates organizing, communications, and fundraising (if needed) and set goals to keep yourself on track; 
  2. Leverage name recognition as a result of other roles in the legal community;
  3. Leverage the support of law large firms;
  4. Send letters or emails to lawyers across the province (don’t forget to put some work and thought into the design and content of these materials!);
  5. Ensure you have a presence online – build a website or create a page on your firm’s website where people can learn more about you;
  6. Attend local law association events across the province (and be open about your candidacy!);
  7. Ask for, and use, endorsements;
  8. Use social media and tagging legal influencers;
  9. Be able to demonstrate prior history of involvement in the legal community;
  10. Seek out advice – but not from everyone. Surround yourself with people who are going to give you good, honest advice;
  11. Don’t be shy: Tell everyone in your legal network that you are running! AND ask them to vote for you.
  12. And – of course – don’t forget to file! Do your paperwork!


Want to get an idea about how many votes it will take to win?  Here are the 2015 results!

IN THEIR OWN WORDS - WHAT BEING A BENCHER IS LIKE

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SOLICITORS NEEDED AND BRAD WANTS YOU TO RUN!

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.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Want to offer encouraging words to Bencher election candidates?  Please email Katie W. Robinette at katie.robinette@fola.ca