LSO BENCHER ELECTIONS - 2019

NOMINATIONS NOW OPEN!!

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Take a look at an archived version of an election information webcast that the LSO held on January 10 , 2019.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 bencherelection@lso.ca.


FYI -  2015 – 2019 Law Society of Upper Canada Strategic Plan 


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

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NOMINATION PACKAGE INCLUDES:

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HELPFUL SUGGESTION:

 

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. 


Contact information for current Benchers from outside of Toronto


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 katie.robinette@fola.ca

CAMPAIGN TIPS

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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:

  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, 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!

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

 

CANDIDATES & ISSUES

ALL THE INFO YOU NEED IN ONE HANDY SITE!

2019 Bencher Elections



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. 


LEARN MORE


CANDIDATES

2019 Bencher Elections -candidates and issues

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


VISIT HERE

ISSUES: WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT

2019 Bencher Elections -candidates and issues

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:

  • 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’; and 
  • Commitments regarding funded and staffed local law libraries

VISIT HERE