Focusing on equity, diversity and inclusion in the legal profession should be seen as an opportunity for opportunity for everyone: Diverse lawyers bring diverse opinions, diverse teams make better decisions, and a more diverse and equitable legal industry drives more innovative and creative solutions.
Now more than ever, Ontario's law associations needs to step up as leaders. On this page, FOLA will provide strategies for how you can create a sustainable EDI action plan.
This resource is for members of your Association Board who are responsible for the decision making in an organization. This toolkit is heavily taken from the Pillar Resource Network’s Board Diversity Training: A Toolkit and the original document is hyperlinked in the one found by clicking the button below.
This resource is board governance-focused and will map out how to move from acknowledging and respecting diversity to developing real action-based strategies. This includes developing an organizational diversity goal, a board recruitment process, and tailoring your documents and statements (i.e., vision, mission, values, policies, constitutions and by-laws) to be more inclusive.
The theme of FOLA's Fall 2021 Plenary was "Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Legal Profession" and we had a number of sessions related to this topic. Once we have recordings of those sessions, we will include them on this page. In the meantime, please find below, some resources our panelists thought would be helpful and informative.
In June 2018, Convocation approved revised and updated guidelines for lawyers who represent Indigenous clients. The 15 guidelines are designed to ensure the competence and professional conduct of lawyers in providing legal services to Indigenous Peoples, and non-discriminatory access to legal services in Ontario.
The Trauma-Informed Lawyer hosted by Myrna McCallum
This podcast will serve as your educational resource on trauma-informed lawyering. Through inspiring interviews and thoughtful commentary, Myrna will shine a light on a critical competency you did not get any instruction on in law school. Trauma-informed lawyering is a do-no-further-harm, relational approach to the practice of law which benefits you, your clients, your colleagues and the legal profession generally. Lawyers, this is the education about trauma, vicarious trauma and trauma-informed lawyering you didn't know you needed. Artwork titled, "Lunar Messenger" by Colleen Gray.
In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission put forth a set of Calls to Action that urge all levels of government and all Canadian institutions to join in the effort toward the reconciliation between Indigenous people and Canada.
The Calls to Action are broad, and address all areas in which state bodies and policies exert authority over the lives of Indigenous people living in Canada - including justice.
A range of issues under the umbrella of colonialism contribute to this overrepresentation: racism, poverty, addiction and illness, the intergenerational trauma stemming from the residential school system, and cross-cultural miscommunication and misunderstanding between those working within the colonial legal system and the Indigenous people who move through it.
These are the issues addressed in this guide.
A Remarkable, Plain Language Judgment from the Ontario Court of Justice: R. v. Armitage, 2015 ONCJ 64 (CanLII)
What is Gladue? a 2 page backgrounder
Unreconciled - Family, Truth, & Indigenous Resistance - by Jesse Wente
Law Society Report: Challenges Facing Racialized Licensees
Book: Enhancing Culturally Integrative Family Safety Response in Muslim Communities by Mohammed Baobaid