FACL States its Principles

The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (FACL) stands for equality, diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. In 2017, we were heartened to see the Law Society of Ontario take steps, albeit modest ones, to combat systemic discrimination in the profession by adopting the recommendations in the Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees Working Group’s Final Report. In the lead-up to the 2019 Bencher elections, some are campaigning on the basis that they will roll back these recommendations. We pledge to strongly resist these efforts.

One of the 13 recommendations accepted by the Law Society requires lawyers to adopt and abide by a statement of principles acknowledging their obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion generally, and in their behaviour towards colleagues, employees, clients and the public. This represent an important first step in creating a culture of greater awareness of the human rights laws that we, as lawyers, have a special duty to respect.

Equality, diversity and inclusion are not merely “political” beliefs. They are foundational values in our constitutional democracy. They are constitutional values. Requiring lawyers to acknowledge their obligation to promote these values is no different than requiring lawyers to promote the rule of law and maintain confidence in the administration of justice. Justice does not exist without equality. Equality does not exist without inclusion.

Canadian society is becoming increasingly diverse. The legal profession, however, continues to lag behind. This has nothing to do with merit. It has much to do with the institutional and attitudinal barriers that we have been too slow to remove.

Systemic racism in the legal profession is real. We know this because, as racialized lawyers, we encounter it regularly. The data also bears this out. If we are to solve this problem, we must first acknowledge that it is a problem. And we must then acknowledge that with the privilege of being lawyer comes the responsibility of levelling the playing field and not simply indulging in the status quo.

In the 2019 Bencher elections, let’s elect those who understand this. Let’s elect those who are committed to the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion. Let’s elect those who are not afraid to state their principles.

PDF Copy: FACL States its Principles

Canadian Legal Innovation Forum

For lawyers, innovation is about a lot more than technology.

To innovate, lawyers need to embrace risk. They must adopt new approaches, many of which are beyond the traditional domain of the law. They need to be responsive to a fast evolving business landscape. And they need to know how to collaborate with clients to tailor and scale strategic solutions for them. 

A platform has been launched to connect innovators across the Canadian legal sector: The Canadian Legal Innovation Forum. The launch forum was held in Vancouver in December, 2018 and was covered in a Canadian Lawyer article here

The next edition of the forum is taking place in downtown Toronto on February 28th at the Sun Life Financial Tower (Vantage Venues) from 8:30am to 4:30pm

Much more information and registration details at: www.canlif.net/toronto

Members of FACL are entitled to a discount of 20% on the ticket cost by using the code: FACL2019 when they register.

Note: CLE Professionalism/diversity credits from the LSO will be confirmed shortly. 

Internationally Trained Lawyers Series

Please join the experienced panel brought together by the Internationally Trained Lawyers’ Network of the South Asian Bar Association (SABA), Arab Canadian Lawyers Association (ACLA), Hellenic Canadian Lawyers Association (HCLA), Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (FACL) and the Canadian Hispanic Bar Association (CHBA) for the Internationally Trained Lawyers Speaker Series!

The 2019 Internationally Trained Lawyers Network Series includes:

1. Internationally Trained Lawyers: Skills’ Alignment (Mar. 7)
2. Surviving the NCA Process: Tips for a Growing Breed of Global Minded Lawyer
3. Finances, Certifications, Licences and Permits
4. End of Year Networking Event 

Start by learning about the alignment of internationally trained lawyers’ skills with the local legal job markets, on: 

Thursday, March 7, 2019
5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
20 Toronto Street, 2 nd Floor
Toronto, Ontario M5C 2B8

This event is SOLD OUT.