LSO: Committee proposes updates to Inclusion Index approach

LSO: Committee proposes updates to Inclusion Index approach

by ahnationtalk on June 23, 202228 Views

June 23, 2022

TORONTO, ON — The Law Society’s Equity and Indigenous Affairs Committee (EIAC) is bringing forward a report to the June 28 meeting of Convocation that reaffirms its commitment to strengthening equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in Ontario’s legal workplaces. The report proposes the continued development of a protocol for collection and publication of data pertaining to EDI in legal workplaces. It also recommends that the 2019 Inclusion Index, which was delayed by the onset of the pandemic, not be publicly released.

The Committee’s recommendation follows a peer review of the 2019 Inclusion Index undertaken by a panel of three independent experts. The panel was asked to help determine the appropriate use and application of the data and the Inclusion Index, which had been developed by an external consultant using data gathered from the 2018 Annual Report filings submitted by Ontario lawyers and paralegals.

The panel strongly supports the concept of data collection and publication to show progress towards equity, diversity and inclusion in the legal professions, however, it found that in its current form, and given the passage of time, the release of the 2019 Inclusion Index is not an effective means to achieve the Law Society’s equity goals.

In addition to reiterating its commitment to the overarching goals of the Law Society’s 2016 Challenges Report — Working Together for Change: Strategies to Address Issues of Systemic Racism in the Legal Profession, the Committee notes that when the recommendations of the Challenges Report were adopted by Convocation, the Law Society was a pioneer in addressing equity, diversity and inclusion in the legal professions.

If the report now before Convocation is adopted, Law Society stakeholders will be engaged in dialogue over the coming months in the continued development of a protocol for data collection, and the publication of data pertaining to equity, diversity and inclusion in legal workplaces in future.

The Law Society regulates lawyers and paralegals in Ontario in the public interest. The Law Society has a mandate to protect the public interest, to maintain and advance the cause of justice and the rule of law, to facilitate access to justice for the people of Ontario and to act in a timely, open and efficient manner.

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Media contact: Jennifer Wing, Senior Communications Advisor, External Relations and Communications, [email protected] Follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

NT5

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