The Law Society of Ontario is first and foremost a regulator and the role of the Benchers is to ensure that it fulfills its statutory mandate. The LSO must exercise its mandate in the public interest and with due regard for principles of good governance and fiscal responsibility. I am committed to:
Balanced budgets and the budgets identifying how LSO programs/initiatives fulfill its statutory mandate.
Full disclosure of Bencher expenses and per diems.
Long-term and stable funding for Pro Bono Ontario through the Law Foundation of Ontario and expansion of the community legal clinic system.
Shorter terms (3 years) and term limits (2 terms) for Benchers to ensure that Convocation never again becomes dominated by a particular generation of members.
Diversity and ensuring that Convocation reflects the profession in all respects.
Reviewing of the cost of Bencher campaigns as a barrier to younger and solo/small firm lawyers running.
Adopting appropriate campaign rules.
The Statement of Principles as a first step, but trying to find some common ground so that we can move forward as a profession to ensure diversity is a reality.
Creating standing committees to ensure that the voices of Solicitors, in-house counsel and young lawyers are heard, to the extent they are not properly represented at Convocation.
Including non-Benchers on LSO Committees to ensure the views of lawyers are reflected in Committee reports and recommendations.
More cooperation between the LSO, the OBA and local law associations to assist students and young lawyers.
Providing CPD hours for pro bono work and voting in Bencher elections.
Reviewing LSO fees and adopting a fairer model for solo and small firm lawyers.
Expanding the financial support available to students and young practitioners.