It's great time to be part of the Ontario Bar Association!
We are delivering award-winning legal education. Attendance and engagement at the OBA Institute is the highest it has ever been.
The work of our staff and volunteers have made us the leading voice on issues that affect the Bar across the Province.
We have stepped into a driver's seat on contentious issues such as licensing, judicial diversity and the provision of legal services in family law.
How do we take what's great about the OBA and package it as a viable resource for every lawyer in Ontario? How do we serve young lawyers, the generation that will be leading the OBA into the future? How do we support women lawyers at this critical time of change in our profession and in society at large?
Here are some of my ideas:
DIVERSITY & WOMEN'S ISSUES.
I’m proud of the work I have done with all of you to make the OBA a more inclusive and welcoming space. From bring the Roundtable of Diversity Associations into the fold, to helping develop the Inclusive Leaders Series, the organization has grown and is still growing on the issue of legal diversity. However we still have work to do when it comes to championing women into leadership roles in this organization, and that work cannot be left solely to the dedicated volunteers of the Women’s Lawyers Forum. We must all do more. I chose International Women’s Day to announce my candidacy not only to honour the few women that have served at the helm of the OBA in it’s 111 year history but to inspire other women to take leap and put themselves on the path to leadership.
I’ve been a mentor to many young female lawyers over the years and I know the importance of opening the door to make way for the next generation. Our Board supported the Young Lawyers Division in launching the first annual YLD Gala. The event was a success and a testament to the fact that giving young lawyers the space and infrastructure they need to innovate and shape the OBA of the future is better for all of us. I will create a New Lawyers Initiative for young lawyers and NCA candidates. The NLI will tailor our mentorship and media training offering to the needs of young lawyers. will also revitalizing our Preferred Supplier Program to reflect the technology, training, and support services that young lawyers need the most.
We have the technology in place to do better for our members in the north, east, south and west. When I was first elected as a member of Council, my first time at the mic in debate was to speak against spending member funds on a Toronto focussed initiative. Since then I have continued to champion a greater presence of the OBA outside of Toronto. I want to leverage the technology our Board has invested in to connect the regions together, along with providing regional leaders the support they need to create programming unique to their local constituency.
Member benefits shouldn't be limited to saving expenses. I want to create as many opportunities for for members in all practice areas and in all regions to interact with business leaders and stakeholders to generate income. We can expand our programming beyond legal education to events that allow our members to showcase their skills and pitch for new business.