The Law Society Diversity and Inclusion Award recognizes lawyers who have made significant contributions to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession or the law in British Columbia.

Award criteria

Practising lawyers in good standing with the Law Society of BC, with the exception of current Law Society Benchers, committee members and employees, are eligible for the award. Nominees must demonstrate:

Professional achievements: significant commitment and accomplishments with respect to improving diversity and inclusion in the legal profession in British Columbia;

Service: exceptional volunteer contributions of time and energy to the removal of barriers to enhance the advancement of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession in British Columbia, either personally or through recognized societies or organizations;

Impact: contributions to diversity and inclusion initiatives that have had positive impact on removing barriers to greater diversity and inclusion in the legal profession in British Columbia.

How to submit a nomination

A Law Society member in good standing may nominate a practising lawyer for the award. This award was initiated in 2017 and is presented in December, every other year. 

To submit a nomination, send the nominee’s curriculum vitae and a letter explaining how the nominee meets the award criteria set out above. Nominations may be submitted by email, mail or courier, or in person.

Submit nominations to:

Diversity and Inclusion Award Selection Committee
c/o Andrea Hilland, Diversity and Inclusion Lawyer
The Law Society of British Columbia
845 Cambie Street
Vancouver BC, V6B 4Z9

Further information

For further information about the award, contact:

Andrea Hilland, Staff Lawyer, Policy and Legal Services

2017 Recipient

The Law Society is pleased to award Jennifer Chow, QC, the 2017 Law Society Diversity and Inclusion Award. Chow was called to the BC bar in 1990. From 1990 to 1997 she was in private practice as a civil and criminal litigator (with some time out to earn a master’s degree in public administration), and since 1998 has been a senior legal counsel and team leader for the Department of Justice in Vancouver.

In 2015, Chow became the first visible minority president of the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch. In 2017 she was elected as a Bencher of the Law Society.

In her role as president of CBA BC, Chow made promoting equality and diversity the first of her three goals. She also initiated a dialogue with the provincial and federal governments on a law student loan forgiveness program that would have immediate and direct benefits for both new lawyers facing challenging student debt and under-served rural communities in BC.

Chow has devoted considerable time to mentoring junior lawyers, paralegals and articling students. She actively participates in knowledge sharing and regularly contributes to continuing legal education, both within the Department of Justice and through Continuing Legal Education of British Columbia and the CBA BC. She regularly updates the Aboriginal Law Section of the CBA BC on significant procedural and substantive case law.

“The Law Society Diversity and Inclusion Award is important because it promotes a profession that includes and respects the diversity in our society,” said Chow.

“Through perseverance and dedication, Jennifer has helped move diversity and inclusion to the top of the agenda for change in the legal profession, and she is an inspiration to all of us,” said Jamie Maclaren, chair of the Law Society Diversity and Inclusion Award Selection Committee.