Equity and Diversity Committee calls for new volunteers

The Law Society Equity and Diversity Committee, which provides the Benchers with policy options, training and information on equity and diversity issues, is seeking expressions of interest from BC lawyers to serve on the Committee or one of its working groups in 2004.

The Committee - composed of Benchers, non-Bencher lawyers and representatives of different community groups having knowledge and experience of diversity issues - was formed in 1998 from merger of the Gender Equality, Multiculturalism and Disability Advisory Committees. Since then, it has moved forward initiatives to promote and sustain diversity in the legal profession, including studies examining the experiences of lawyers of Aboriginal descent and lawyers with disabilities.

Most recently the Committee has:

  • organized presentations at both UVic and UBC on issues facing women lawyers;
  • hosted a policy forum on strategies to address barriers faced by lawyers with disabilities; and
  • organized a training session for the Benchers on the history of First Nations in British Columbia as a context for the current issues.

Much of the Committee's mandate is carried out by smaller working groups, made up of Committee members and other volunteers who complement existing expertise. The current working groups are:

  • Women in the Legal Profession
  • Disability Research
  • Aboriginal Students and Lawyers; and
  • Court Interpreters.

All appointments to the Committee are made by the Law Society President at the beginning of each calendar year, and a limited number of positions are expected to open in 2004.

If you are interested in participating on the Equity and Diversity Committee or one of its working groups, please contact Kuan Foo at the Law Society offices at 604 443-5727 or kfoo@lsbc.org.