Retaining Aboriginal lawyers in the profession

The Benchers have identified the retention of Aboriginal lawyers as one of the key objectives in the current strategic plan. In support of this objective, the Law Society has undertaken several initiatives, including:

  • a demographic project to better understand the participation of Aboriginal lawyers in the profession;
  • the development of a business case for diversity in law practice, including recruitment and retention of Aboriginal lawyers; and
  • an upcoming event in conjunction with National Aboriginal Day to recognize Aboriginal leaders in the profession and to promote networking among Aboriginal lawyers and law students.

The Law Society is also reviewing recent research and reports related to retention of Aboriginal lawyers to develop effective strategies and additional supports.

These initiatives advance the resolutions passed at the 2009 AGM related to the participation of Aboriginal lawyers. The Law Society has implemented the first resolution by incorporating the retention of Aboriginal lawyers into the current strategic plan, and has substantially implemented the second resolution in undertaking a comprehensive review of past and recent reports, as well as current research related to lawyer retention and the demographics of the profession. The comprehensive review is expected to identify and recommend next steps for advancing the retention of Aboriginal lawyers, including consideration of a staff lawyer position. The Benchers recognize that identifying the most effective supports is a priority and expect a progress report after the upcoming event.