John West for BencherMarch 24, 2015
I am running for Bencher because I believe I will be able to make a positive contribution in representing the interests of lawyers and paralegals and ensuring that our profession remains self-regulated. I was one of the first lawyers to join Ogilvy Renault (now Norton Rose Fulbright Canada) in Toronto. I saw our office grow from approximately 6 lawyers to almost 200. In holding leadership positions in my firm, I have had to deal firsthand with many of the issues our profession faces. These include recruitment and retention of women, encouraging applications from racialized licensees, and supporting our firm’s initiatives in pro bono activities. I have witnessed the challenges that young lawyers face and have also seen more senior lawyers coping to address concerns as they approach the end of active practice. As a former Managing Partner of a large office, I have participated in matters including mentoring, continuing education, encouraging diversity and dealing with emerging technologies. As a Bencher, I would draw from my experience in the hope of benefitting everyone from licensees in large firms to those in smaller and solo practice firms across Ontario. I would strive to make the Law Society relevant to all.
Among the issues I am committed to working on include retention and advancement of women, the needs of racialized licensees, equity and diversity and a review of the Law Practice Program. I would work with Convocation on these and other important key issues. I believe that the advancement of women has to be a keystone commitment of the Law Society. I am committed to supporting Convocation’s initiatives respecting inclusiveness of racialized licensees, those with disabilities and others who are entitled to be welcomed into our profession. I am also committed to working with Convocation on the ongoing problem of a shortage of articling positions and a review of the Law Practice Program.
I would be honoured to represent you as a Bencher and would be committed to ensuring the Law Society remains accountable not just to our profession but, more importantly, to the needs of the public at large.
Wherever we are, we operate in accordance with our global business principles of quality, unity and integrity. We aim to provide the highest possible standard of legal service in each of our offices and to maintain that level of quality at every point of contact.
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
University of Manitoba
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