Bencher election 2019

Re-elect Isfahan Merali for Bencher

April 3, 2019

Isfahan Merali is an incumbent Bencher candidate running in a unique and collaborative campaign with “running mate” Jayashree Goswami to promote diversity and inclusiveness at the Law Society.

Isfahan’s first campaign in 2015  garnered a great deal of interest in the legal community, and you may have seen the articles on Precedent Magazine’s website and the Law Times:

  • Check out the Precedent article highlighting Isfahan 2015 “precedent-setting” Bencher campaign
  • Check out Isfahan’s article, “The inside story of the first female South Asian bencher”

Isfahan and Jayashree ask their colleagues to support them in the Bencher Election given their long-standing commitment to public service, access to justice and equity and diversity – and hope they will also endorse the collaborative and unique approach they are taking to the election. Moreover, they hope that this new approach might inspire others to do the same in the future, and change accessibility and inclusiveness at the Law Society in a truly exciting and meaningful way.

About Isfahan

Isfahan is Senior Counsel to the Consent and Capacity Board and has devoted her entire career to public service practice, in the areas of administrative, human rights and mental health law. In 2015, Isfahan was elected as the first female South Asian Bencher in the Law Society’s history. Isfahan is a recipient of the South Asian Bar Association of Toronto’s 2015 Award for Legal Excellence & Leadership. She is a Trustee of the Law Foundation of Ontario. She is also appointed as a Bencher Adjudicator to the Law Society Hearings and Appeals Tribunal.

Her deep commitment to the legal profession and to the public interest has been demonstrated by: her Bencher leadership and service including her roles as Vice-Chair of the Equity and Indigenous Issues Committee, Chair of the Tribunal Committee, active work on the Indigenous Review Panel as well as her contributions as member of every Mental Health Task Force and Working Group during her term. Isfahan has advocated for progressive changes at the Law Society in her first term and is excited to continue this critical work.

Prior to being elected a Bencher, she worked on Equity and Inclusion issues as a member of the Law Society’s Equity Advisory Group (EAG) from 2019 to 2015; a Mentor with Osgoode’s Public Interest Program in Mental Health and Administrative Justice (a joint programme with The Advocate’s Society); and as a past volunteer with Law in Action within Schools (LAWS). In addition, she has taken an active role in mentoring numerous new lawyers and students over the years.

Isfahan is seeking re-election as a Bencher of the Law Society in order to bring her experience and expertise to the critical issues facing the profession: access to justice, equity and diversity, articling and licensing, mental health, entity-based regulation, new technologies and AI, initiatives to increase inclusion and support for all lawyers, including those needed for lawyers in rural areas and small towns, soles and smalls, and those new to our profession. Isfahan believes that the complex issues and challenges faced by our profession require a thoughtful approach, taking into account the diversity of our profession and our responsibility to the public. It is with these values and commitments that she would be honoured to serve.

For more information about Isfahan and her campaign (including her bio, views and endorsements):

Isfahan Merali

Isfahan Merali is running for re-election as a Law Society Bencher.

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Isfahan Merali

Isfahan Merali

Law School

University of Toronto

Year Of Call


Area Of Practice