EAG – (Equity Advisory Group)
In May 1997, the Law Society of Upper Canada unanimously adopted the Bicentennial Report and Recommendations on Equity Issues in the Legal Profession (the “Bicentennial Report”).
Bicentennial Report and Recommendations on Equity Issues in the Legal Profession (Toronto: Law Society of Upper Canada, May 1997). Report available on-line at www.lsuc.on.ca.
The Bicentennial Report reviewed the status of women, Francophones, Aboriginal peoples, racialized persons, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender individuals and persons with disabilities in the profession, and the initiatives the Law Society had taken to promote equality and diversity. The Bicentennial Report made sixteen recommendations that have since guided the Law Society as it promotes equality and diversity within the legal profession.
The adoption of the Bicentennial Report led to a series of systemic changes to promote equality and diversity within the legal profession and within the Law Society. In the mid-1990’s, the Law Society created a standing committee of Convocation, the Equity and Aboriginal Issues Committee (the “Equity Committee”) The Equity and Aboriginal Issues Committee was not the first Law Society committee created to address equality issues in the legal profession. In 1988, the Law Society established a Women in the Legal Profession Subcommittee to consider emerging issues relating to women in the profession. In 1990, it became a standing committee of Convocation. In 1989, the Equity in Legal Education and Practice Committee was created. In 1996, the Women in the Legal Profession Committee and the Equity in Legal Education and Practice Committee were merged into the Admissions and Equity Committee, which later became the Equity and Aboriginal Issues Committee, with a mandate to develop for Convocation’s approval, policy options for the promotion of equity and diversity having to do in any way with the practice or provision of legal services in Ontario and for addressing matters related to Aboriginal peoples and Francophones; and to consult with Aboriginal, Francophone and other equality-seeking communities in the development of such policy option. By-Law 3 – Benchers, Convocation and Committees. It also created the Equity Initiatives Department, with five permanent staff members and one articling student, and an advisory group, the Equity Advisory Group (the “EAG”) Formerly the Treasurer’s Advisory Group, consisting of expert lawyers in the area of equality rights and legal associations that promote equality and diversity.
Equity Advisory Group
The mandate of the Equity Advisory Group (the “EAG”) is to assist the Equity and Aboriginal Issues Committee/Comité sur l’équité et les affaires autochtones (“EAIC”) of the Law Society of Upper Canada, in the development of policy options for the promotion of equity and diversity in the legal profession by:
- Identifying and advising EAIC on issues affecting equity communities, both within the legal profession and relevant to those seeking access to the profession;
- Providing input to EAIC on the planning and development of policies and practices related to equity, both within the Law Society and the profession; and
- Commenting to EAIC on Law Society reports and studies relating to equity issues within the profession.