Partnering with Law Firms to Create Change
The LLD recognizes the critical role that law firms have had and will have, in creating a more diverse legal profession. Members of the LLD have met with leaders and managing partners of law firms including the largest national law firms to discuss diversity initiatives within law firms and to stress the importance of actions to create a more inclusive legal profession. Members of the LLD continue to participate on nationally broadcast video casts, panels and partner meetings.
On September 20, 2012, the LLD hosted a Summit of law firm managing partners and senior lawyers to discuss the role law firms could play, in particular in establishing a working group which could tackle some of the systemic issues related to the creation of a more inclusive legal profession. The LLD will partner with this group on activities.
Law firms have also been very active in creating dialogue through the creation of panels on diversity and the like.
Some LLD members have been active in reviewing law firm diversity measures as part of their annual performance appraisals and when entering into retainers with law firms.
Finally, the LLD is creating language supporting diversity initiatives in law firms, which can be used by LLD signatories when engaging law firms.
Co-operation with Other Organizations
The success of the LLD lies in the group’s spirit of cooperation and sharing, and the power of many rather than the interests of a few. In order to look for opportunities to collaborate on various diversity initiatives, discussions have been held with many organizations including CCCA, ACC, Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, and the Maytree Foundation. Members of the LLD Steering Committee participated in the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Judicia Project review with law firms, and later in May, 2013, a similar program in Alberta.