For Bencher 2019
My name is Atrisha Lewis and I am a litigation associate at McCarthy Tétrault LLP in Toronto. It is with great enthusiasm that I ask for your vote as I run for Bencher of the Law Society of Ontario. As a 2013 call and a diversity and inclusion champion, if elected I would bring a new and exciting voice to Convocation, at a time when our profession must better reflect and represent both licensees, and the communities we serve.
PLAN OF ACTION
The Law Society's role is to ensure competence and protect the public interest through self-regulation. In fulfilling this mandate, I pledge to you that I will serve as Bencher in accordance with the following three pillars: Inclusion, Accessibility, and Governance.
Our profession must reflect our communities. As a profession, the most basic measure of our commitment to equal opportunity is our diversity. The Law Society has made great strides, but there is more to do. As a diverse lawyer and recent call, I will bring my generation’s voice to Convocation.
We must find ways to ensure that our profession is accessible to all, including removing financial barriers to law school and licensing. The de-regulation of law school fees has significantly compromised both access to the profession, and access to justice. The Law Society must work with law schools to address this growing problem. The flip side of access to the profession is access to the justice system. The Law Society has a role to play in working towards a sustainable and innovative approach to access to justice in all areas of practice including family, criminal, immigration and civil litigation.
Members of the Law Society have a right to demand accessibility, accountability and prudent judgment from Convocation. You deserve strong decision makers that consider a variety of perspectives, represent diverse lived experiences, and are responsive to your concerns. Sound regulation requires consultation and collaboration. If elected, my first duty will always be to listen — to work with you to develop better solutions to our challenges. Let’s start the conversation.
Breanna Needham, Associate, Lax O'Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP
Atrisha is a powerful and steadfast advocate on key issues that are at the forefront of today’s dynamic and changing professional landscape. As a supportive mentor with a focus on inclusion, she is committed to championing the interests of diverse lawyers and creating real change. Her dedication to ensuring that the voices of both young calls and equity-seeking groups are heard is an integral part of her daily life and practice, as well as her platform.