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Monday, July 16, 2018

Monday, July 16, 2018
Shara Roy says Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP is hoping to be a leader in the province when it comes to using hiring ‘name-blind’ practices that increase diversity.

NAME-BLIND SCREENING TO START AT TORONTO FIRM

A Toronto law firm will be removing names from hundreds of applications it receives from law students hopeful to land a summer position at the firm, in an effort to promote more diverse recruitment.

Shara Roy, a partner and co-head of the student committee at Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP in Toronto, says about 450 to 600 second-year law students from across Canada apply to be summer students at the firm each year.

This year, the firm will use software to remove names from applications so those reviewing the materials will be taking part in “name-blind screening.”

After the initial round of applications, the firm typically sets up about 180 on-campus interviews with students who express interest in working at the firm, and, ultimately, it hires five to eight of them to work at the firm. In addition to using the software, there will be a person who will double-check each application manually to ensure the names are removed.

The move to remove names from applications is to try to improve diversity at the firm, says Roy, as well as encourage other firms to consider the practice.

“We really strongly believe that, with diverse students in a diverse firm, we’ll do better as a firm and we’ll be able to better serve our clients, and it has the added benefit of just being the right thing to do,” she says. 

LAW STUDENT MIXER

The Advocates’ Society is holding an event for law school students, summer students and articling students in the general Toronto area. The Big Mingle — which is in its second year — will happen Aug. 15 at The Advocates’ Society Education Centre at 2700-250 Yonge Street. The event is free and goes from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. People who are interested in signing up can find out more at advocates.ca.

JUDICIAL POSITION IN KITCHENER

The Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee is accepting applications for a judicial position in Kitchener, presiding over criminal law matters. Judges must have completed 10 years of bar membership as a barrister and solicitor in one of the Canadian provinces or territories, and the position is also bilingual. Candidates must submit a current Judicial Candidate Information Form and provide 14 copies of their application to the committee. The deadline for the committee to receive the applications is 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 3.

LAW TIMES POLL

Caroline Mulroney will face a series of challenges as Ontario’s attorney general, as lawyers look to her office to improve the efficiency of the legal system. Readers were asked what they felt was the top priority for the new government. About 45 per cent said their main concern was improving technology concerns at the courts, while 25 per cent said their top worry was addressing court delays for both criminal and civil matters. Another 22 per cent said their top priority was creating better access to justice in Ontario.


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The Law Society of Ontario’s recent decision to further cull the number of benchers at Convocation means that several longtime members will lose the rights either to speak or vote in the next few months. Do you agree with this move?
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