External appointments up for grabs
The Law Society of Ontario (LSO) is inviting applications from qualified lawyers and paralegals for the Legal Aid Ontario’s (LAO) board of directors and the federal judicial advisory committee.
LAO is an independent but publicly funded and accountable non-profit corporation that administers the province’s legal aid program. It establishes policies and priorities for legal aid services, with the board of directors meeting once every two months or at the chair’s call.
LAO appointees are paid $375 per diem except for the board chair, who is remunerated at a rate set by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. There is no term limit in legislation.
Meanwhile, federal judicial advisory committee members are responsible for assessing the qualifications for appointing lawyers who apply to be part of the Federal Judicial Affairs. There is at least one committee in each province and territory, except for Ontario and Quebec, whose larger population requires three and two regionally-based committees, respectively.
The committee chair and members are appointed for two-year terms with the possibility of renewal at the federal government’s discretion.
As part of its mandate, the LSO recommends potential appointees to numerous boards, councils, and committees. In particular, it recommends appointments to the LAO’s board to Ontario’s attorney general, the Justices of the Peace Appointments Advisory Committee, and the Justices of the Peace Review Council under the Legal Aid Services Act and the Justices of the Peace Act. The LSO also recommends for other agencies are as required as well.
The LSO’s convocation or treasurer considers certain factors when determining candidates to appoint or recommend for external appointments, including:
- Membership in equality-seeking communities, including those based on race, ancestry, ethnic origin, place of origin, citizenship, language, disability, age, creed, sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation;
- Knowledge of issues relating to equality, diversity, and inclusion.
The LSO confirmed that it accepts electronic applications for all appointments throughout the year, which are kept in the application bank for 12 months. Applications are reviewed as vacancies arise and as recommendations are needed.