How Teresa Donnelly, Philip Horgan would lead Law Society of Ontario amid COVID, Black Lives Matter

Law Times asked each LSO treasurer candidate questions about their individual background, and how it might help or hurt their chances of leading the organization through adversity

How Teresa Donnelly, Philip Horgan would lead Law Society of Ontario amid COVID, Black Lives Matter
Photo edited. Original works by Kevin P. Siu and Law Society of Ontario

Directors of the Law Society of Ontario will elect a new leader of its board in an election ending June 26. The LSO’s benchers will vote for a treasurer to lead its Convocation meetings through at least 2021.

The new treasurer will be tasked with overseeing the organization’s regulation of lawyers and paralegals, translating perspectives from across the province into policy that will guide the discipline and licensing process.  Moreover, the winner will enter office at a time of upheaval. Following last year’s debates, the law society abolished a mandate that lawyers and paralegals must write a statement of principles declaring their support for diversity and inclusion initiatives. Now, diversity and inclusion has come to the fore of the nation’s conversations around racism in the police force, and has brought forth allegations of racism in workplaces as well.

At the same time, the court system is facing a challenge that most lawyers have never witnessed in their lifetimes: a global pandemic requiring in-person proceedings be adjourned. That loss of litigation work has hit law firms, already struggling to pay bills as clients pull back spending. The law society will face the task of supporting these lawyers, and new lawyers entering the profession, as well as ensuring no corners are cut in the provision of competent legal services.

Law Times asked each leadership candidate questions about their individual background, and how it might help or hurt their chances of leading the organization through adversity. Each candidate was given 10 days and 200 words to answer the questions.

Their answers are linked below, in alphabetical order.

QUESTIONNAIRE 1: TERESA DONNELLY

QUESTIONNAIRE 2: PHILIP HORGAN

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