Deepa Tailor’s LSO 2019 Bencher Election Statement

Fellow Lawyers:

Tailor Law Managing Partner, Deepa TailorThank you for taking the time to read my open letter to the profession. As a candidate in the 2019 LSO Bencher election, I hope to champion initiatives that will support lawyers in sole and small firm practice, recent calls, younger lawyers and women. I am running for Bencher of the Law Society of Ontario because I want to bring a fresh perspective to how our profession is regulated and represent early-career lawyers in the Law Society’s elected leadership.  I firmly believe that the regulation of the legal profession should reflect the demographics of the legal profession and the lawyers within it. Despite the vast number of new and recent calls in this profession, we are severely underrepresented within our governing body.  The decisions made by the Law Society apply to us nonetheless.

I am a 2014 call to the bar and the founder of Tailor Law Professional Corporation.  I began my practice as a first year call and am familiar with the common challenges that lawyers in sole and small firm practice face. When I have spare time, I serve on the board of directors for Many Feathers, a non-profit which focuses on creating local community spaces focused on food security in urban and rural settings across Canada. Moreover, I also enjoy mentoring the next generation of law students through the Women’s Legal Mentorship Program and as a guest speaker at the University of Ottawa’s Business of Law class.

As Bencher, I hope to advocate for the following initiatives:

SUPPORT SOLE PROPRIETORS AND LAWYERS IN SMALL FIRMS:

The LSO needs to start helping and supporting its membership.  In my mind, supporting sole proprietors and small firm lawyers is an access to justice issue. Lawyers in small practices face unique challenges such as lack of support for taking parental leave and isolation from other lawyers. The LSO needs to recognize that it is investing in access to justice by helping its membership. Actionable steps I would like to propose include:

    1. Expand the Parental Leave Assistance Program to support the retention of women within this profession
    2. Subsidized group insurance for disability, health and dental
    3. Finally, Fund our local law libraries and law associations

LISTEN TO THE CONCERNS OF RECENT CALLS AND YOUNG LAWYERS:   

The LSO needs to listen to younger lawyers and their concerns regarding articling, the LPP and the exorbitant cost of obtaining a legal education.  The cost of legal education at existing Canadian law schools is at odds with the access to justice and the public interest mandate of our regulatory body.  The Law Society has an obligation to regulate it. It is a problem that the Law Society can no longer ignore. Actionable steps I would like to propose include:

    1. Implementing financial incentives for lawyers to service underserviced areas
    2. Secondly, Invest in expanding the Coaching and Advisor Network and developing formal mentorship programs that promotes the transfer of knowledge from senior practitioners to junior lawyers 
    3. Licensing exams should be practical in nature so that licensees are ready to practice law after graduation. In addition, the LSO is a key stakeholder in the National Accreditation issue.

REDUCE ANNUAL FEES:  

The Law Society also needs to streamline operations by adopting modern technology. Our steadily increasing annual fees should not be considered an infinite revenue source for the Law Society. The goal of the Law Society is to reduce costs by streamlining processes.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my candidacy.  If my platform resonates with you, I hope you will consider voting for me on April 30th.  I am running for a seat outside of Toronto in the Central West region.

Kind regards,

Deepa Tailor

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