Diversity in the Legal Profession

Joy Casey
Barrister and Solicitor
T. 416-368-3847
jcasey@idirect.com

Yolanda Coly
Coly Advocacy LLC
T. 312-545-7327
ycoly@colyadvocacy.com

Our Mission Statement:
As Corporate Legal Officers, we affirm our commitment to diversity in the legal profession.  Our action is based on the need to enhance opportunity in the legal profession for women and minorities and our recognition that the legal and business interests of our clients require legal representation that reflects the diversity of our employees, customers and the communities where we do business.  In furtherance of this commitment, this is intended to be a Call to Action for the profession generally, in particular for our law departments and for the law firms with which our companies do business.

In an effort to realize a truly diverse profession and to promote diversity in law firms, we commit to taking action consistent with the Call to Action. To that end, we pledge that we will make decisions regarding which law firms represent our companies based in significant part on the diversity performance of the firms.

We intend to look for enhanced opportunities for those firms which positively distinguish themselves in this area. We intend to look for opportunities to direct work to firms which are controlled by, or have a substantial number of, partners who are women or minorities. We further intend to end or limit our relationships with firms whose performance consistently evidences a lack of meaningful interest in being diverse.

Who are we?
A Call to Action Canada
(ACTAC) is inspired by the “Call to Action” which was set in motion in the United States in 2004 by senior legal officers at some of the largest and most influential companies operating there. Over 100 senior corporate counsel in the United States have become signatories to that Call to Action, committing to foster diversity in the legal profession both within their organizations and, especially, in the outside law firms which supply legal services.

Following that lead, ACTAC encourages and supports in-house counsel and corporate leaders in taking a leadership role in advancing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession by:

  • insisting that their outside law firms demonstrate a true commitment to, and real progress in, the full participation and advancement of women and minority lawyers within law firms (“minority” is defined as broadly as possible, including visible minorities, Aboriginals, the disabled, members of the LGBT community, etc.);
  • looking for opportunities to direct work to firms which are controlled by, or have a substantial number of, partners who are women or minorities; and
  • limiting or terminating relationships with outside law firms which demonstrate a lack of interest in, and commitment to, being diverse and inclusive.

Corporate leaders and in-house counsel are asked to sign ACTAC’s mission statement, pledging their commitment to advocate for diversity personally and on behalf of their organizations.

There is no cost to become a signatory. There are no rules or regulations about how a signatory organization “complies”. We expect that signatories will honor the spirit and principle of the commitment set out in the Mission Statement by making diversity one of the factors considered when deciding on the law firms who will represent them. How each law department or company implements its own programs, policies and practices is up to that organization.

At its regular conferences, ACTAC provides a forum for the exchange of ideas, policies and best practices while also helping to celebrate those who are clearly leaders in the field. ACTAC has also developed a website of women and minority owned law firms as a resource to aid companies in finding appropriate firms which suit their requirements: www.cwmlf.ca

Become a Corporate Legal Officer of “A Call To Action Canada” today.

There is no cost to become a signatory. There are no rules or regulations about how a signatory organization “complies”. We expect that signatories will honour the spirit and principle of the commitment set out in the Mission Statement by making diversity one of the factors considered when deciding on the law firms who will represent them. How each law department or company implements its own programs, policies and practices is up to that organization.

Download and return the filled out form to Joy Casey, at jcasey@idirect.com.

Download Form Today!

Joy Casey
Barrister and Solicitor
416-368-3847
jcasey@idirect.com

Learn more about Joy

Yolanda Coly
Coly Advocacy LLC
312-545-7327
ycoly@colyadvocacy.com

Learn more about Yolanda

Is your organization looking to:

  • Create an inclusive culture and develop a pipeline of diverse future leaders?
  • Recruit and hire the best minds in the field?
  • Reduce costs associated with attrition?
  • Provide the highest quality services through the contributions of a diverse team of skilled professionals?
  • Implement strategies to cultivate long-term relationships with diverse vendors/suppliers?
  • Meet and exceed current and prospective client or customer demands for diversity and inclusion?
  • Improve organizational effectiveness by maximizing diversity and inclusion?
  • Enhance its ability to work across lines of difference with clients and staff?
  • Compete for clients in the global marketplace?
  • Enhance your competitive edge through diversity and inclusion?

A Call to Action Canada guides organizations to develop customized strategies to address these and other diversity and inclusion objectives. Contact us for more information for what would be the best fit for your organization.

Scroll Up