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February 25, 2021

Former Bencher Philip Epstein invested into the Order of Canada
In her opening remarks at Convocation, Treasurer Teresa Donnelly acknowledged the contributions of distinguished family law lawyer, former Law Society bencher and honorary LLD recipient Philip Michael Epstein, C.M., O.Ont., Q.C., who was invested into the Order of Canada on Feb. 5, 2021 for his leadership in Canadian family law. Read the Gazette article.
 
Honorary LLD presented to street nurse Cathy Crowe
This morning a degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LLD) was presented to street nurse, educator, homelessness activist, filmmaker and author Cathy Crowe. The Law Society awards honorary doctorates each year to distinguished individuals in recognition of outstanding achievements in the legal profession, the rule of law or the cause of justice. Over the last three decades, Ms. Crowe has had an immense impact on homelessness and social justice in Canada. She has given a voice to the marginalized and vulnerable through the documentaries she has produced and the books she has authored. Read the Gazette article about Ms. Crowe.
 
CEO’s Report
The Law Society’s Chief Executive Officer, Diana Miles, provided a report to Convocation on the LSO’s 2020 annual results. The report highlights the organization’s COVID-19 response and support of licensees and the public, while continuing to ensure the organization’s mandate was fulfilled.
 
Annual General Meeting
The Law Society’s AGM will take place virtually on Wednesday, May 12 at 5:15 p.m.
 
Licensing examinations
Convocation approved a plan to continue offering four-hour online licensing examinations for another three years, until the end of the 2023-2024 licensing cycle. This decision ensures stability in the licensing process and will allow the Law Society to thoroughly assess the effectiveness of the online delivery model. Read the Gazette article. Full report.
 
2021-2022 articling term
Convocation renewed the minimum 8-month articling term for the 2021-2022 licensing cycle. The extension of the minimum 8-month articling term for another licensing cycle is a temporary measure intended to help address the impact of the pandemic. Full report.
 
Law Students’ Society of Ontario (LSSO) Motions
Convocation considered a report on the motions submitted by the LSSO to the Law Society’s August 2020 AGM. Although the motions were not adopted, Convocation recognized the unique perspective of the LSSO and the value it brings to the work of the Law Society. The Treasurer and Convocation committed to ongoing collaboration, robust engagement and consultation.

New annual fee categories
The Audit and Finance Committee will consider a motion proposing new fee categories, at 10 per cent of the annual fee, for licensees on parental leave and licensees licensed for under five years. The Committee plans to report back to Convocation in May 2021.

By-law amendments
  • By-Laws 4, 7 and 14 were amended to implement a number of strategic change items that were approved in principle by Convocation in June, 2020. In addition, Convocation approved amendments to By-Laws 4 and 7 to remove the requirements for licensees who wish to surrender their licence and professional corporations that wish to surrender their certificate of authorization to publish a notice of intention to surrender in the Ontario Reports.
  • Housekeeping amendments were made to By-Law 4 to include certain non-offence summary proceedings within the paralegal scope of practice.
  • By-Law 2 was amended to facilitate a virtual AGM.
 
Lincoln Alexander Award
Convocation approved a proposal from the Treasurer to expand eligibility of the Lincoln Alexander Award to include paralegals, effective immediately. The Award was established in 2002 and has been awarded annually in recognition of an Ontario lawyer who has demonstrated long-standing interest and commitment to the public and to the pursuit of community service on behalf of residents of Ontario. Read the report to Convocation.
 
Other decisions

Agenda

Agenda
Public Minutes
Public Transcript

LL.D. Ceremony – Cathy Crowe

Address by Ian M. Hull, Chair, The Law Society Foundation

Reports

Consent Agenda - Motion

  • Confirmation of Draft Minutes of Convocation – November 27, 2020 and February 9, 2021

  • Motions

    • 2021 Annual General Meeting

    • Appointments

    • Tribunal Appointment

  • Human Rights Monitoring Group Request for Intervention

  • Secretary’s Report

    • Amendments to By-Law 2 Respecting the Law Society’s Annual General Meeting Process

  • Paralegal Standing Committee and Professional Development & Competence Committee Joint Report

    • ​Update on Pandemic Response Measures: Licensing Examinations and Articling Term  


Financial Update (Oral report)


CEO’s Report


Law Students’ Society of Ontario Motions on Governance Issues From the 2020 Annual General Meeting


Priority Planning Committee Report

  • Reducing the Frequency of Committee Meetings and Convocations

For information

  • Update on 2019-2023 Strategic Plan Implementation


Paralegal Standing Committee Report

  • Lincoln Alexander Award Eligibility

  • Amendments to By-Law 4 Respecting Paralegal Criminal Scope


Professional Regulation Committee Report

  • Amendments to By-Laws 4, 7 and 14

For information


Notices of Motions

  • Notice of Motion – Lewis/Lesage

  • Notice of Motion - Shi/Fagan


Law Society Awards (in camera)

  • Law Society Awards Committee Report

  • Human Rights Award Report


Paralegal Award Selection Committee Report (in camera)

Equity and Indigenous Affairs Committee Report (in camera)

Compensation Committee Report (in camera)


REPORTS FOR INFORMATION ONLY

Audit & Finance Committee Report

  • LawPRO Financial Statements for the Nine Months Ended September 30, 2020

  • LIRN Inc. Financial Statements for the Nine Months Ended September 30, 2020


Professional Development and Competence Committee Report

  • Professional Development & Competence Division 2020 Program and Resource Report


Tribunal Committee Report

  • Law Society Tribunal Quarterly Statistics from July 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020


Update from The Law Society Foundation

The Law Society held a virtual Convocation on February 25. Here is the link to the webcast

Licensees, members of the media and the public are welcome to view the public portions of Convocation via the Law Society’s webcast. While audio recording is permissible for note taking purposes only, the webcast or video archive of the proceedings may not be captured, recorded or distributed for any purpose. 

Terms or Concepts Explained