Law Society’s Governing Board Changes Name to Law Society of Ontario
Today, Convocation voted to change the regulator’s name from the Law Society of Upper Canada to the “Law Society of Ontario.”
“Our role at the Law Society is to act in the public interest and serve the public, which means we need to be more visible and establish ourselves as the place to turn for legal help and information,” said Law Society Treasurer Paul Schabas. “It had become apparent that the ‘Upper Canada’ part of our name, while liked by many in the profession, was not only confusing for the public, but actually was a barrier to people contacting us, or knowing who we are and what we do,” he said.
Julian Falconer, Bencher, and Chair of the Law Society’s Strategic Communications Steering Group, submitted a motion to Convocation on Thursday, September 28, 2017, where the vote passed with a strong majority to drop “Upper Canada” until another name was decided.
In June 2017, the Law Society was “tasked with determining whether the name The Law Society of Upper Canada was a barrier to connecting with the general public,” says Canadian Lawyer Mag.
In the Canadian Lawyer Mag, Falconer was quoted stating, “The question that Benchers have to contend with and will be called upon to decide is: Does the name represent the way we wish to go forward? Does the name open doors or is it a name that tends to keep doors closed?”
Falconer commented further saying “real concrete steps are expected out of all of us as institutions and Canadians when we speak of reconciliation and it is no secret that the term ‘Upper Canada’ carries a negative connotation for many Indigenous people.”
The Lawyer’s Daily reports that the organization will begin to operate under its new name on Jan. 1, 2018, while the legal name of the regulator will remain as Law Society of Upper Canada until an amendment is made to the Law Society Act. The name change process will be phased in over a 12-month period to allow for a gradual adoption and to ensure any materials with “Upper Canada” on it are used up.
In the News
LSUC will be known as Law Society of Ontario in 2018 November 2, 2017, The Lawyer’s Daily
Law Society’s governing board votes to change the regulator’s name to ‘Law Society of Ontario’ November 2, 2017, The Law Society of Ontario