Lack of diversity in law, in the world’s most multicultural city in the country the most welcoming of outsiders, continues to confound.
In 2011, I met with the leaders of the American Bar Association during their annual conference in Toronto. I was impressed with how more reflective of our general community the delegates were, compared to senior members of our bar. They seemed to have got over the barrier from diversity as prototype to diversity as integral professional culture. Even to the point that, it was pointed out to me, the seven members of the California Supreme Court included four women and four Asians. The American Civil Rights Movement has always been about participation and integration, and less about preservation of diasporic customs.
Could the American approach to diversity have led to more successful promotion of lawyers from newcomer groups? An interesting topic deserving of in-depth research, perhaps. For the fleeting moments you might spend on this blog, though, I propose to apply Occam’s Razor and assume provisionally the answer is yes. The purpose? Nothing less than testing a hypothesis that Canadian lawyers coming from diverse communities must also learn about the established culture. Read the February 2013 installment of The Accidental Mentor, and leave feedback either here or on the Canadian Lawyer page. (Or click on the image of the graph, above-right.)
(The graphic top-right explains how most real life solutions come from bold assumptions – why Occam’s Razor is a handy philosophical tool in the oversimplified planet of the blogosphere.)