“Keeping women lawyers in the profession is a key objective for the law society,” said LSBC president Gavin Hume in a statement. “As the regulator, it’s our job to ensure the public interest is met, and we believe people are best served by a legal profession that is representative of the public. That is not the case now.”
Only 36 per cent of practising lawyers in B.C. are women. In addition, the law society found one-third of new female lawyers left the practice of law between 2003-08, compared with 20 per cent of new male lawyers.
“This issue exists throughout the world and there is no easy fix, but the law society is committed to effecting change and Justicia is the latest step we’re taking,” added Hume.
The program, called Justicia, follows the Justicia Project launched in Ontario in 2008 by the Law Society of Upper Canada. More than 50 law firms have joined the Justicia Project in its initiative to support female lawyers by sharing best practices, developing resources, and adopting programs. The B.C. law society is aiming for a similar outcome in that province.