Governance Structure

2023 Fall Council Meeting

OBA Fall Council - October 2023


Who are they?

  • President
  • 1st Vice-President
  • 2nd Vice-President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Immediate Past President
  • Executive Director (non-voting)

Except for President, 1st Vice-President, Past-President and Executive Director, the Officers are elected by members of Council. The position of President is filled by automatic succession by the 1st Vice-President. The Executive Director is a staff position.

Officers’ Role

Seven Officers of the Association are responsible for the regular activities and administration of the Branch.  The Officers are responsible for the execution of contracts involving the OBA, the approval of expense reimbursements, signing cheques and other instruments on behalf of the OBA.  


Who are they?

  • President
  • 1st Vice-President
  • 2nd Vice-President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Immediate Past President
  • Chair, Policy and Public Affairs
  • Chair, Sections
  • Chair, Professional Development
  • Executive Director (non-voting)
  • Eight Elected Regional Directors
  • Chair, Young Lawyers Division
  • Chair, Student Section
  • Member-at-Large

Members of Council also elect Regional Directors. The Chairs of the Student Section and Young Lawyers Divisions are decided by their Executive members, subject to approval of OBA’s Board. The Board appoints Committee Chairs.

Board of Director’s Role

The Board is responsible for all aspects of the operation of the OBA.  It receives and reviews monthly reports from each staff department, and constantly monitors the health and well-being of the Association.  It addresses operational issues as they arise, and has the authority to approve policy positions recommended by sections and/or Council.  On an annual basis, the Board approves the OBA budget, reviews the financial state of the organization every four months and approves any budgetary variances that may occur during the course of each fiscal year.

View Board


Who are they?

  • Officers
  • Chair, Professional Development
  • Chair, Sections
  • Eight Regional Directors
  • Past-Presidents for the two-year period following the end of their year as Past- President
  • the Chair of each OBA Section
  • one student representative from each University Law School in the Province as elected in the Student Section Election process (except that the University of Ottawa may be represented by one student from the Common Law English Program and one student from the Common Law French program) and one student from the Civil Law program
  • up to eight representatives of the Young Lawyers Section - one from each of the OBA electoral districts
  • up to a maximum of ten additional members as the Board may appoint for the balance of the current term of Council
  • Elected Regional Members of Council
  • the Chairs of each OBA Standing Committee and Special Committee
  • the Dean or Dean's designate from each University Law School in Ontario
  • one representative chosen by each participant organization in the OBA Diversity Program, selected by each organization
  • former members of the OBA Board of Directors for one Annual Period after holding office
  • up to eight students-at-law in their articling period, one from each OBA electoral district; up to two students-at-law who are enrolled in a Law Practice Program in Ontario; and, a student (or students) who is (are) enrolled in the third year of an integrated practical curriculum program at an Ontario Law School, as the Board may determine
  • up to eight additional regional representatives, no more than one from each region, to be appointed as the Board may determine

Eighty-four members of Council are elected regionally by OBA members in their respective regions.  Section Chairs are elected as part of the Section elections process.  Student and Young Lawyer representatives are elected through their respective section election processes.  The Chairs of Standing Committees are appointed by the Board of Directors as are the additional regional representatives and up to ten additional members.  The remaining members become members of Council by virtue of the office they hold, the office they previously held or through the process used by their respective organizations that led to them representing those organizations.  Council members are elected or appointed for a two-year term.

Council’s Role and Responsibilites

Council members will communicate with their constituents and share information about the OBA’s activities and initiatives.

  • Throughout their term, Council members act as ambassadors and liaisons for the OBA within their region, identify issues and opportunities and provide advice to the Board on how to address them
  • Annually elect the Board of Directors (the decision making body of the Association)

Specifically, Council members are expected to bring forward general and regional issues of importance to members and to the profession, including:

  • Identification of issues in the region (practice or professional) that would benefit from OBA advocacy
  • Issues related to the operation or administration of the judicial system
  • Regional professional development needs
  • Issues related to the presence of the Association in the region

Council meets four times each year. Council members will:

  • Solicit views and comments from their constituents to share with Council and submit proposed agenda items one month prior to the date of a Council meeting to Valerie Dallas at
  • Review all meeting materials posted to the Volunteer Portal
  • Contribute to the discussion of Council
  • Update their constituents after each Council meeting by communicating the highlights of  OBA activities for their members  and distributing any materials received for that purpose

Throughout their term, Council members will:

  • Regularly communicate with their constituents via email and social media to keep them up to date on OBA activities and initiatives and bring any issues or concerns to the attention of the OBA
  • Participate in monthly regional calls (periodically open to regional membership)
  • Coordinate with their regional directors, as appropriate
  • Organize periodic meetings of the members in their region
  • Promote the value of OBA membership within their region
  • Identify opportunities for OBA engagement in their region


View Council