As the largest lawyer association in Ontario, the OBA truly is the voice of the legal profession. That voice comes from our 16,000 members across the province and across multiple areas of law.
The OBA is comprised of 39 defined areas of practice, called Sections. You’ve likely heard about Section programs, events and awards – there’s always something going on with these active groups.
The OBA membership relies upon the legs of these 800+ dedicated volunteers, who devote their time to serving and representing this diverse body of lawyers across the province.
OBA Sections serve and represent the needs of member practitioners across Ontario. Each has an executive committee made up of lawyers with varying experiences, specializations and perspectives related to that specific area of law.
Membership is democratic, with an annual nomination and election process. All members, including the chair, serve a limited term in order to maintain a balance of new and experienced participation.
How Section executives work for you
Section executives serve the membership by developing timely, cost-effective programming, hosting special events, honouring the work of their peers, producing informative practice-specific articles and papers and encouraging and facilitating participation from Section members.
An important role of the Section executive is to work with the OBA Public Affairs Committee to develop positions that propose, amend and respond to legislation and Law Society matters that affect their area of practice. OBA Section executive members have influence in the shaping of law and policy in Ontario.
A great idea is one that is well researched and communicated clearly. Our Executive has the resources to come up with many great ideas. The Executive draws on its committees which enable us to provide the Section membership with the resources and tools to better assist them in the practice of law. This, in turn, benefits our courts, government, and society as a whole.
- Vince De Angelis, De Angelis Law Professional Corporation
What practice areas do OBA Sections cover?
Our 39 sections cover nearly every area of law practice, from family law to information technology to class actions. As legal practice evolves and changes, so do the needs of the public and consequently, lawyers. For example, the OBA’s newest practice Section, Child and Youth Law, was established in August 2014 to address the increasingly common legal issues unique to young people.
Being on the executive of the Child and Youth Law Section gives me a wonderful opportunity to increase awareness of legal matters involving children and youth, and to develop exceptional professional development programs for our members.
- Brock Jones, Ministry of Attorney General- Criminal Law Division - Crown Attorney’s Office
How do I become involved with Sections?
As a Section member (visit OBA.org/Sections to sign up for one complimentary Section), you have the opportunity to partake in valuable benefits such as programming, networking events, articles and papers, complimentary archived programs and many other practice resources. Your feedback on the work of the Section is valued and encouraged. You can also take an active role by writing an informative article, speaking at a program, providing input in upcoming legislation and policy initiatives and spreading the word about the valuable work of your OBA peers.
"I initially joined the Business Law Section Executive when I was hired as a junior lawyer. As a foreign trained lawyer with little Canadian law experience, I hoped that the Section Executive would help expand my knowledge base, give me advance insight into legal developments of relevance, and provide me with an opportunity to learn from the leading minds in the province in these areas of law. I was not disappointed – the Section Executive provided all of those things and more, including mentorship, which has been invaluable to me during my career."
- Nadia Somani, McLean & Kerr
If you'd like to learn more about how you can become involved with OBA Sections, visit one of our 39 practice-specific Section web pages, reach out to your Section's executive committee, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.