The Community

Written by lawyers for lawyers, by its very nature JUST. is an extension of the OBA community. Learn how your peers are dealing with common challenges; read about the struggles and achievements of your favourite legal icons and hear what other lawyers have to say about the state of affairs within the legal profession.  This section is all about learning, sharing and exchanging, lawyer to lawyer.

abstract, colourful image of gender-neutral figures surrounding the head a shoulders of a person with a mish-mash of different facial features superimposed

What Does a Lawyer Look Like? Time to truly embody diversity and inclusion

  • November 16, 2022
  • Ena Chadha and Emmett Rogers

A special achievement marred by a stereotypical statuette sparks a candid conversation between two leading human rights lawyers – one a non-binary, trans person and the other a first-generation immigrant South Asian woman – about the rigid expectations and barriers related to gender identity that persist in the legal profession, and what we can do to create space for diverse people while better serving the trans community.

business man in front of fall trees and tall builds call excitedly across the street

SPILL: Don’t you love the law in the fall?

  • September 06, 2022

With the arrival of September, and the energy, excitement and, occasionally, anxiety that back-to-the-books season brings (and inspired in part by Meg Ryan’s exclamation in You’ve Got Mail, “Don’t you love New York in the fall? — it makes me wanna buy school supplies”), we asked members what they love — or look forward to — most about the law in the fall.

four professionals, of diverse races and ages, discuss business over meeting table

Deploying the Power of Diverse Perspectives

  • September 06, 2022
  • Mohsen Seddigh

With two new positions on each of our 40 section executives, the OBA is making new strides in advancing diversity and inclusion across the association.

Illustration of one male and one female superhero, both in capes, atop a mountain and looking into the sun

SPILL: Real and yet-to-be-realised heroic encounters

  • June 13, 2022

We asked members to tell us about a time they got to meet one of their heroes or about one they would most like to meet. Responses show the many forms role models take and the myriad ways a chance encounter can make a day or even change a career.

Illustration of scales of justice against backdrop of diverse, multi-coloured faces

If Canada Is Diverse, Why Isn’t Its Highest Court?

  • May 31, 2022
  • Mariam Moktar

The Court, which has the final word on many issues affecting Canadians from all walks of life, should mirror the diversity of this country. Why? Because we know that a diverse bench only enhances the public’s confidence in our legal system, and diversity enhances the quality of decision-making on the bench.

Photo of Samantha Peters

The Future is Femme, Black Femme Legal!

  • May 31, 2022
  • Tamara J. Sylvester

Allow me to reintroduce you to Samantha Peters (she/her/they/them) – no stranger to the spotlight. Samantha, who proudly identifies as a Black queer femme, was called to the bars of Alberta and Ontario in 2020. In that short time, she has made a palpable impact on the legal profession because of her innovative and rebellious approach to the practice of law and the seemingly fearless way in which she navigates the margins that contemporary Canadian society imposes on her intersecting identities.

An illustration of a group of racially diverse people gathered together with lines radiating from them like ideas and calls for action

Beyond Black History Month: Basic principles for life

  • February 26, 2022
  • Jacqueline Beckles

We can apply principles of gathering with purpose and collective brainstorming, and a philosophy of “I am because we are,” to continue to raise awareness and call for action, break barriers and celebrate Black excellence, and lift as we climb and light the way for others every day.

Head shot photo of The Honourable Mary Jo Nolan

Celebrating The Honourable Mary Jo Nolan and a Career Committed to Empowering People

  • December 12, 2021
  • Mana Khami

The Honourable Mary Jo Nolan has devoted her decades-long career to advocating for access to justice for society’s most vulnerable, achieving many firsts along the way: first female case management master in Ontario, first female judge appointed to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Essex County, and now, first recipient of the OBA Award of Excellence in Alternative Dispute Resolution from the Southwest Region.

A graphic of many brightly coloured hands in a group raised as if volunteer

Systemic Change: What role will you play?

  • December 12, 2021
  • Celeste M. Young

After attending the idea-packed RODA Annual Diversity Conference in Partnership with the OBA, Celeste M. Young considers how the intersection of conscious allyship and advocacy can be the catalyst for action and how lawyers can come together to advance important change.

Photo of Marie Henein

Nothing But the Truth

  • December 12, 2021
  • Direct quotes from a conversation with Marie Henein

The forthright new memoir from renowned criminal defence attorney Marie Henein formed the basis of a fascinating OBA Community Book Club event. Attending virtually and answering questions on everything from public perception of law to double-standards that plague powerful women, Henein lived up to her reputation for candour and acuity.