How the Legal Community Can Better Support Lawyers with Disabilities

  • November 26, 2022
  • Lorin MacDonald, JD, LSM

Originally published in Canadian Lawyer magazine (21 Oct 2022). 

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

I want to highlight two groups advancing disability justice in Canada that exemplify Dr. King’s words – Legal Leaders for Diversity and Inclusion and the Canadian Association of Lawyers with Disabilities.

Recently, Canadian Lawyer published an article about the Legal Leaders for Diversity Trust Fund, which supports Canadian law students with scholarships. Established in 2015, the fund boasts donations from general counsel and law firm managing partners nationwide, granting an impressive 87 scholarships totalling $250,000.

While not taking away from this remarkable contribution, I believe that law students with disabilities need much more.  That is why I am involved with the official launch of the Canadian Association of Lawyers with Disabilities on Thursday, Oct. 27 at a free virtual event in English with captions. I encourage Equality, Diversity and Inclusion leaders at law firms to attend.

Let me now provide an overview of why this association is critical.