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Ontario’s Injury Lawyers Participate in Justicia Project

Like any profession, becoming a lawyer takes a great deal of commitment, both in terms of time and money.  Many lawyers graduate from law school with an enormous debt load. Of course, in the end, most lawyers would likely agree that it was worth the effort and are happy with their legal careers.  Why then are so many women lawyers leaving the private practice of law?

The Justicia Project

In 2008, the Law Society of Upper Canada formed the Justicia Project to examine this very issue in response to the Final Report of the Retention of Women in Private Practice Working Group, which identified that women lawyers appeared to have immediate issues resulting from childbirth and parenting responsibilities, and were impacted to a greater degree by the unavailability of flexible work arrangements.

What are the Project’s Goals?

Simply put, the goal of the Justicia Project is to assist with the development of principles and best practices designed to retain and advance women lawyers in private practice.

More than 55 firms, including Ferguson Barristers LLP, have committed to the project and are working toward the following 4 goals:

  • tracking gender demographics
  • flexible work arrangements
  • networking and business development
  • mentoring and leadership skills development for women

What has the Justicia Project been doing?

Since 2008, members of the Justicia Project have participated in various working groups to develop resources for participating law firms and lawyers to help address the particular challenges faced by women in the profession. The June 2011 Status Report of the Retention of Women in Private Practice Working Group identified over a dozen resources prepared by Justicia Project members.

In October 2011, Convocation approved the extension of the Justicia Project until the end of 2012. Project members are once again meeting regularly to complete ongoing work and develop further resources.

Retaining women in private practice throughout Ontario is vital to maintaining balanced representation and Ferguson Barristers is proud to be participating in this important initiative.


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