Hi Lawyers, how’ve you been?
Everything good? That’s great.
It’s me, LSUC.*
Well, my real name is Law Society of Upper Canada. Some people call me, “The Law Society”, but we can drop the formalities, right? Just call me LSUC. Listen, I know we’re not as close as we could be, and I know I typically only call when I want something (like fees, CPD reporting, an annual report, maybe a practice audit, etc…) but I really need your help.
You see, we’re holding this election. It only happens every four years, but it’s kind of a big deal. There are, like, 96 lawyers across Ontario that want to support LSUC’s mandate to advance the cause of justice and protect the public interest by serving as Benchers. Benchers are like the Board of Directors, so they oversee our $100M operations, but they are also Governors, adjudicators and committee members that establish polices like your code of conduct, professional competency standards, and stuff like that.
Uh oh…have I lost your interest already?
The thing is, I’m really worried. There’s like, nearly 50,000 of you out there and I’ve been trying to get you to vote since last Monday, but as of yesterday, only 8500 of you did. Look, I don’t want to play to stereotypes about lawyers not being good at math, but that’s like, um…., only 17% of you.
I’ve been trying to get your attention about this election, and I think a few of the candidates have too. Heck, I know they have. After all, why else would so many of you be complaining about endless emails, letters, tweets and other campaign nuisance?
Sorry, that wasn’t fair. I can’t blame you. After all, I’m writing to ask for your help.
In 2011, about 37% of lawyers voted in the Bencher election. With those Benchers in place, LSUC established the Law Practice Program, studied Alternative Business Structures, reviewed the accreditation request of Trinity Western University, studied the challenges faced by racialized licensees and women in the profession, spent a ton of cash on some high profile disciplinary matters. We did a bunch more, but you get the picture.
Now it could be that the 83% of you that haven’t voted are completely cool with all that we did and/or that you have full faith or are indifferent about how the class of 2015 Benchers will run things until the next election in 2019. But I hope you might want to be closer to what’s going on. I know I’d like it if we talked more and not only when I need something.
But I really do need something this time.
I need you to vote.
It’s really easy. Check your in-box or spam filter from April 13th. I sent you a note with a personalized link. A few clicks, 3-5 minutes and BOOM! You’re done!
Ok, I realize I probably could have done more to make it this easier to figure out who is running, than putting together a giant PDF of 96 profiles (http://www.lsuc.on.ca/uploadedFiles/bencher-election-2015-voting-guide.pdf), so that’s on me. My bad.
Luckily, a couple other places have put together some lists with more details from the candidates. These aren’t official and not all candidates, are listed, so it’s not like I’m endorsing them, but they still might help.
Here’s one from Law Times: http://www.lawtimesnews.com/2015bencherelection/candidates.html
Here’s one from the Ontario Bar Association: http://oba.org/2015Benchers/OBA-Candidates-List
Those keeners at the OBA even put together a big canvass with 63 candidate pictures. It’s cool, you know, if you’re in to that sort of thing.
Anyway, I’ve been rambling. Funny though, in the time it took you to read this, you could have voted! lol
So, I hate to ask, but I’d really like your help with 2 things.
First, please vote.
And second, please bug your lawyer friends (you know, especially the ones that don’t like me very much and are always offering an opinion on what I should do) to do the same.
It’s kind of embarrassing that I’ve only been able to get a third of you to vote in the past. Municipalities get more than that. Hell (oops, sorry, Heck!), student councils probably do better.
This was nice.
Thanks for listening.
Your BFF, LSUC.
*Disclaimer: This may shock you, but I’m really not LSUC and I’m not authorized to speak for LSUC. I’m using satire, perhaps poorly so, but it’s intended as satire nonetheless. I’m just Colin Lachance, an LSUC licensee and Bencher candidate speaking on my own behalf.