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R. Lee Akazaki

City of Toronto Electoral Region
R. Lee Akazaki

Candidate bio description

Partner, Gilbertson Davis LLP Called: 1990 Certified Specialist (Civil Lit): 2000 Awards: OBA Joel Kuchar Award for Professionalism and Civillity JusticeNet Patron Council Award OBA Linda Adlam Manning Award for Volunteerism Current Professional Duties: Bencher, LSO (April 25, 2109) Council, OBA Trustee, OBA Foundation Director, Canadian Defence Lawyers Past Professional Duties: President, OBA 2010-11 Director, CBA 2010-11 Chair of CLE, OBA 2008-09 Chair of Civil Litigation, OBA 2008-09 LSUC Barrister Advisory Grp 2005-09 Volunteer: UofT Law, OJEN/ROEJ, Advocates Society Pro Bono Duty Counsel, OBA Racialized Lawyer Working Group @LeeAkazaki

What inspired you to run for bencher this year?

Access to Justice. I have been involved in the Bar since my call in 1990. My belief in the core values of our profession always bring me back to access to justice. Every issue facing the Bar inevitably comes back to bettering our ability to serve the public through membership in a strong and independent Law Society.

What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the legal profession?

Retention of women, young lawyers, and minorities in practice.

What would be your first priority upon election?

Contribute to a progressive coalition to modernize the Law Society. Without a collaborative attitude, no one bencher can achieve anything.

What do you hope to achieve over the next four years as a member of Convocation?

Set in motion a programme of community outreach to improve recruitment of lawyers from underrepresented communities. As defenders of the public interest, the leadership of the Law Society should encourage the ambition of all young people to seek the legal profession as an attainable career.

What's the most pressing concern for the profession in your region of the province?

Toronto is one of the most diverse communities in the world. However, our Bar does not reflect the community we serve.

Do you support the requirement to create and abide by a statement of principles?

Yes. Let us move forward, not slide backward.

Poll Question

What do you see as the top issue that prospective benchers need to address if they are elected?