Candidate bio description
Rebecca Jaremko Bromwich is Program Director for the Graduate Diploma in Conflict Resolution program at Carleton University, in the Department of Law and Legal Studies. Called to the Bar in 2003, Dr. Bromwich is also a per diem Crown Attorney with the Ministry of the Attorney General in Ottawa. She worked in private practice from 2003 – 2009, starting at a large firm, doing a wide range of litigation work. She also worked for six years as Staff Lawyer, Law Reform and Equality, to the Canadian Bar Association, then as a Policy Counsel with the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. Rebecca is a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (ADRIO), a member of the Board of the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO). She has Certificates from the Program on Negotiation Master Class (2017) and in Mediation from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School (2018). Dr. Bromwich received her Ph.D. in 2015 from the Carleton University Department of Law and Legal Studies, and was the first ever graduate of that program. She was awarded a Carleton Senate Medal as well as the 2015 CLSA Graduate Student Essay Prize for her graduate work. Rebecca also has an LL.M. and LL.B., received from Queen’s University in 2002 and 2001 respectively, and holds a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Cincinnati. In addition to her several years teaching at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, Rebecca has taught at the University of Western Ontario’s Faculty of Law, and at the University of Cincinnati. She has also been a columnist for the Lawyers Weekly and has authored and co-authored several legal textbooks for students and legal system practitioners, including lawyers, paralegals and police. Rebecca is a co-editor of Robson Hall Law School’s criminal law and justice blog: robsoncrim.com and is a research associate with the UK’s Restorative Justice for All Institute. These publications are dedicated to providing public access to legal information. Rebecca is a member of the Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR) Artificial Intelligence Working Group.
What inspired you to run for bencher this year?
Now is an important time for the legal profession and access to justice in Ontario. We are seeing the coalescence of a number of social and technological changes that have been gathering energy for some time: diversity and equality, once marginal considerations, are now foregrounded, at the same time that radically improved legal tech and enhanced technological capacities for AI are emerging. I would like to contribute to the guidance of governance of the profession at this juncture, where much-anticipated future changes to the legal profession are now rapidly becoming a reality in the present.
What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the legal profession?
Relevance. To justify our place in society as a vaunted profession, and the continued public support for legal education, we need to be relevant. This need to be relevant engages issues of diversity and inclusion: we need to connect with the current needs of a changed and quickly changing demographic population of Ontario in a just and equitable way. Our need to be relevant also engages questions of legal technology: as tech progresses, lawyers need to adapt our practices to optimize what we do and how we do it to best serve clients, and serve justice, in a radically altered technological landscape. Perhaps most significantly, our need to be relevant engages access to justice: the supply of the provision of legal services, and the practice of law, in Ontario, needs urgently to do better to connect with the demand for legal advice and representation.
What would be your first priority upon election?
I am a person of action, and I intend to act decisively. I do have my own ideas and opinions. However, I will not draw conclusions or take action prematurely. My first priority will be learning: Albert Einstein is famously quoted for saying that, if he had one hour to solve a problem, he would spend 55 minutes seeking to understand the problem and five minutes trying to solve it. My biggest take-home piece of learning from my PhD studies was to ask more questions. As a newly-elected Bencher, I will work collaboratively with my colleagues to wrap my head around the issues, and to understand the work they are already doing, first. Then my top priority will be to act as an agent of meaningful, positive change.
What do you hope to achieve over the next four years as a member of Convocation?
I aspire to act as an agent of meaningful, positive change. I would like to continue existing LSO work of establishing clearer, more concrete, achievable goals for our work, to establish better metrics for assessing whether and to what extent we are reaching those targets, and then to reach and exceed them.
What's the most pressing concern for the profession in your region of the province?
The most pressing concern for the profession in my region is for due attention to be paid to our wide variety of needs. There are a diverse range of practitioners in my region, in terms of practice area and personal identity, in terms of things like ethnicity, family status, race, sex, sexuality, sexual identity religion, and, not least, language. They have different needs. Criminal defence lawyers need more attention to be paid to Legal Aid. Diversely identified lawyers need more attention to be paid to equality and inclusion. Franco-Ontarians need more attention to paid to their needs as a distinct group within Ontario.
Do you support the requirement to create and abide by a statement of principles?
I'm not in love with it but I'm not opposed to it. I certainly don't think the current requirement to create and abide by a statement of principles is unconstitutional or otherwise legally problematic. It is a liveable compromise. If anything, it lacks the kind of specificity that would give the requirement enforceability and "teeth". We can at least commit to such a statement, and really, we should do more than that.