Candidate bio description
I graduated from McMaster University in 2002 with an Honours Commerce degree, minoring in Economics. I then attended Osgoode Hall Law School, graduating in 2005 and was called to the bar in 2006. I practiced at two Bay Street firms before opening my own law firm, Walker Law Professional Corporation in 2010. Walker Law has now grown to employ seven full time employees, consisting of 4 lawyers and paralegals in the area of commercial litigation. On August 9, 2016, I was sworn in by the Law Society of Ontario to be the first black elected female bencher from Toronto in the 219-year history of the Law Society. I am certified by the Law Society of Ontario as a specialist in civil litigation. I am also named in Lexpert as one of the Leading Lawyers to Watch in Corporate/Commercial Litigation. I regularly appear on national television stations such as CityTV, CBC and CTV as a legal analyst. To learn more about me, please see: www.tcwalkerlawyers.com/bencher
What inspired you to run for bencher this year?
My experience acting as a Bencher since 2016 has been instrumental in inspiring me to run for re-election as a Bencher in 2019. Since becoming a Bencher in 2016, I believe that I have been able to make a positive contribution to Convocation as a junior, racialized female lawyer who opened her own firm. It is important that Benchers reflect the varied and diverse community of lawyers in Ontario. I feel strongly that I am able to offer a voice and a perspective on behalf of lawyers across Ontario who work at boutique practices, for mothers, women and for minorities. I also feel that, as a firm owner, I am attuned to the business realities of our profession. If re-elected, my goal is to continue to bring a different perspective to Convocation and to advocate for positive changes in the regulation of our profession.
What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the legal profession?
Although it is difficult to identify one issue as the “biggest” issue facing the profession, I believe that technological advancements have created a number of significant challenges and have changed the way we practice law. Technological advancements have changed the legal profession in a positive way by streamlining various aspects of court process from filing materials to appearing in court. However, the widespread use of technology has also led to cybersecurity and privacy concerns with respect sensitive client information. Technology has also changed the way and the speed at which we communicate with clients and with our peers. The immediacy of communication has put a heavier burden on lawyers to manage client expectations and has increased client demands for immediate results and responses. I believe that developing strategies to address the changing legal landscape due to technological advancements will be a major issue facing our profession for the foreseeable future.
What would be your first priority upon election?
My first priority if I am re-elected as a Bencher is to work with my fellow Benchers to develop a strategy and programming to support the transition of junior lawyers into private practice. I strongly believe that there is room for the LSO to provide training for junior lawyers, particularly those who are working in small firms or as sole practitioners.
What do you hope to achieve over the next four years as a member of Convocation?
If re-elected I will devote myself to the further refinement of existing issues and development of solutions for new matters as they arise, including: Technological Innovation, Efficiency and Preparation; Training and Mentorship for Junior Lawyers; Fiscal Prudence; and Diversity. To read more about what I hope to achieve if re-elected, please see: http://tcwalkerlawyers.com/platform
What's the most pressing concern for the profession in your region of the province?
The most pressing concern in my region is the disconnect between the rising number of licensees each year and the availability of jobs for junior lawyers. Many junior lawyers graduate law school with heavy debt loads, and must also bear the costs of licensing fees and insurance. In addition, the cost of living in Toronto continues to rise. Although the number of licensees in Toronto increases each year, we have not seen a significant increase in the number of available positions for articling students or junior lawyers. I feel strongly that we need to develop a strategy to better assist junior lawyers in finding fulfilling positions and ensure that they receiving proper training and mentorship. I believe that supporting junior members of the Bar will inevitably allow our profession to better serve the public.
Do you support the requirement to create and abide by a statement of principles?
Yes, I am in support of the requirement to create and abide by a Statement of Principles.