Leading law firms sign the BlackNorth Initiative Law Firm Pledge

Aug 27, 2020

Osler, along with Blakes, BLG, Davies, Dentons, Fasken, Goodmans, Gowling WLG, McCarthy Tétrault, and Torys are committed to addressing and ending anti-Black and other forms of structural racism in the legal profession. We have signed the BlackNorth Initiative Law Firm Pledge because of our individual and collective commitment to achieve the goals set out in the Pledge and to deliver on these concrete, measurable actions that will effect meaningful change.

We commend the BlackNorth Initiative (BNI) for initiating the Law Firm Pledge. The Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL), played an important role in our collaborative discussions. We will continue to work with BNI, CABL and other stakeholders across the legal profession to break down barriers to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of Black people in our firms. Stronger together, we will drive progress and deliver lasting change.

To read the BlackNorth Initiative - Law Firm Pledge our firms signed, click here [PDF]. 

Osler is committed to advancing the representation and inclusion of Black members of our firm as an important part of our commitment to an inclusive environment and equal opportunity for all firm members.

In 2010, Osler was one of the first law firms in Canada to establish a formal Diversity Committee and Diversity Mandate. Our investment in fostering a diverse and inclusive environment includes a wide range of educational, professional development and community focused initiatives.

Internally, we have created a Legal Professional Resource Group (LPRG) for Black Lawyers to bring together legal professionals with shared experiences and backgrounds. Our LPRG groups, including our Asia-Pacific Affinity Network and South Asian Network, support colleagues through professional and business development and social networking.

In our student community, we are supporters of the Black Law Students’ Association of Canada and Osgoode Black Law Students’ Association. In 2018, we established the Osler Diversity Scholarship Program for second-year law students to ensure that law students are recognized and celebrated for their diversity and inclusion efforts.

Our General Counsel Dashboard client reporting tool enables reporting on diversity and inclusion at Osler at the matter level and supports our clients’ diversity objectives both strategically and in a measurable manner.

Our upcoming sixth annual Diversity Disclosure Practices report will be taking a broader look at the representation on the board of directors and within senior management of racialized groups, Indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities, in addition to women, as part of the updated CBCA diversity disclosure requirements.

With the full commitment of Firm leadership, Osler will continue to invest in supporting and promoting diversity within our firm, in the legal profession, in our communities, and in the institutions from which we draw our talent. 

Media Contact: 

Rebecca Goldberg
Media and PR Specialist