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A leading advocate for equality

When the Law Society of Upper Canada’s board approved a report which brought forward 13 recommendations to address issues of systemic racism in the profession, the working group co-chair Raj Anand said, “It is gratifying that we can now move forward to implement these important recommendations.”

Among them: the development of an inclusion index for legal work-places of at least 25 licensees; the adoption of equality, diversity and inclusion principles and practices; and continuing professional development programs on topics of equality and inclusion in the profession.

Anand, a partner at the downtown law firm of WeirFoulds, practises in the areas of human rights, constitutional and administrative law, labour relations, civil litigation, professional negligence and discipline. He has been the Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, lawyer for the families of victims in the Air India bombing enquiry, has worked on the Employment Equity Act and was the first recipient of The Advocates’ Society Award of Justice.

Anand was drawn to law because it offered opportunities to help people. “When I went to law school, my goal was two-fold. To become the best lawyer. And to effect some social change with my work. I believe everyone should be treated respectfully and be able to achieve their inherent potential without being hindered or excluded for reasons they have no control over.”

He tells newcomers and those starting out in their professions to look for an environment which allows them to be the totality of who they are.

“I grew up in a vastly different Canada, there was name calling, I was ridiculed for my colour. My parents’ advice to me was to beat them at their own game to gain respect. They never said to submerge my Indian identity, but that’s what I understood it to mean. That I had to be less ‘Indian’ if I wanted to succeed. My mother never wore a sari to work because she thought it would be seen as less professional. Now, it is not like that. So, seek an environment where you can succeed in the broader society and maintain your identity.


Posted: Nov 4, 2019

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