National Section Meeting Report 2014/2015

  • November 22, 2014


National Women Lawyers Forum


November 7-9, 2014


Halifax Marriott Harbourfront

Submitted by

BC Branch Representative: Rachel Lammers (Women Lawyers Forum-Kamloops)


For your reference, I am attaching the minutes of the meeting of the National Women Lawyer's Forum for the above noted weekend conference.

The WLF seeks to have a voice on the following subjects which we feel are of continuing concern to female lawyers in Canada:

  • Sexual harassment in the workplace
  • Under-representation of women on the bench;
  • Under-representation of women in other positions of governance (ie, partnership or corporate board members including on CBA committees);
  • the retention of women in the practice of law.

It was quite apparent to me during the course of this weekend, that the BC WLF groups were leaders in many respects in the country, within the auspices of the CBA. The BC WLF has the greatest membership numbers in Canada by far and in fact, is probably a significant factor in influencing women lawyers in BC in their decision to be members of the CBA at all.

Although not directly a subject of the conference, it is probably well worth reviewing the way the three provincial WLF groups (Vancouver, Victoria and Kamloops) work together on the various objectives as set out above. It may also be well worth considering trying to encourage the creation of other regional subsections in BC in other cities.

At the conference, the attendees considered the CBA Legal Futures Initiative report. We were disappointed to learn that none of our written recommendations to the committee were formed part of the report at all. WLF was the only group to have provided written recommendations to the Futures report committee. It is our view that issues relating to diversity and women were missed in the Futures Report.

The WLF executive is preparing an FOI request to obtain further information about the number of female and male applicants to the bench in each jurisdiction in Canada, and some details on the number of female and male applicants who were recommended or highly recommended by the judicial advisory committees in each jurisdiction.

We also discussed what measures could be taken by our group to address issues of workplace sexual harassment in law firms and offices. The executive is preparing a media release on the subject.

See below PDF for Agenda and full Minutes.

Other matters as discussed are as set out in the minutes.

The next National WLF Conference will take place in Vancouver in 2015, a date to be determined.

See below PDF for Agenda and full Minutes.

National Women Lawyers Forum Meeting Minutes