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Bennett Jones LLP - Toronto, Ontario

Diversity & Inclusion

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Please describe your diversity programs and initiatives Our diversity policy articulates our commitment to, and strategy for, establishing and maintaining a diverse and inclusive workplace, particularly for those who have been historically excluded from, and under-represented in, the practice of law.

We believe the goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion start with us. Women lead three of our four largest offices as managing partners, including in Toronto, and two of the three are women of colour. Our Chief Administrative Officer (the most senior position in the firm apart from positions held by practising lawyers) is a woman and all of the heads of our internal business teams (marketing, finance, knowledge and practice innovation, and professional development) are women. The head of our Partnership Admission Committee, who is also the head of our Diversity and Inclusion Committee, is a woman. The head of our Student Committee is also a woman of colour.

In 2013, the firm signed on to the Law Firm Diversity and Inclusion Network (LFDIN) demonstrating its commitment to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal profession through recruitment, retention, advancement and support, and we continue to have representatives on the LFDIN which meets on a monthly basis to discuss new diversity and initiatives programs. Our Toronto Managing Partner serves on the board of the Black North Initiative.

We also support many organizations that celebrate or support diversity such as Black Law Students Association, Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, South Asian Bar Association, Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, Start Proud (formerly Out on Bay), the Canadian Association of 2SLGBTQ+ Lawyers (CALL), and Law in Action Within Schools (LAWS).

In 2022, the firm created the Future Leaders in Law Scholarship Program providing scholarships to Black, Indigenous, and first-generation future lawyers to help support diversity in and accessibility to law school. Each recipient of the scholarship will receive mentorship from Bennett Jones lawyers and $10,000 for use towards their first-year tuition. Each scholarship is eligible for renewal in the recipient's second and third year of study, provided they maintain a minimum B minus average during the prior academic year.

The firm is also a financial sponsor for various 2SLGBTQ+ initiatives and organizations. This includes the Get Real Movement, a 2SLGTBQ+ organization that promotes both tolerance and understanding at high schools to combat bullying and anti-2SLGTBQ+ sentiments among youth; Start Proud and its annual Out on Bay Conference; and the PRISME Conference. Recently, the firm has also sponsored the Jean Augustine Centre for Young Women's Empowerment's "Education to Innovate", exposing young women and girls, many from underprivileged countries, to STEM fields.

Diversity Contact Information

Students who have questions about EDI initiatives and/or would like to connect with someone with a similar lived experience, please contact Preet Bell
Darcy Legros
Tracey Doyle
Kohi Richardson
Diversity website:
Please list the various initiatives your firm has undertaken related to providing an accessible workplace and barrier free culture for people with disabilities, as well as any information you may be able to share regarding the types accommodations provided. We recognize and understand our obligations to accommodate differences and disabilities within our workplace and culture, and to openly acknowledge and address the importance of seeking assistance where required. Working in the legal profession is challenging and our success requires our people be at their best. There is no single or one-size-fits-all approach to the accommodation process. Each accommodation is discussed with the accommodation-seeking individual, the professional development group, HR and/or practice group leaders, as necessary, to facilitate the support needed to ensure the integration and success of that individual. Examples of accommodations may include the procurement and training with specialized equipment, extensions of time for delivering assignments, reduced work hours, project-based workflow, etc.