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Celebrating Excellence: Highlights from the 10th Osgoode’s Internationally Trained Lawyers Day (OITLD)

June 10, 2024

Elisa Romano

On May 28 and 29, Osgoode Professional Development hosted the 10th Osgoode’s Internationally Trained Lawyers Day (OITLD). This milestone event marked a decade of celebrating diversity, advocacy, mentorship and empowerment within the Canadian legal profession. Held at York University’s Keele Campus, the conference united a vibrant community of legal professionals, scholars, and advocates dedicated to supporting and uplifting internationally trained lawyers.

For its 10th anniversary, OITLD expanded into a two-day event reflecting the increasing success and contributions of internationally trained lawyers (ITLs) across Canada who eagerly shared their journeys with attendees.

The event kicked off on May 28 where attendees gathered with anticipation and excitement. The atmosphere was filled with a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose as participants from various backgrounds and experiences came together to celebrate their collective achievements.

The academic conference kicked off the event, showcasing the contributions of ITLs to Canadian legal practice and research. The presentations highlighted diverse topics such as trademark protection, international aviation law, taxation, and blockchain technology. Each speaker demonstrated the innovative and impactful research being conducted by ITLs, emphasizing their vital role in shaping the field of law.

Following the academic presentations, the Black Female Lawyers Network (BFLN) organized a panel discussion titled “Navigating Diverse Experiences as Internationally Trained Lawyers.” This session provided a platform for panelists to share their personal journeys and professional insights, underscoring the importance of mentorship, resilience and community support in navigating the Canadian legal system.

The day continued with another engaging panel hosted by the Canadian Hispanic Bar Association (CHBA), titled “ITLs Bridging Borders: Exploring Cultural Diversity in Canada’s Legal Landscape.” This discussion explored the unique pathways of ITLs from the Hispanic and Latin American legal communities through the accreditation and licensing processes and their experiences within the Canadian legal profession.

The evening concluded with an in-person speed mentoring session, hosted by ITLNCA NetworkS, focused on accreditation, licensing, job recruitment and professional development. This session allowed ITLs to build valuable connections with experienced ITLs already established in the Canadian legal market.

Day two began with an informative session on the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) process for ITLs seeking accreditation in Canada. Deborah Wolfe provided detailed insights into the steps involved in becoming accredited and offered practical advice for navigating this crucial aspect of an ITL’s journey.

The Law Practice Program (LPP) session, led by Fariya Walji, provided attendees with an overview of the training components, simulated work environment, and placement opportunities available through the program. This session was particularly valuable for ITLs seeking to gain practical experience and enhance their employability in the Canadian legal market.

Following the LPP was a panel of recent NCA candidates and also OsgoodePD LLM alumni, where speakers shared their personal experiences with the NCA process, job recruitment, and licensing. These narratives highlighted the diverse pathways ITLs have taken to achieve success in their careers and offered inspiration and guidance to others on similar journeys.

A practical workshop on crafting effective cover letters and CVs, led by Danielle Laflamme, Senior Manager, Professional Recruiting and Student Programs, Borden Ladner Gervais (Ottawa), equipped attendees with the skills and knowledge needed to prepare strong application materials for law student recruitment, further supporting their professional development.

The conference concluded with an inspiring keynote address by The Honourable Lorne Sossin, Justice of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. Reflecting on a decade of Internationally Trained Lawyers Days, Justice Sossin celebrated the remarkable achievements of ITLs and emphasized the importance of continued advocacy and support for diversity within the legal profession.

Throughout the two-day event, attendees had numerous opportunities to network, exchange ideas, and build lasting connections. The conference provided a supportive environment where ITLs could share their experiences, learn from one another and foster a sense of belonging within the legal profession.

OITLD is a testament to the resilience, talent, and dedication of internationally trained lawyers. As we look forward to the future, we remain committed to advancing diversity, advocacy, mentorship, and empowerment in the legal profession. Thank you to all the speakers, organizers, and participants who made this event a success. Together, we are shaping a more inclusive and dynamic legal community.

To relive the memorable moments, check out our photo gallery. The gallery captures the essence of the event, highlighting the enthusiasm, camaraderie, and excellence that defined the event.

10th Osgoode's Internationally Trained Lawyers Day (OITLD), May 28 and 29, 2024

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