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Why Should You Care About the LSO Bencher Election?

Written by Russell Alexander / (905) 655-6335

The 2023 Law Society of Ontario (LSO) Bencher election is coming up in just a few weeks’ time. It only happens once every four years. 

Have you taken notice?  Are you informed and ready to cast your ballot? 

It’s easy to ignore the raft of election campaign materials that may be flooding your email Inbox.  <Click.  Delete.  Yawn.>  It’s simple to assume that the voting and election process will take care of itself – like it has in years past.   And to assume that Benchers who are ultimately elected, by those others who actively choose to exercise their vote, will be just … fine.

So why should you care about the Bencher election?  And why should you take the time to vote?

Impact on the Legal Profession, and on the Public Good

Fact:  As members of the legal profession, the LSO plays a critical role in our practices.

Why you should care about the election:   

  • The decisions of Benchers influence how the LSO is governed.  
  • The policies, standards and programs they develop also have a major impact on how individual lawyers and paralegals practice law.  
  • By participating in the election process, you can have your say in how the LSO is governed.  
  • This in turn helps shape the future of the entire legal profession in Ontario.

Access to Justice

Fact: The LSO also has a key role in promoting access to justice in the province.

Why you should care about the election:   

  • Benchers develop policies and program that help to ensure that all individuals have access to legal services, regardless of their income or background.
  • By choosing Benchers who have the right mindset, and the right approach to access to justice and public policy issues, you can make a big difference.
  • It can impact the welfare of all sectors of the public, including (and especially) those that are at a disadvantage. 

Accountability and Transparency

Fact: One benchmark in the LSO’s mandate is accountability and transparency – to both the members of the legal profession, and the public itself.

Why you should care about the election:   

  • Benchers are elected by their peers in the legal profession; the issues of concern will resonate with those who are making the decisions.
  • The election process is designed to ensure that the governing body of the LSO is representative of the profession, in terms of demographic, special interest platform, etc.
  • The voting process allows for transparency in the decision-making process. 
  • Reporting on the working of Convocation (the assembly of elected Benchers) ensures the public and the membership remain apprised of what goes on.

Professional Development and Training

Fact: The LSO is also responsible for providing ongoing professional development and training for lawyers and paralegals in Ontario.

Why you should care about the election:   

  • Bencher-approved policies and programs impact the quality of training and development opportunities.
  • Both primary education of law students, and continuing legal education of existing members, are influenced by Bencher input on behalf of the entire membership.
  • Again, this shapes the future of the legal profession, and the services provided to the public, in myriad ways.

Are you an Ontario lawyer or paralegal?  Then don’t let the 2023 LSO Bencher elections slip by.  

It’s a once-in-4-years opportunity at a chance to cast your vote, and speak your mind.  

russell alexander

Russell Alexander

I’m running as your bencher candidate. Vote for me because I will keep an eye on the balance sheet, moderate LSO regulations, and improve access to justice. Learn more at

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About the author

Russell Alexander

Russell Alexander is the Founder & Senior Partner of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers.