Diversity And Professionalism In The Practice Of Law
CARMAN J. OVERHOLT
As I approach my 25th anniversary of being called to the British Columbia bar, I increasingly reflect on the journey to this point in my career as a lawyer. I am very grateful to the many teachers, mentors, judges, tribunal members, clients, colleagues, friends and family who have contributed to my positive experience and to the development of my consciousness as a lawyer. I continue to be as enthusiastic about the practice of law as I was on my call date. I would not hesitate to recommend a career in the practice of law and I am excited about the balance of my career as a lawyer. For these reasons, it is of concern to me that some have not found the practice of law to be as rewarding and satisfying. My concern is made even greater because of the perceived limitations and obstacles that prevent advancement for some in the practice of law.
With experience and maturity comes a greater awareness of the importance of the core values of the legal profession and our legal institutions. Much has been written already on the subject of diversity in the legal profession. I have decided to provide my personal observations and perspectives on this subject in the hope that they will be of assistance in understanding the importance of promoting diversity in the legal profession and of advancing the goal of attaining a more diverse legal profession. Reasonable people may disagree on the subject of how to ensure that we achieve and maintain diversity in the legal profession. But on the question of whether diversity in the legal profession is necessary, there can be no question: A diverse legal profession is fundamental and essential to the rule of law.
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