Université d'Ottawa | Section de droit civil
The Collectif droit et diversité is committed to the promotion of diversity and the inclusion of all students, regardless of their background, within the legal profession. Our mission is to bring awareness and change on matters of diversity and inclusion so that the lawyers of tomorrow can continue to build a society based on values that will allow it to be fair, just and free from all forms of discrimination. Our goal is to offer students networking opportunities with professionals from various walks of life while supporting various initiatives that promote access to justice.
ethnocultural diversity in the legal profession
As stated by the Forum-Pour une profession inclusive written by the Barreau du Québec, racialized groups represent 13% of Quebec’s population. However, only 6% of lawyers come from an ethnic or visible minority. Racialized lawyers are mostly self-employed and practice mainly in immigration law. The high concentration of independent practitioners can lead to isolation due to a lack of social capital. Additionally, the concentration of racialized lawyers in immigration law can have setbacks and is not only the result of voluntary career choices.
There is a significant gap in the networks, models, and mentors available to lawyers and law students issued of diversity. Social capital being an essential tool in the legal field, the lack of access to a strong network constitutes a significant setback in their professional development.
Noémie Melen-Simard, Marie-Sophie Ontsouka, Luisa Fernanda Montana Martinez and Rayene Bouzitoun are students at the University of Ottawa's civil law section.
They continue with this initiative, started in 2017, to promote inclusion and socio-economic and ethnocultural diversity in the legal field. Through student-led initiatives, they aim to enrich the social capital of minority groups which in turn will provide them better access to professional opportunities.