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LSO to honour former treasurer with doctor of laws degree

Friday, January 31, 2020 @ 9:36 AM | By John Chunn

The Law Society of Ontario (LSO) will present a degree of doctor of laws, honoris causa (LLD) to Janet E. Minor, at its Call to the Bar ceremony in Toronto on Jan. 31. The LSO says she is receiving the honour in recognition of her dedication and numerous contributions to the legal profession and community.

According to the LSO’s press release, Minor dedicated her career to the public interest through her work at the provincial government and through her contributions to the Law Society of Ontario.

Called to the bar of Ontario in 1975, Minor entered the legal profession at a time when it was still considered a non-traditional career choice for women, particularly in her chosen specialization of civil litigation. She began working in public law at the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General in 1977 and served as general counsel in the Constitutional Law Branch.

A civil and constitutional litigator, Minor appeared before all levels of court, acting as counsel on many precedent-setting cases on behalf of the government of Ontario.

She was first elected as a bencher of the law society in 2001 and was re-elected in 2006 and 2011. In 2014, she was elected by Convocation as the Law Society’s 65th treasurer — the first public sector lawyer to do so — and was acclaimed for a second term in June 2015.

As chair of the Professional Development & Competence Committee, and later as treasurer, Minor was engaged in the development of the Law Practice Program (LPP) — which created an alternative pathway to licensing in response to the shortage of articling positions facing law school graduates.

As treasurer, Minor led a number of initiatives to expand the inclusiveness of the legal profession, including the implementation of a Mental Health and Wellness Task Force, a renewed Indigenous Strategy focused on reconciliation, a Mentoring Task Force and a New Licensee Roundtable.

A founding director of the Association of Law Officers of the Crown (ALOC) and past director of The Advocates’ Society, she has also offered her time and expertise to a number of boards, including the Law Foundation of Ontario and the Ontario Justice Education Network.

Minor has been recognized with numerous awards including the Women’s Law Association President’s Award (2003), the Ontario Bar Association’s Tom Marshall Award (2010), the ALOC Carol Creighton Award for Contribution to Public Law (2013), and a Zenith Award celebrating leading women lawyers (2013).