Committed to good governance, access to justice, and equity!

Who am I?

Being a legal clinic lawyer for the past 18 years has been both incredibly rewarding and challenging. I have worked with marginalized and vulnerable clients at the intersections of poverty, mental health, racism, gender-based discrimination, violence, and so on. Each day, I see the critical importance of access to justice that is foundational to our justice system, and the fundamental role that lawyers and paralegals play in protecting this access for clients whose lives often hang in the balance.

 

Why am I Running for Bencher?
Over the past several years, I have seen the Law Society of Ontario tackle issues of equity and access to justice. I have been inspired by the passion and dedication that many benchers have displayed in creating a space for real change. I am running for a bencher position because I believe in that work and I believe that I can add value in ensuring these issues continue to be prioritized.  As both our client population and professional membership become more diverse, it is essential that the LSO continues its momentum in effecting social change.

 

Why Vote for Me?
I have spent my entire career committed to advancing social justice. In addition to my legal clinic experience, I have gained excellent governance experience in chairing and serving on the boards of several not-for-profit organizations, including the Bloor Immigration and Life Skills and Sandgate Women’s Shelter. I have, also, been a contributing member of Ontario’s Roundtable on Violence Against Women, Ontario’s Anti-Racism Consultative Committee, Legal Aid Ontario’s Clinic Advisory Committee, Toronto Police Services Anti-Racism Advisory Panel, and the Colour of Poverty - Colour of Change Steering Committee. I have strived to mentor many young lawyers as they look to incorporate social justice work into their own practice of law. I have used my voice to advocate on behalf of all of those who do not have a seat at the table - I am dedicated to this undertaking for the remainder of my career.

What Matters to Me?
I am concerned about the barriers to justice faced by vulnerable populations in Ontario. I see the growth of self-representation in our family courts, the lack of access to legal support in immigration/refugee services, and the increased demands of supporting growing populations with mental health issues. I want to ensure that, as a profession, we continue to broaden the scope and diversity of opportunities for lawyers and paralegals. As a bencher, I will work towards the betterment of our services to marginalized clients, and the professional development of our field.

ENDORSEMENTS

RAJ ANAND, BENCHER

"I urge lawyers to vote for Shalini. A Convocation that intends to take concrete steps on access to justice needs Shalini’s experience and vision in heading a community legal clinic funded by LAO and providing access to Ontario’s legal system for linguistic, religious and racialized low income communities."

Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (FACL)

Endorses Shalini Konanur for bencher at the Law Society of Ontario.

Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL)

Endorses Shalini Konanur for bencher at the Law Society of Ontario.

AVVY GO, BENCHER

"As a retiring bencher, I fully endorse the candidacy of Shalini Konanur as a bencher.  I have worked with Shalini for many years and without a doubt, she is one of the best and brightest lawyers I have worked with.  She is fully committed to access to justice for all Ontarians, particularly those who live in the margin of our society.  She is a person with integrity who is not afraid of speaking her mind.  Shalini will bring to the convocation the much needed perspectives from someone who works in the trenches for low income racialized communities members. "

South Asian Bar Association (SABA)

Endorses Shalini Konanur for bencher at the Law Society of Ontario.

NEIL PUDDICOMBE, LAWYER

"I fully endorse Shalini Konanur’s candidature as a bencher of the Law Society of Ontario.  Shalini has been a driving force on many initiatives that have made a meaningful difference to the protection of under-represented groups in Ontario. She has also been internationally recognized for her innovative work on Forced Marriage.  However, what’s most impressive is her empathy for people on a personal level. As a former Chair of the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, I have seen first-hand the daily impact that Shalini’s work has had on vulnerable people. Whether it is collecting baby clothing for a single mother in a women’s shelter or representing vulnerable populations up to the Supreme Court of Canada.  Shalini is a vocal advocate that embodies access-to-justice."

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