I love my job. I work with incredible lawyers and dynamic clients at SML. SML is a small firm (9 lawyers) and we practise exclusively in professional regulation.
My practice is diverse and incredibly interesting. As prosecution counsel I represent the college in discipline hearings. As independent legal counsel to discipline committees, I assist lay panels in providing advice so that they may make informed decisions. As general counsel I assist registrars and councils manoeuver through governance matters by developing policy, drafting by-laws, and providing practical advice. All of my roles are tethered to ensuring the public interest is protected. I believe that this experience is particularly helpful to being a bencher.
In the summer of 2014, Beth Symes asked if I would be interested in running for bencher. I instantly said yes.
I have been practising for thirteen years. Since 2009 I have been practising exclusively in the area of professional regulation. I am keenly aware of the trends in professional regulation and the importance of maintaining the confidence of the public in our model of self-regulation. I believe that my experiences, both professional and personal, will assist LSUC discharge its statutory duty to protect the public.
Highlight the importance of access to justiceRead more
Advocate that LSUC do more to ensure that all Ontarians, most notably low-income families, have access to justice. Ontario court systems and processes need to be simplified so that all Ontarians can access the justice system. It simply is too slow, expensive and cumbersome. LSUC can lend its voice to this debate and development so that a “collaborative, cooperative and systemic approach” is created which will benefit all Ontarians – especially those who need it the most.
Increase diversity within the profession and leadership ranksRead more
Advocate for a diverse legal profession. LSUC is there not to advance the profession but to ensure that the public is protected. However, the public benefits by a robust and diverse legal profession. It is in the interest of the public that women remain within the profession and assume positions of leadership. It is in the interest of the public that more members of the Aboriginal and racialized communities become and remain as lawyers and assume positions of leadership. LSUC can act as a beacon and demonstrate how such diversity can be achieved and increased.
Support small firmsRead more
Support small firms so that they can better serve Ontarians. Lawyers in small firms face de facto higher hurdles than lawyers in larger firms. Smaller firms have difficulty hiring articling students or attracting associates. Lawyers in small firms are disproportionately represented at discipline hearings. LSUC can assist in this regard by incentivizing the hiring of articling students and associates and provide resources to smaller firms to ensure that its lawyers meet the obligations of LSUC and avoid complaints and appearances before the discipline committee.
Commit to heightened transparencyRead more
Regulators across Ontario are being asked to share more information about its members/licensees with the public. LSUC needs to determine if enough information is displayed on the Register so that it maintains the confidence of the public to discharge its statutory duty.
I was born in Dublin, Ireland and raised in Burlington, Ontario. I am married to Shane Smith and mother to Harry (8), Jude (6) and Teddy (3).
Joined Steinecke Maciura LeBlanc
Partner in firm dedicated to professional regulation
Founded by Richard Steinecke, Julia Martin and Julie Maciura in 1997
Attended Osgoode Hall Law School
Obtained my Masters in Health Law
Joined Miller Thomson LLP in Toronto
Practice focussed on malpractice defence on behalf of hospitals and regulated health professionals
Called to the Bar
Articled at Miller Thomson LLP
Assisted at the Walkerton Inquiry and lived in Walkerton
Attended University of Windsor Law School
Attended Queen’s University
Obtained my BAH in History