Amendments to legislation make Law Society of Ontario name change official

Toronto, ON — Amendments to the Law Society Act received royal assent today, making the “Law Society of Ontario” the official name for the province’s legal regulator. The amendments were contained in the provincial government’s budget legislation, Bill 31, Plan for Care and Opportunity Act.

The Law Society requested that the government change the organization’s name following a vote by Convocation in November, where Benchers voted strongly in favour of changing the name from The Law Society of Upper Canada.

The vote followed significant consultations with licensees, where over 17,000 responded to a survey with over 83 per cent in favour of the Law Society of Ontario. 

Of the nearly 1,000 members of the public who cast their preference, 41 per cent also agreed on the suggested new name.

As part of ongoing efforts to engage stakeholders and to better serve the public, the Law Society also commissioned independent research which showed that most people in Ontario are not familiar with the Law Society and its regulatory role — and that the name contributes to numerous communications challenges and barriers to inclusion.

“Our name change is now complete,” says Law Society Treasurer (President) Paul Schabas. “The change will help to enhance the public’s understanding of the organization, make us more relevant, and allow us to better serve the public interest — our core mandate.”

Treasurer Schabas points out that the name change is the first step of a communications initiative that will include a full public awareness campaign, approved by Convocation in December and scheduled to start next fall.

The Law Society regulates lawyers and paralegals in Ontario in the public interest. The Law Society has a mandate to protect the public interest, to maintain and advance the cause of justice and the rule of law, to facilitate access to justice for the people of Ontario and act in a timely, open and efficient manner.                  

                                                                                    -30-

Media Contact: Susan Tonkin, Communications Advisor - Media Relations - Law Society of Ontario at 416-947-7605, or stonkin@lso.caFollow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.