Message from the Dean: Western Law Advisory Council
December 16, 2021
Since announcing our newly formed Western Law Advisory Council, we have heard concerns about its lack of racial diversity. We share these concerns. Western Law has much work to do to ensure diverse voices are represented.
The Advisory Council was created earlier this year in an effort to shift an informal committee – our former UWO Law Alumni Association – to that of a focused working group. In doing so, we aim to provide a greater opportunity for input from alumni who have expressed a desire to share the experience they have accumulated over the course of their careers.
As we actively work to build relationships and engage more thoughtfully with our alumni, we are reaching out to Western Law graduates to fill an additional four to six positions on the council to ensure a diversity of perspectives. We’re also establishing a young alumni committee to engage our more recent graduates and to get their input and advice.
We recognize the legal profession has lacked diversity for far too long and we are committed to ensuring our future graduating classes more accurately reflect the society we live in. This commitment includes our offering free LSAT prep courses and application support packages for Black and Indigenous students, as well as a variety of scholarships, awards and bursaries to help break down financial barriers. As a result, our incoming class has become more diverse every year.
We have also introduced a mandatory course in Indigenous Law, and elective courses like Racial Profiling to our curriculum, and are in the process of recruiting more racially diverse faculty members. Our Student Legal Society organized a successful Diversity Month this fall, highlighting the many different perspectives that make up our student community.
Western Law’s Anti-Racism Working Group, comprised of faculty, staff and students, is currently working to provide short and long-term recommendations around student support, policy, curriculum and improving diversity across student and faculty groups.
Western Law is fully committed to pursuing meaningful, systemic change as we work together to embed equity diversity and inclusion principles into our structure. As we move this important work forward, we want to hear from the Western Law community. You can reach me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dean of Western Law