Fourteen uOttawa Common Law Alumni Throw Their Name in the Hat for Law Society of Ontario Bencher Positions

Posted on Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Fourteen Common Law Alumni are running in the 2019 Law Society of Ontario Bencher Election. As members of Convocation, benchers play a critical role in the governance of the Law Society and the regulation of Ontario’s legal professions in the public interest. Winners will sit on the Board for a four-year term.

Common Law Alumni Running for Bencher Election 2019 include:


François N. Baril, LLB 1996

Jean-Jacques Desgranges, LLB 1995

Jayashree Goswami, LLB 2006

Yavar Hameed, LLB 1995

Billeh Hamud, J.D./JD 2011

Kristin Hutton, LLB 2001

Howard Philip Knopf, LLM 1993

Sylvie Patenaude, LLB 1991

Raj Sharda, LLB 1994

Patrick Shea, LLB 1990

Deepa Tailor, J.D./JD 2013

Anne Vespry, LLB 1999 and part-time Common Law professor

Caryma Sa’d, J.D. 2015


The Common Law Section is honoured to have a high number of alumni running in this year’s election.

“I believe it speaks to the high integrity the program has always, and continues to, focus on and bestow on our students. We aim to prepare graduates not just for a career in the legal field, but to make a difference in the communities they choose to settle in,” said Adam Dodek, Dean, Faculty of Law Common Law Section.

Among the candidates is Jayashree Goswami, LLB 2006, who is running in the Toronto Region Election.

"Self-regulation of the legal profession is a privilege conditional, among other things, upon the LSO governing in the public interest. The question that lawyers should be asking themselves in the upcoming bencher election is not what candidates can do for us lawyers but what they can do to enhance the profession and justice system for the public. For self-regulation to survive and thrive, the legal profession cannot afford to be introverted. We must embrace inclusion, innovation and the interests of the community we serve,” she said when asked about the importance of the upcoming election.

Created by an act of the Legislative Assembly in 1797, the Law Society of Ontario governs Ontario’s lawyers and paralegals, ensuring that Ontarians are served by lawyers and paralegals who meet high standards of learning, competence, and professional conduct.

“I am proud to be a graduate of University of Ottawa-Faculty of Law. I cannot think of a more fertile milieu to pursue and develop one's interest in social advocacy, equity, public law, and access to justice. I have practiced commercial/insurance litigation for 12 years. For all of those 12 years, I have volunteered in various capacities and led organizations and initiatives to enhance equity, diversity and inclusion in the profession and public. My years at University of Ottawa equipped me equally for my day job and community work," reflected Ms. Goswami.

You can connect with Ms. Goswami on twitter at @jay_ashree.

The election takes place April 30 and marks the first time that lawyer and paralegal benchers will be elected simultaneously in Ontario. Voting information will be made available to all eligible voters in the second week of April, via email and each voter’s Law Society Portal account.

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