Laurie Pawlitza takes over as Law Society treasurer

As the new treasurer takes over, there is a recognition of law being at a crossroads

By Todd Harrison

On Wednesday June 30th, 2010


Laurie PawlitzaThe Law Society has a new treasurer: Laurie Pawlitza, a partner at Torkin Manes and an acclaimed expert in family law who, in 1995, litigated Canada’s first adoption by same-sex parents. She’s the third woman to hold the top job at the Law Society.

Since being called to the bar in Ontario in 1986, Pawlitza has been an active member of the legal community, culminating in her election as a bencher in 2003 (she was re-elected in 2007). She has been instrumental in efforts to keep women in private practice, and co-chaired the Retention of Women in Private Practice Working Group — from which the Justicia Project was spawned. Pawlitza was recently recognized for this work by the Women’s Legal and Education Action Fund.

The profession is at a crossroads in several respects, and Pawlitza recognizes the challenges she’s facing as the top Law Society official. “Change is happening quickly, both in our increasingly diverse profession, and in the way we provide legal services,” she said in a statement. “I look forward to leading the lawyers and paralegals of Ontario in serving the public interest in these exciting and challenging times.”

Pawlitza replaces outgoing treasurer Derry Millar, whose two-year term began at the end of June 2008. Most treasurers since the 1790s have served two-year terms.