Second-year law student writes article on diversity in law profession

Mona Abdolrazaghi publishes in CBA's national periodical

Helen Metella - 21 June 2021

About to enter her second year of studies at the University of Alberta Faculty of Law, Mona Abdolrazaghi has published an article in the Canadian Bar Association’s periodical, The National.

Titled, How to speed up diversity in law, the piece argues that while Canadian law firms and law societies have acknowledged diversity gaps within the legal profession, there is still a need to create clear strategies to promote visible minority women who face both unconscious biases and the challenges of raising families.

Her article makes several concrete recommendations to address the issue, including mentorship and a coordinated effort on the collection of diversity data. She also examines the pros and cons of implementing such initiatives as talent management and succession plans, tying executive bonuses and compensation to diversity targets, introducing government-mandated quotas and/or alternative business structures that allow ownership and management of law firms by non-lawyers.

Of these, the easiest to implement, says Abdolrazaghi, would be mentorship and succession plans, since they come from within the organization.

Abdolrazaghi became interested in this topic from her professional responsibility course taught by Professor Paul Paton during this past academic year.

Despite the challenges she knows law firms face in introducing diversity policies, seeing how much current literature there is on the topic makes her optimistic about seeing imminent change on several aspects of the issue.

“There is a tremendous number of good initiatives and discussions around this area taking place,” she says. “What is missing is measuring the outcomes and sharing this data.”