Torys is proud to provide a welcoming and supportive environment for our diverse lawyers, students, and clients. As part of our efforts in this regard, we have a number of Affinity Groups designed to bring together lawyers and students from all offices who have shared experiences or backgrounds – providing members with a further support system and additional mentoring opportunities. The Affinity Groups are open to all Torys partners, counsel, associates and students interested in supporting the goals and objectives of the various groups.
Asian Lawyers Group
The Asian Lawyers Affinity Group promotes the mentorship, professional and client development of lawyers and students of Asian heritage and Asia-interested lawyers and students throughout the firm. Externally focused initiatives include the annual South Asian Bar Association Dinner, the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers conference sponsorship and the Sikh Foundation of Canada Centennial Gala Sponsorship. Torys is a member of the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP). Through this relationship, we hosted the inaugural Employee Resource Group Roundtable discussion for Torys lawyers, clients, NAAAP members and other external stakeholders in 2016.
This group is led by Ed Fan and Ricco Bhasin.
Black Lawyers Group
The Black Lawyers Affinity Group (BLAG) promotes mentorship, professional and business development and retention for black lawyers and students throughout the firm. BLAG hosts internal lunches and dinners with black lawyers and students offering a candid forum for members to network with and mentor other Black lawyers. Externally, BLAG annually sponsors both the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL) conference and gala and the CABL Professionals Golf Tournament.
This group is led by Konata Lake and Yinka Olusoga.
Francophone Lawyers Group
The Francophone network is our newest group. It will be looking at opportunities for enhancing our business relationships with Francophone contacts and clients. It will also be focused on personal and professional development opportunities for both Franco and Anglo members of the firm who wish to get involved with the group.
This group is led by Sylvie Rodrigue and Sophie Courtois.
LGBTQ2S Lawyers Group
We have an active LGBTQ2S Affinity Group for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning, two-spirit (as well as other gender identities and sexual orientations) and those who are allies of LGBTQ2S individuals. Members of the LGBTQ2S group participate in recruiting, education, awareness-building and other internal initiatives, as well as fundraising, networking and other external activities. Each year in June, Torys recognizes Pride Month during which the LGBTQ2S group hosts a marquee event. In 2016 Torys joined other law firms and private sector parties to support the establishment of the Egale Centre — Canada’s first and Toronto’s only transitional housing facility exclusively dedicated to serving homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning and two-spirit (LGBTQ2S) youth. Torys is also a member of the Pride at Work and Out on Bay Street organizations, participating in a number of their events each year.
This group is led by Krista Hill, Molly Reynolds and Ryan Lax.
Muslim Lawyers Group
Our Muslim Lawyers Affinity Group brings together Muslim lawyers to share knowledge and experiences, engage in community involvement and to kindle professional development and networking opportunities. The group hosts educational sessions jointly with the Canadian Muslim Urban Professional Organization, Muslim Capital Markets Group and Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association. It also hosts an annual Iftar Dinner for Torys lawyers and clients.
This group is led by Dany Assaf, Ebad Rahman and Zehra Sheerazi.
Parent Lawyers Group
This group engages in internal support for parents as well as client outreach hosting multiple client family events per year. Past events have included the Santa Claus parade, private screening movie nights, ice skating, bowling and bbq events. Internally focused initiatives include an annual social lunch for associate dads, social gatherings of moms for networking and idea sharing and in 2016, Speed Parenting sessions with an external parenting expert.
This group is led by Andrew Gray, Darien Leung and Jonathan Cescon.
Women In Law
The Women in Law Affinity Group (WIL) emphasizes mentorship, professional development, and awareness raising for lawyers across all offices and practice groups. Monthly meetings focus on information sharing and promoting a supportive environment. Internal programming such as the WIL Business Development Coaching Series fosters the professional development of our women lawyers. WIL also promotes mentoring and relationship-building within and outside the firm through various events, including our annual summer WIL party. The group annually sponsors a women’s Spring seminar series and Fall event as well as other engaging events for firm lawyers and clients.
This group is led by Gillian Dingle and Marissa Daniels.