Frank Walwyn Receives 2019 Law Society Medal

Toronto lawyer Frank Walwyn (right) receives the 2019 Law Society Medal from former Law Society bencher Raj Anand

Called to the Bar in 1995, Frank Walwyn has been a leader and Champion of Equity, Diversity and leader in the legal profession is also a trailblazer in the Black legal community in Ontario.
He is the longest serving President of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers and has championed equity and diversity in the legal profession, making invaluable contributions to the legal community as a whole. Throughout his involvement with various organizations such as the Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee, The Advocates’ Society and Community Legal Education Ontario, Frank has always encouraged and promoted diversity in the profession, both on the bench, and in the legal community writ large.
He is currently a partner at WeirFoulds LLP where he was the first Black associate at one of Canada’s oldest law firms, and one of few Black partners on Bay Street.
Frank is one of this year’s recipients of the Law Society Medal which is awarded to Ontario lawyers who have made a significant contribution to the profession.
When Frank was asked what does this award mean to you?
He said “It is hard to put into words the significance of this award to me. It is easy to say I feel honoured and humbled. But it is much more than that. To be one of the Law Society Medal recipients picked from over 52,000 lawyers is an indescribable tribute and one that I will cherish all of my life.”
He went on to say the he view his legal career not just as the practice of law, but as including the way he interact with society and his community. he truly enjoy the practice of law and that drives him forward. The intellectual challenge in practicing law is phenomenal. But what is critical to his enjoyment is the people he work with while practicing law
What piece of advice do you have for new legal professionals beginning their career?
The only advice that he has for people beginning their career It’s important to take the profession seriously, but yourself less seriously. What we are allowed to do as legal professionals is a real privilege. But it is not about us – it is about our clients. They often come to us at their most vulnerable times and we must always remember that in our interactions with them.
The Law Society Medal is given for outstanding service within the profession, whether in the area of practice, in the academic sphere, or in some other professional capacity where the service is in accordance with the highest ideals of the legal profession. It may be awarded for devotion to professional duties over a long term or for a single outstanding act of service.
This year, 12 outstanding members of the legal professions will be honoured with Law Society awards on May 22nd.