New funding program for next generation of Black lawyers

TD and Canadian Association of Black Lawyers launch new program

Raphael Tachie

TD Bank Group (TD) and the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL) have announced the launch of new programs to support the career aspirations of Black Canadian lawyers, and to increase diversity and inclusion in the field of law across the country, where Black lawyers continue to be significantly underrepresented, particularly at senior ranks.

The series of programs are designed to accelerate career development for Black lawyers, from students to mature professionals. Members of CABL will have access to meaningful one-on-one and group coaching, networking, advice for sponsorship and career growth, and tailored financial planning and wealth management support from TD. These efforts are intended to help close the opportunity gap for Black Canadian lawyers and foster a more equitable Canadian legal industry.

As part of the first program cohort, TD has paired 15 CABL members with senior TD lawyers to build mutually beneficial mentoring relationships, supporting the personal and professional development of all participants. TD and CABL are committed to growing the program in the future through additional cohorts, including a second cohort launching in 2022.

The program will allow CABL members to have access to:

– Financial programs geared towards legal professionals, ranging from starting and building your practice, to estate planning, and philanthropic giving.

– Personal finance guidance for CABL members, beginning with Black law students and progressing along with CABL members throughout their career, to ensure they start and remain on the right financial path.

TD is donating $200,000 over the next three years to support CABL’s efforts to increase representation within the legal community and help dismantle barriers Black lawyers may face.

With these funds, CABL will conduct a survey to gain quantitative insights from Black Lawyers to better understand the Black experience in Canada’s legal profession, particularly on Bay Street. The survey results will be published in 2022. The funding will also help CABL expand across Canada, creating a national mentorship program focused on the career advancement of law students, including new and foreign trained lawyers and Black lawyers.

“Diversity matters. Not only does having a diverse workforce expose people to different perspectives, experiences and foster greater understanding, but it can also fuel innovation and produce better legal and business outcomes. Working together with TD, we have an opportunity to drive real change and progress on Black representation in the field of law in Canada. Together, we are one step closer to helping advance young lawyers and close the diversity gap,” said Raphael Tachie, President, Canadian Association of Black Lawyers.