Document Type

Journal Article/Book Review

Publication Date



equity, access, legal profession, race, gender, disability, sexual orientation


Although there has been increasing awareness regarding equity and access issues in the legal profession, that awareness has tended to miss the multi-faceted nature of the problem. The author discusses how the recognition of one kind of barrier may not assist in the recognition of others. Understanding race or gender does not necessarily imply understanding disability or sexual orientation. Students, faculty and practitioners need to challenge and question their assumptions, to guard against barriers to entry and to really belonging.

Bien qu 'ii y ail une prise de conscience grandissante en ce qui touche /es questions d'egalite et d'acces dans la professionjuridique, on tend ci negliger la nature multidimensionnelle du probleme. L 'auteur examine comment la reconnaissance d'un seul type d'obstacle peut ne pas aider a en reconnaftre d'autres. La longevite des stereotypes relatifs a /'orientation sexuelle et aux handicaps physiques illustre cet argument et encourage /es eleves, le corps professoral et /es avocats et avocates a remettre en question leurs postulats.

Notes from Prof. Pothier

What follows is a written version of my presentation at a panel on Access into the Legal Profession. It is not a verbatim record, because I do not read papers at conferences. (For a discussion of why not, see D. Pothier, "Miles to Go: Some Personal Reflections on the Social Construction of Disability" (1992) 14 Dalhousie LJ 526.) It more or less reflects what I said at Calgary, and remains in the style of an oral presentation rather than a more formal paper.