Retired judge earns Doctor of Laws – The Hon. Susan E. Lang

Posted: 06/21/2016

Hon. Susan Lang - speaking-3K0A1040-344x259The Law Society of Upper Canada presented a degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LLD), to The Hon. Susan E. Lang at its afternoon Call to the Bar ceremonies on June 20, 2016 at Roy Thomson Hall.

The retired Court of Appeal judge received her honorary LLD in recognition of her numerous contributions to the legal profession, the judiciary and the Ontario public. (Full biography)

Law Society Treasurer Janet E. Minor awarded the honorary LLDs to Justice Lang, who then delivered the keynote addresses to the Call candidates and their family, friends in the audience.

“I remember this moment at my own call — 40 years ago. 1976 was an unusual year. It was the first year that women formed a substantial proportion of the candidates. We actually thought it a momentous step forward. Indeed, it was. It was an important shift in culture in a male-dominated profession,” she said.

“You are a reflection of the communities you will serve. Your diversity provides a wealth of perspectives that enrich each other and our society. This too is an important cultural shift.”

Justice Lang was appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in 2004, where she served until she retired in 2013.

Hon. Susan E. Lang, LLD“I witnessed much about the need for change in our society from my work as a judge,” she continued, “including by presiding over the first tainted-blood trial in Canada as well as by managing the same-sex marriage case through our Superior Court. Those cases brought into clear focus the need for change for our LGBTQ communities. Much has been accomplished, although Orlando shows us how tragically we have not achieved the end goal,” she noted.

As part of its Call ceremonies each year, the Law Society awards honorary doctorates to distinguished people in recognition of outstanding achievements in the legal profession, the rule of law or the cause of justice. Recipients serve as inspirational keynote speakers for the new lawyers attending the ceremonies.

A total of 325 were called to the Ontario Bar at the Monday afternoon Call.

See photos from the four Toronto Calls to the Bar on our Facebook album.