Honorary Doctor of Laws for Mark M. Persaud

Posted: 06/17/2016

Mark M. Persaud (centre), Law Society Treasurer Janet Minor (right) and Law Society CEO Robert Lapper (left)

Mark M. Persaud (centre) signs the Rolls. Law Society Treasurer Janet Minor (right) and CEO Robert Lapper (left) offer congratulations.

The Law Society of Upper Canada today bestowed the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LLD) upon lawyer Mark M. Persaud at its Call to the Bar ceremony in London, Ontario.

As a lawyer, teacher and writer, Persaud has devoted his legal career to public service. He has contributed to community development within Canada and internationally on issues of domestic and international peace, security, development, civil liberties and human rights.

Persaud was called to the Ontario Bar in 1993, only 10 years after arriving in Canada as a political refugee fleeing turmoil and persecution in Guyana. He majored in political science at York University and received his LLB and LLM at Osgoode Hall Law School. He has also studied at the Center for Study of Values in Public Life at Harvard University. Read the full biography of Mark Persaud.

Law Society Treasurer Janet E. Minor awarded the honorary LLD to Persaud, who then delivered the keynote address to the 113 call candidates, their family, friends and distinguished guests gathered at the London Convention Centre.

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Mark M. Persaud delivers the keynote address at the London Call to the Bar ceremony at the London Convention Centre. Persaud was honoured with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the event. [ June 17, 2016]

“You have the ability not only to be great lawyers but also effective leaders and agents of change on a wide spectrum of issues, Persaud said. Be guided by your ideas, ideals and passion. Don’t be afraid to be brave and tough as lawyers, but remember to always be fair and reasonable,” he advised.

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.

Read the full speech given by Mr. Persaud.

Recipients serve as inspirational keynote speakers for the new lawyers attending the ceremonies. Visit our Facebook album for photos from the London Call to the Bar ceremony.

In her remarks to the newly called lawyers, Treasurer Minor said, “We need your innovation and creativity. We are counting on you. You are privileged because you have the capacity to make a difference. You are empowered — you can help to empower others. When you do, in your work and in your life, I think you will find this kind of engagement is the most rewarding and fulfilling and it will give you the kind of happiness you feel today.”

The Law Society will call almost 1,600 new lawyers to the Bar of Ontario at ceremonies in Ottawa, London and the four calls in Toronto between June 15 and June 21.