THE ADVOCATE 177
VOL. 79 PART 2 MARCH 2021
benchers, and it is his gift to our profession. He always uses the right word
and not its second cousin. He is a gentleman and a gentle man.
Dean is a man of compassion, a devoted family man, generous with his
time and his wallet. When I think of Dean, I recall the adage that you can
easily judge the character of a person by how they treat those who can do
nothing for them. Dean has that ability to create inclusivity for people and
to make them feel welcome. It is rare for someone to be able to create that
comfort and that bond.
In his capacity as co-chair of the Law Society’s Truth and Reconciliation
Committee, Dean’s priority was to move us in a direction of responding to
the TRC Calls to Action in a timely and culturally appropriate way. He took
a courageous step in navigating mandatory cultural competency training,
which was approved by the benchers. Dean also took meaningful steps to
make the legal environment more welcoming and inclusive for Indigenous
lawyers and law students.
Our mutual friend and colleague Michael McDonald, Q.C., also a member
of the Law Society Truth and Reconciliation Committee, had this to say
When I think about my dear friend Dean Lawton, Q.C., I am compelled
to raise the very thing that I have had the privilege to work beside him on
these past five years as friends, colleagues and fellow members of a really
amazing profession, warts and all, and that is reconciliation. Dean Lawton
expresses the true heart of reconciliation. He is a listener with ears,
eyes and heart first and foremost. His humble, honest and apt approach
to learning the issues and communicating the need and process for
change to us stubborn and always right bunch of lawyers has been a profound
lesson. His impact will be seen for many years to come, yet he’s
just getting started! When we see more Indigenous lawyers, educators
and judges, we should remember Dean. When we see lawyers speaking
more freely, yet professionally, about the true history and impact of colonialism,
the residential school system, the Sixties Scoop and the many
avenues for implementing productive reconciliation for our clients, we
should think of Dean. He is also a champion in the sense that he is ever
the supporter of others to be champions, particularly young lawyers, by
bringing their voices to the discussion.
I am sure many of my colleagues, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous,
would agree that our profession is truly in good hands for 2021 with Dean
Lawton, Q.C., as our president.
Entering the second year of the pandemic, Dean has a daunting task
lying ahead of him. I know he will carry out his duties in the same way he
always has: with dignity, integrity, wisdom and courage. The public and the
profession are in very good hands indeed.