Peter A Allard School of Law

New Documentary Looks at Discrimination in the Legal Profession

Lily Le

Lily Le

JD Student

Nov 3, 2020

Being a daughter of immigrants, the idea of Canada being a meritocracy was instilled in me from a very young age — if I just work hard enough, I will succeed. When I was told that I would never become a successful lawyer because no one would take me seriously due to my gender and ethnicity, I simply laughed it off. I later realized that there was more truth to that statement than I initially thought. Racialized minorities face many barriers in the workplace and in life generally, and these barriers can show up in the most insidious of ways. From “compliments” for speaking “proper” English, to being mistaken as the accused in the courtroom, the discrimination experienced by racialized minorities is something that needs to be addressed openly, and not as stories of shame and embarrassment shared only behind closed doors.

This is why the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (British Columbia) (FACL BC) is creating a mini-documentary on the discrimination, stereotyping, and bias experienced by members of the Pan-Asian legal community, from law students to senior members of the bar. In more detail, FACL BC is a diverse coalition of Asian Canadian legal professionals who are actively working to overcome barriers through mentorship, community involvement, and advocacy. What FACL promotes is equity and opportunity for Asian Canadians, and this is done by creating spaces to support and be in solidarity with one another in a plethora of endeavours, including this upcoming documentary that is also a companion to But I Was Wearing a Suit documentary (“BIWWAS”), which was spearheaded by a group of leaders in the Indigenous legal community. 

Beyond exposing how discrimination is more prevalent than one would think, I hope that the documentary brings light to the fact that to be anti-racist, it requires an active effort to constantly examine our thought processes and interactions with others, as well as many other actions. In this regard, it is clear that a lot more work must be done in the profession. I also hope that the documentary is able to connect all racialized members of the legal community together. Although these are unfortunate experiences, these are shared experiences that should further entrench the understanding that we should not be ashamed of our names, our appearances, our languages, our cultures, and our identities.

How you can support us

With all of that being said, to make this mini-documentary a reality, contributions are needed. If you have any stories, experiences, or any incidents you have witnessed, I invite you to be a part of the project. Submissions can be brief or lengthy, and personal or anonymous. If you would like more information, please visit faclbc.ca/documentary or email documentary@faclbc.ca.

FALSposter

  • General Audience
  • Student Life
  • Allard School of Law
Lily Le

Lily Le

JD Student

Lily Le is a second year student in the JD program at the Allard School of Law. Originally from Vancouver, she completed her Bachelor of Arts at UBC with a major in Political Science and a minor in Law and Society. Lily is currently the Co-President of the Asia Pacific Law Club (APLC) and is also the Student Director for Allard Law with the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (British Columbia) (FACL BC).

Peter A. Allard School of Law UBC Crest The official logo of the University of British Columbia. Urgent Message An exclamation mark in a speech bubble. Arrow An arrow indicating direction. Caret A month-view page from a calendar. Caret An arrowhead indicating direction. Contact A page from a rolodex. Facebook The logo for the Facebook social media service. Information The letter 'i' in a circle. Instagram The logo for the Instagram social media service. Instagram An arrow exiting a rectangle. Linkedin The logo for the LinkedIn social media service. Mail An envelope. Minus A minus sign. Telephone An antique telephone. Play A media play button. Plus A plus symbol indicating more or the ability to add. Rss The logo for the Reddit social media service. Rss A symbol with radiating bars indicating an RSS feed. Search A magnifying glass. Twitter The logo for the Twitter social media service. Youtube The logo for the YouTube video sharing service.