2016 Zenith Award Winners

Marc-André Blanchard is an esteemed lawyer from Québec who in April became Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations. In this role, Ambassador Blanchard works to advance Canada’s interests, promote international development, security and human rights, and to keep our government informed on multilateral issues. Prior to his appointment, Ambassador Blanchard had been the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of McCarthy Tétrault LLP, one of the country’s most prominent law firms. He also has a long history of political involvement, as the former president of the Québec Liberal Party and, more recently, as a member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s transition team. Ambassador Blanchard holds several degrees including a Master's in Public Administration and a Master’s in International Affairs from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. He is a Lexpert Rising Stars alumnus, and in 2013 was named one of the 25 most influential lawyers in Canada by Canadian Lawyer.



Diversity and Law Society, University of Calgary Faculty of Law

To improve diversity in the legal profession, students at the Faculty of Law created the Diversity and Law Society (DLS), aimed to promote diversity and multiculturalism in the study and practice of law. DLS aims to promote awareness of equality issues in the legal profession; provide the means to eliminate discrimination; develop resources to assist the legal profession in achieving equality and monitor, on a national basis, the status of equality issues in the legal profession. DLS is affiliated with the national Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers and is associated with the Canadian Bar Association’s Equality and Diversity Section, formed out of the association’s 1993 task force report on gender equity. “The composition of Canadian society is changing [and] it’s important to foster … tolerance and acceptance of diversity in law school,” a DLS vice president said.