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The importance of mentoring, collegiality and co-operation: Rosen

In speaking at an upcoming event for counsel and judges, Toronto criminal lawyer John Rosen hopes to promote the importance of mentoring, camaraderie, and fostering co-operation between the bench and bar.

“Such opportunities provide valuable networking between older and younger members of the bar; they break down barriers between lawyers and judges, and for younger members, instil a sense of being an important part of the profession,” he tells

Rosen, founder of Rosen & Company Barristers, will speak June 22 at the York Region Law Association (YRLA) Criminal Law Dinner, described as an evening of collegiality and mentorship. 

The event, to be attended by local judges, Crown prosecutors and defence counsel, will be held at the Cardinal Golf Club, located at 2740 Davis Dr. W., King City. It's open to members of the York Region Law Association.

Rosen, who focuses on criminal cases, regulatory offences, professional disciplinary matters and appeals, is best known for his defence of more than 300 persons accused of murder over his 47-year career. 

When members of the Criminal Lawyers Section of the YRLA were initially canvassed about the idea of regular bench and bar events, Rosen, who is a member of several local law associations, immediately supported the idea, pointing to the strong tradition of similar events when he was a young lawyer starting out.

“Judges of what was then the Supreme Court of Ontario would go out for three or four weeks at a time to various counties to hear cases,” Rosen recalls. “The local bar would arrange a dinner for counsel and the judge, usually scheduled for the night of the opening of the assize.”

These events provide a unique opportunity for lawyers and judges to meet in a less formal setting outside the courtroom to get to know one another, he says. 

“There is a recognized need for mentorship in the legal professions, and senior members have a duty to participate,” Rosen says. 

He notes the Law Society of Upper Canada promotes mentorship through several programs including: one geared toward law students (Equity Mentorship Program), another for lawyers wanting to enhance their practice (Coach and Advisor Network), a third for students seeking articling positions (Articling Mentorship Initiative), and a fourth designed to bring together experienced lawyers with students and practising lawyers with disabilities (Disability Mentoring Program.) 


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