“A HISTORICAL ACHIEVEMENT IN QUEBEC” – CRARR CONGRATULATES NEWLY ELECTED QUEBEC BAR PRESIDENT LU CHAN KHUONG
Montreal, May 27, 2015 — Me Lu Chan Khuong’s election last week as the new Quebec Bar President (“Bâtonnière”, in French) represents a landmark achievement for the legal profession and for minorities in the province.
Me Khuong is the first person of color elected to head the 25,000 member-strong provincial professional order. She was the president of the Jeune Barreau de Québec (Association of Young Lawyers of Quebec) in 2006-2007 and subsequently vice-president of the Executive Committee of the Quebec Bar. The Quebec City lawyer has received distinguished law-related awards for her excellence and community involvement.
A recent demographic study of the profession shows that in 2014, women represent 50.4% and racialized people, 6.2% of members of the Quebec Bar.
“Happening during Asian Heritage Month, Me Khuong’s election represents a source of great pride to all Asian and other racialized persons in Quebec, particularly Asian lawyers and law students who are increasingly well represented in the profession and law schools,” said CRARR’s Executive Director Fo Niemi. “Her election sends a powerful message, especially to Asian women who want to become or who are lawyers.”
CRARR has long promoted racial equality in the legal profession, subsequent to the Canadian Bar Association’s report on the state of racial diversity in the profession released in 1999.
“Me Khuong broke the color barrier in Quebec, and will hopefully serve as a role model and an inspiration to lawyers of color like myself,” stated Me Walter Chi Yan Tom, who was raised in Quebec City and, like Me Khuong, graduated from the Université de Laval. Me Tom is now an immigration lawyer, legal counsel to Pinay (a Filipinas’ civil rights group in Montreal) and coordinator of the Concordia Student Union’s Legal Information Clinic.
According to Mr. Howard Tan, President of the Federation of Chinese Canadian Professionals of Quebec, “This is a historical achievement for all professionals of color in Quebec and we look forwards to other professional orders to follow this breakthrough.”
The first woman who broke a similar color barrier in the legal profession of Quebec is Superior Court Judge Guylène Beaugé, who was elected President of the Quebec Division of the Canadian Bar Association in 1999.