Let's Move Forward Together
ANTOINE L COLLINS
“NOTHING GREAT WAS EVER ACHIEVED WITHOUT ENTHUSIASM”
Ralph Waldo Emerson’s words of more than 150 years ago still ring true. I believe that enthusiasm and commitment to excellence remain critical for success. I am an extremely enthusiastic and proud lawyer who cares deeply about these values and the future of the practice of law. I would be honoured to serve as a bencher and to take up the challenge of helping shape the future of our noble profession.
Although raised in the state foster care system in Gary, Indiana, I was one of the lucky ones who managed to escape the merry-go-round of foster homes that many children endure. I have always felt that it does not matter where you come from, so long as you end up in the right place. Now based in Ottawa, I am the Principal Lawyer of The Law Firm of Antoine L Collins, a progressive and dynamic firm offering personalized service in a variety of legal disciplines. With a primary focus on Real Estate Law, I feel that the lack of solicitor representation at Convocation should be addressed.
I’ve practiced law in the United States and Canada over the past 15 years. After graduating in 2002 from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, my career began as an Assistant State’s Attorney for the Baltimore City’s States Attorney’s Office. There, I prosecuted cases ranging from minor theft to felony child abuse and domestic violence. Subsequently, I took a position with one of Baltimore’s top law firms, defending Workers’ Compensation cases. My call to the Ontario Bar was in 2011.
I get so excited when I think about the Ontario Bar’s future and the prospect of being the voice for so many of our colleagues working hard to successfully govern in the public interest. If elected as Bencher, I will strive to continue the Bar’s legacy and impact by ensuring that the Law Society stays relevant in an ever-changing legal environment, adapting to new technology and infrastructure and promoting greater engagement by our members.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
I am proud to be part of a profession which attracts an amazing and diverse array of talent. We all benefit when our profession reflects the diversity of all of its members, and it is our obligation to strive to increase its visibility. I am personally committed to promoting diversity and inclusion at all levels of the legal profession. I will strive to help the law society create clear guidelines to help promote racial, gender and LGBTQ2 equality. I hope to participate in initiatives that increase the visibility of our legal community in promoting diversity, inclusion and battle the remaining vestiges of racism in our profession. We all have a part to play and I will push for increasing diversity in the legal profession starting with outreach and mentoring.
ACCESS TO JUSTICE
My background in prosecution afforded me the opportunity to be introduced to people from all walks of life, which reinforced my belief in the primacy of fairness and impartiality in employing my skills as a lawyer. As a prosecutor, I was never pro-prosecution or pro-defendant, but focused on being pro-JUSTICE. Coming from a system where the public defender’s office had resources on par with those of the prosecution, I felt that the accused were able to have adequate representation if they chose. Through my barrister, solicitor and volunteer work here in Ottawa, I continue to see the need for access to Justice. Lets first start with a review of the licencing process, in particular, the articling component and ensure we are producing competent legal professionals and ongoing resources to our Pro Bono Offices, as well as for those who cannot afford to hire private lawyers. I will strive to promote the importance of staying connected to the community (legal and lay); through volunteerism and pro bono representation we all have the power to help deliver equal access to justice.