MARY CORNISH, CM., LSM.
Mary Cornish brings to her clients and work her unique combination of over 40 years of expertise and experience as a litigation lawyer, independent expert policy advisor, practising scholar and civil society advocate. Called to the Ontario bar in 1976, Cornish is recognized nationally and internationally as an expert in the fields of human rights protection and reform, labour market equality, pay and employment equity policies and laws, gender harassment and violence, access to justice and alternative dispute resolution, and labour and employment and constitutional law.
Canadian and international institutions and governments have frequently called on Cornish’s independent expert policy advice to address systemic justice issues. She has been named a member of the Order of Canada and awarded an honorary doctorate from York University for her domestic and international contributions to human rights justice.
Cornish’s approach to policy and consulting work focuses on using an equity lens and planning tools to achieve practical, systemic solutions combined with the critical mind of a scholar relying on data and research. Her over 50 legal and policy publications have made significant contributions to the understandings both in Canada and abroad of systemic discrimination issues and solutions across an array of justice issues and discrimination grounds. The non-partisan Canadian Centre of Policy Alternatives has named her one of its research associates and calls on her to provide independent research reports.
Cornish is also frequently asked to speak and comment publicly on justice issues and regularly lectures at law schools and law institutions. With her retirement from Cavalluzzo LLP and her stepping down as Chair of Ontario’s Equal Pay Coalition, Cornish is now focused on continuing her work as an independent justice and equity expert advisor.