GENERAL COUNSEL INSIGHT BY FERNANDO GARCIA
What the U. S. and Canada Have
in Common with D&I Initiatives
IT IS AN HONOR AND PRIVILEGE TO BE ABLE TO WRITE THIS COLUMN.
You may wonder what a Canadian general counsel knows about the challenges
faced by minority counsel in the United States. At first blush, you may be right.
However, there are two main reasons why I hope that, through this column, I can
learn from you and, you can find something from my articles useful.
Like many immigrants in the United States,
I arrived 30 years ago in Canada with mini-
mal knowledge of the language and I was, as
a Latino, a minority. I grew up in a “priority
neighborhood” in Toronto and took some time
off from formal education after high school
after struggling to get by for many years. Up
until this point, unfortunately, my story is like
that of many of our immigrant and minority
communities in Canada and the U.S. However,
this is where my story changes! I eventually
returned to school, found university much more
interesting and I was able to succeed. Now, after
completing two master’s degrees and a civil and
common law degree, I am the general counsel at
Nissan Canada. As far as I know, I was and am
one of the first, if not the first Latin American
general counsel in Canada.
Armed with this personal experience, today
I am extremely involved in the push toward
advancing diversity and inclusiveness within
the legal profession and generally in Canada.