Become a Bencher

2024 Bencher Election – Important Dates

For questions about the electoral process, please contact Rennie Stonyk at

Join Our Board as an Elected or Appointed Bencher Position

Benchers Reflect on their Experience Serving as a Bencher

In this Behind the Scenes chat, learn what motivated elected benchers Mathieu Lafreniere and Sharyne Hamm to join the bencher table.

Who Qualifies to Run as a Candidate?

A candidate for election as a Bencher must:

  • Be a practising lawyer on Monday March 4, 2024,  and have their name on the voters’ list on Monday, April 1, 2024;
  • Maintain their principal office in the district in which they seek to be a candidate;
  • Consent in writing to the nomination;
  • Be nominated in accordance with the process set out in Division 2 of Part 2 of the Law Society Rules; and
  • Not be a Life Bencher or an Ex-Officio Bencher.

Governing Legislation
Sections 5 through 10 of The Legal Profession Act and Division 2 of Part 2 of the Law Society Rules govern the election of Benchers. The Law Society Vice-President decides questions about the eligibility of any candidate and the validity of any nomination or vote cast.

One of the things that I’ve enjoyed most about being a bencher is learning from and working with colleagues and staff who are committed to ensuring that the Law Society grows and evolves as an organization to reflect the changing needs, values and priorities of lawyers and the public.

Kelli PotterAppointed Bencher

Serving as a bencher has been a great experience – not only to see how the sausage is made, but also because it’s been so reassuring to see multiple viewpoints and positions considered before decisions big or small are made. Everyone should seriously consider getting involved.

Ken Mandzuik Elected Bencher

I have been a lay bencher (public representative) for several years and it has been a rewarding and fascinating experience. Public representatives provide an important perspective on matters before the Law Society. I know we are contributing to a more transparent, equitable and inclusive profession.

Susan BoulterLay Bencher

If you have any questions about Becoming A Bencher, please contact any one of the following:

Leah Kosokowsky, Chief Executive
Wayne Onchulenko,
Sacha Paul, Past

Bencher Positions

Elected Positions

Elections for 12 bencher positions are held every second year. To be eligible as a candidate for election, a member of the society must be a practising lawyer on the 1st Monday in March of the election year, maintain a principal office in the district in which they seeks to be a candidate and must be nominated in accordance with the rules.

Appointed Positions

During the bencher election process, a call for applications for the appointed bencher positions will be made to both the profession and the public.  The appointment process ensures that applicants with unique skill sets and abilities and from diverse backgrounds are eligible for appointment.

Practising Lawyer Benchers

Four lawyers are appointed, to serve for a two year term. At least one of the lawyers must be from the Winnipeg District and one must be from outside of Winnipeg.

Lay Benchers

Six public representatives are appointed for a two year term in each election year by a Committee chaired by the Chief Justice of the Province of Manitoba.