Become a Bencher

2023 Bencher By-Election – Important Dates

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

Who Qualifies to Run as a Candidate?

A candidate for election as a Bencher must:

  • Be a practising lawyer on Tuesday, February 28, 2023, and have their name on the voters’ list on Monday, March 27, 2023;
  • Maintain their principal office in the City of Winnipeg Electoral District; and
  • Not be a Life Bencher or an Ex-Officio Bencher.

The nomination must be in writing, name only one candidate and be signed by at least five members who maintain a principal office in the City of Winnipeg Electoral District and who are on the voting list. The member must consent to the nomination in writing.

Call for Appointed Bencher

Once President and Appointed Bencher Sacha Paul becomes a life bencher on May 18, 2023, there will also be an opening for a practising lawyer to join our board as an appointed bencher for the remainder of the 2022-2024 term.

Whether or not you are running for the City of Winnipeg elected seat, we encourage you to put your name forward as a candidate for appointment. To apply, send your resume to Pat Bourbonnais at by no later than Monday, April 24.

Join Our Board as an Elected or Appointed Bencher Position

Benchers Reflect on their Experience Serving as a Bencher

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

Learn More About Becoming a Bencher

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

Leah Kosokowsky, Chief Executive
Sacha Paul,
Grant Driedger, 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

Following the election, a call for applications 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.