A&S alumnus Marco Falco is helping mentor the next generation of 'out and proud' professionals

June 26, 2020 by Michael McKinnon – A&S News

To celebrate Pride Month, we are recognizing the achievements and experiences of the A&S LGBTQ2S+ community and — as allies and community members alike — we are working to build on a more welcoming, inclusive and representative community.

As one of the first openly gay men to be named partner at Torkin Manes LLP, Marco P. Falco knows the importance of diversity in the workforce.

“Diversity in the legal profession — including LGBTQ2S+ diversity — is key,” says Falco, who earned his honours bachelor of arts with high distinction, with a specialist in English and a major in Italian in 1999, his master’s degree in English in 2000 and his Juris Doctor from the Faculty of Law in 2004, all from U of T.

“The presence of out, proud lawyers from all LGBTQ2S+ groups is essential to providing leadership and guidance to young lawyers. Moreover, the development of LGBTQ2S+ rights, particularly under the Charter, depends largely on an engaged legal profession and judiciary. Only through a myriad of perspectives will the law develop to protect and enshrine LGBTQ2S+ rights.” 

That’s why he is co-chair of Torkin Manes's Diversity and Inclusion Committee. In this role, he advocates on behalf of the LGBTQ2S+ community to ensure they have the professional mentorship and advancement support they need. He also reaches out to the next generation of professionals as an alumni mentor at U of T’s Faculties of Arts & Science and Law, such as through the A&S Backpack to Briefcase program.

“This role has given me great satisfaction as I assist students in navigating the professional and personal challenges of being an out LGBTQ2S+ person,” he says.

His advocacy for LGBTQ2S+ rights started when he was a summer law student with Pro Bono Students Canada at the Faculty of Law. Then, he assisted as a legal researcher and writer for the Halpern v. Canada (AG) decision, which maintained that the exclusion of same-sex couples from the common law definition of marriage violated the equality guarantee under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

A prolific legal writer, he credits much of his success to his English studies at U of T. He has been recognized as a leader in his field in the 2017 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory. In 2019 and 2020, he was recognized by Lexology as a “Legal Influencer — Dispute Resolution (Canada)” for legal writings on appellate and civil litigation, and he was nominated in 2020 for Canadian Lawyer’s Top 25 Most Influential in the justice system and legal profession in Canada.