So you need to have a difficult conversation? Perhaps you need to tell a colleague that they are stepping on your toes? Address some feedback with your assistant? Set some boundaries with a partner? If you are like most people I know, the prospect of a difficult conversation going sideways is enough to keep putting up with whatever it is you’re putting up with. Most people report some combination of: “It feels awkward” “I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings/tick them off” “I don’t want to mess up our relationship”...read more
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We hope you had a fantastic time at our recent Ask Us Anything panel discussion, which took place on Wednesday, September 27. Our conversation dug into some fascinating topics centered around “Everything You Want to Know About Being a Female Lawyer But are Too Scared to Ask.” The discussion was driven by user-submitted questions in the weeks leading up to the event and those submitted during the event itself. Our panel featured some of our amazing LiL Advisors from Harper Grey, including co-founder Kim Jakeman, KC, Jennifer Woznesensky, and Renee Gagnon, as well as those from Lerners’, including Cynthia Kuehl, Alysia Christiaen, and Zahra Vaid, our moderator-extraordinaire guiding the conversation! In case you missed it, you can catch the recorded session below. We extend our heartfelt thanks to all of you who attended and actively participated in our lively discussion…....read more
This is the fifth post in our series on The National Study on the Psychological Health Determinants of Legal Professionals in Canada published by the Université de Sherbrooke, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada and the Canadian Bar Association in December 2022 (the “Report”). The legal profession offers promising opportunities to Canadians, however, it presents its own set of hurdles for individuals of ethnic backgrounds. The “National Study on the Psychological Health Determinants of Legal Professionals in Canada” (the “Report”) underscores these challenges. Legal professionals of an ethnic minority often grapple with heightened psychological distress, depressive symptoms, and burnout. The Report discusses findings related to legal professionals who are ethnic minorities. It highlights differences in psychological health indicators between ethnicized (non-white) legal professionals and their non-ethnicized (white) counterparts. In this blog, we will discuss the findings of the Report as they relate…...read more
What qualities make an excellent lawyer? My observation from practicing for over twenty years is that the best lawyers are not necessarily the ones who got the top grades in law school or secured the most prestigious clerkship. Instead, the most successful lawyers are the ones who understand emotional intelligence and employ it in their practice. They use it to find and keep clients and to work productively with colleagues and staff. They also understand the importance of utilizing this tool when dealing with opposing counsel and during mediations and in court. Not to promote stereotypes, but this skill seems to come more naturally for woman. So what is it and how can you harness it and use it as a superpower? Emotional intelligence is the capacity to recognize and effectively manage emotions in ourselves and others. It is a…...read more
I hate work-life balance. I realize that statement is a bit controversial and may seem jaded to some. Work-life balance has been the buzz phrase for what seems like the last decade. Everyone seems to be striving for “work-life balance”. And if they are not striving for it, then they ought to be striving for it because it is the great saviour of how professional women can survive their careers. It is nauseating. But before you stop reading (and, for those looking for an employment or career change, before you retract your resume from Lerners LLP), hear me out. There are (I hope) legitimate reasons why I hate “work-life balance”. Here are my top three: 1. When I became the Chair of the firm, I did a number of interviews. Almost all, if not all, of my interviews involved what…...read more
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