For Women in Law By Women in Law

The format of our Blog is unique. It was created as a place to ask questions and to read real-life stories to learn and grow from. Our advisors have a wonderful mix of experience and are eager to share their insights on the issues women in the profession face and the topics many do not feel comfortable broaching. Step into our Blog and learn how to enhance your career and personal – and professional – lives.

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Guest Blogger, Janelle O’Connor, discusses women supporting other women in law and how advantageous it is to find power in the pack.

I’ve never subscribed to the whole “be masculine to be successful in law” thing. I am authentic at work. I often wear mini skirts. I am known for my empathy. And after attending the Trial Lawyers’ Association of British Columbia’s (TLABC) Annual Women Lawyers’ Retreat, I have been thinking more about the need for women to more actively support other women in our profession. For almost 20 years, I have heard female lawyers talk about the “boys’ club”. Men are notorious for supporting each other in this profession. Why aren’t women?

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In This Together: Life in Law and a Community for Women Lawyers

Launched on International Women’s Day in March 2020, Life in Law (LiL) is the brainchild of two female partners at regional law firm Harper Grey LLP, Kimberly Jakeman, KC and Una Radoja. After attending a conference for women lawyers in San Francisco in 2019, Kimberly and Una began talking about how they could make a real difference in the retention and mentorship of women in this profession. While formal, structured mentorship programs for women lawyers already existed, they identified a gap in the availability of unstructured and informal mentorship programs that presented a more relaxed and open forum to discuss the unique challenges faced by women in law. Enter LiL, an informal and confidential platform, a “safe space” for women to connect, discuss, and share their experiences.

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Leading From the Heart

Leadership is a multi-dimensional task. Sometimes it involves decisiveness and making judgment calls that aren’t easy to make. Other times, it involves encouragement and leading by example. It can include taking care of what seems like minutiae, and doing tasks “under the radar” to keep the work flowing with an appearance of being seamless. Sometimes leadership seems like a tiresome and thankless endeavour; however, my viewpoint is that its importance should not be underestimated, and its value is often intangible. There are many ways to become a good, and even great, leader – especially if you’re open to leading from the heart.

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Light Reading: Fiction Featuring Women Lawyers

I don’t know about you, but I always get a bit of a thrill when I see a female lawyer as a character in a movie, TV show, or book. It immediately has me connecting with the character, and I get a fun boost from seeing professional women represented in meaningful ways. Because reading fiction books is my favourite way to de-stress after a workday, today I’m bringing you some recommendations for contemporary fiction books featuring female lawyer main characters.

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The First-Generation Lawyer

I recall one of my first thoughts when I was accepted into law school: “what am I getting myself into?!” Being born in another country, and having a non-English first language, has in many ways enriched my perspective on life and the human experience. On the other hand, it’s brought some unique challenges. It has catapulted an array of “firsts” for me (and my family). In this blog post, I provide a glimpse into my experience being an immigrant, and the first lawyer in my family.

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