This is the third post in the 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 profession of law can delay lawyers from starting families due to a variety of factors related to the demands and time-consuming culture of the legal profession. While none of this will come as a surprise, especially to women in the profession, bringing these issues to light is a step in the right direction. It’s important to shed light on these topics and start openly discussing ways to address these challenges. The Report does exactly that. It dives deep into the issues that affect work-life balance and the struggles lawyers face when it comes to meeting…...read more
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Dear lawyer, guess what? You don’t have to be perfect, and you don’t always need to be right! I recently read an article in the Harvard Business Review that I believe every leader should read: How to Build Confidence About Showing Vulnerability tells each of us in leadership roles that to build a healthy team you need to find a way to check your ego at the door. We each need to explore our vulnerabilities, be honest about our failures and recognize our need for collaboration to build a successful business. As author Dan Cable, professor of organizational behavior at London Business School, notes “the best leaders inspire trust by sharing their mistakes.” Mentoring in any real way demands this of us, BUT how do we do this? How can we bring a sense of humility to our leadership roles…...read more
“Dear LiL: Being a woman in a male-dominated industry can be challenging. Have you ever faced such a situation, and if so, what strategies did you use to advocate for yourself and overcome the obstacles?” Signed ~ Defying Dominance
We are excited to welcome Guest Blogger and Harper Grey lawyer, Renée Gagnon, as she dishes some sage advice in her response to the latest question submitted to the Dear LiL Blog. Dear Defying Dominance: As a lawyer, I am loathe to speak in absolutes, but I dare say, every woman has faced the obstacle of a male dominated environment. Thus, the part of this question which asks, “[h]ave you ever faced such a situation…” takes me by surprise. Of course, I have! Haven’t we all? I can see that perhaps this part of the question speaks to the biggest setback in workplaces overrepresented by men: women feel alone… You are not alone! This segways nicely to my first suggested strategy: Do not do it alone. Find yourself some women in your industry who you respect and trust and…...read more
This is the second post in the 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”). In this post we will be discussing the phenomenon of technostress as explored in the Report. Before we dive into the topic of technostress, we want you to take a moment to stop and consider the range and types of technology you utilize in your everyday practice – from emails, internal messages, phone calls, social media and networking applications, to cell phones, printers, photocopiers, laptops, individual web-based applications, and software including filing, accounting, document management, and time recording software. Does this list leave you feeling a little overwhelmed? You are not alone. The Report found that lawyers…...read more
While finalizing a recent proposal, I took a moment to pause and consider the team I had been working with to complete the submission. I thought about the lead lawyers on the project, two senior female lawyers that Chair practice groups at my firm. I thought of my female COO, providing guidance and insight, and the female assistant on my team who championed some of the research related to the proposal. And, last but not least, I thought of our female graphic designer – making all the legalese included in the submission aesthetically pleasing and easier to digest. I proudly reflected on the strong female leaders, mentors, and team members I’ve had thus far during my career and considered how this makes not only my firm, but all firms stronger. While working with the women at my firm – both…...read more
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