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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2022 National Wellness Study – Introduction: A Troubling Picture

In December 2022, the Université de Sherbrooke, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada and the Canadian Bar Association published the report on The National Study on the Psychological Health Determinants of Legal Professionals in Canada. This report is Phase I of the National Wellness Study. The data analyzed in the report comes from a national survey conducted between 2020-2022 on the wellness of legal professionals in Canada. More than 7,300 legal professionals from all jurisdictions – lawyers, Quebec notaries, Ontario paralegals and articling students – participated in the survey. The study’s authors have now launched Phase II of the study, which will involve qualitative interviews with legal professionals to explore differences by province and territory. Phase II is expected to conclude in 2024. The National Wellness Study report paints a troubling picture of the wellness of Canadian legal professionals. Its key… more

“Dear LiL: Having been recently called to the Bar, I can occasionally sense some frustration from my supervising lawyers as I find my way in my practice. How can I, as a junior lawyer, build positive professional relationships with the senior lawyers I work with and make their lives easier instead of harder?” ~ Signed Jumpy Junior

Dear Jumpy Junior: The question that you have posed is an excellent one. This is exactly the sort of thing that you should be thinking about at this early stage in your legal career. Having strong relationships with senior counsel is important, as this will impact the sort of work you will be involved with, and who you will be working with during those early years while you have much to learn. Here are five areas that you can focus on to stand out as a junior lawyer and build positive professional relationships with the senior lawyers you work with: 1. Get to Know the Senior Lawyer Each lawyer has his or her own style and preferences for how they like to manage a file. As a junior, it is important to gain a good understanding about how the senior… more

Are we Going Backwards? This may be an unpopular opinion, but I think not.

The 2022 Women in the Workplace report from Lean In and McKinsey & Co. is out and it is by no means rosy.  The report reveals that companies across corporate America are struggling to retain the relatively few women in leadership positions. The report is based on a study involving 333 companies employing more than 12 million people, and a survey of more than 40,000 employees including women of diverse identities and backgrounds. In short, it is comprehensive and provides an intersectional look at biases and barriers. So, what is causing senior women to leave their existing leadership positions in what McKinsey & Co. has coined the “the Great Breakup”? The authors suggest that lack of flexibility, being overworked and under-recognized, and microaggressions that continue even at the C-Suite level, are the primary reasons emerging from the study. What is… more

Inclusion is the Magic Word

We’ve seen law firms (and all employers) take large strides over the last couple of decades to improve gender diversity in their workforce. The research is clear: a diverse workplace is a better workplace. But why, despite these efforts, do gender inequalities in the workplace continue to persist? A new article out of Forbes entitled “Women’s Equality In The Workplace Requires Greater Inclusion”[1], suggests that the problem might be the single-minded focus on diversity, or specifically, numerical representation as a proxy for diversity, with not enough emphasis on inclusion and equity. Perhaps there has been less of an emphasis on the more “qualitative” factors of inclusion and equity because they are more difficult to measure. Attempting to tackle this problem, the author of this article and their colleagues developed a way of measuring inclusion at an organization by measuring the… more

What Organizations Get Wrong About Imposter Syndrome and How to Fix It

Hi, it’s me, you’re not the problem. It’s your workplace. What organizations get wrong about imposter syndrome and how to fix it.  One of the most pervasive themes in the current dialogue about equity and advancing women in the workplace is imposter syndrome, and the many ways feelings of self-doubt, inadequacy and unworthiness serve as a powerful barrier to women’s full and equitable participation in the workplace. The phenomenon is especially pronounced among women in leadership. A recent KPMG study found that 75% of 750 high-achieving women executives across diverse sectors report having personally experienced imposter syndrome at some point in their careers. Almost as many believe that their male colleagues do not experience imposter syndrome to the same extent as women. When asked how they overcame feelings of imposter syndrome, just over 70% of women executives identified the support… more


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