Four and half years ago I approached my firm about the possibility of implementing a more flexible work arrangement. I know it’s hard but try and transport yourself back to a time when working from home wasn’t considered normal, it was a novel solution but one that I knew was going to make our lives easier. At the time, my husband and I were considering a move from the lower mainland to Vancouver Island, in part because of the high cost of living and some struggles that we were having with childcare. I was (and continue to be) very committed to my firm and I wanted to continue to work full time and pursue partnership. In our particular circumstances, moving to Vancouver Island was going to enhance my capacity to continue to contribute to the firm and provide a high…...read more
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Dear Frustrated Fashionista: If you read this question and the first thought you had was “does this really matter?” or “don’t we have bigger fish to fry?”, I challenge you to really think about why you thought that. What is it about that word “girly” that causes some of us, maybe most of us, to cringe, want to run away and disassociate from it, even if, in our heart of hearts, we are a little (or a lot) “girly”? I think this is such an important question because it really asks us whether we, as women, should change certain aspects of our personality to succeed at work as society tells us that stereotypical femininity could negatively affect how we are perceived professionally. Do we really have to change how we dress or how we express ourselves in order to achieve…...read more
“The #1 piece of career advice I ever received was to listen. I was told to listen carefully to my clients, to my colleagues and to my support staff. This is not an easy skill to learn particularly as lawyers have a tendency to want to get to solutions. It was sage advice as listening really is one of the foundational skills for any successful practice.” Kim Jakeman, Life in Law Co-founder and Partner at Harper Grey LLP Kim recently authored a post for the Dear LiL blog on the importance of seeing women in law as the professional investment and opportunity they are. Read that post here....read more
I love feisty, meaningful articles that provoke emotion and I don’t shy away from a word of exclamation (as an aside, consider this a trigger-warning for those of you that shy from colourful language). Although an expletive, when used as an exclamation “fuck” expresses annoyance, contempt and impatience. In reality, it is a wonderful catch-all conveniently applicable to a host of situations and emotions. Jesse Draper, venture capitalist and gender equality advocate, really brings the use of the word home in her recent article “Investing In Women Isn’t a Fucking Charity” published on medium.com. Jesse begins her article this way: “It’s a smart, strategic business move, and more urgent than ever to invest in women”. I agree with her and although her focus is on business, she broadly describes the need to invest in women in professions and industries across the board…....read more
When it comes to movies and shows about court proceedings, lawyers tend to fall into one of two categories: love them or hate them. While I usually tend toward the latter, I made an exception recently to watch The Trial of the Chicago 7 – a dramatized film about the infamous trial of seven leaders of various social movement organizations (including the Black Panthers) opposed to the Vietnam War, who were charged with inciting a riot during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. A poignant illustration of the barriers activists face when pushing for broad and necessary social change, the film left me reflecting on how the cost of such activism varies by race, gender, and other identity vectors, the role of legal institutions in blocking or facilitating such social change, and the concepts of prejudice and privilege more broadly. The…...read more
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