I recently completed a course for which I am extremely proud. I wanted to share about my accomplishment, but oddly I found myself feeling guilty for it. Should I really share about my achievement? Did I “deserve” to talk about it? Is it really a big deal, which deserves sharing with others? After some contemplation I came to the realization that we, as women, tend to shy away from sharing our accomplishments. This is a problem. Second guessing ourselves is engrained As women, we often second-guess ourselves. For example, I used to constantly seek the validation or advice of those around me, even for the smallest issues. Perhaps this is engrained from a young age, when females are taught to be submissive, to obey rules, to be polite, and to be quiet. In turn, it seems we are (over…...read more
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This is the fourth 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”). In this post we will dive into the “dark side of billable hours” as explored in the Report. As you know, the billable hour model is the traditional performance indicator used within legal practice. It sets a target of 1,500 billable hours per year on average in Canadian private practice. However, the Report concludes that despite its effectiveness in measuring economic success, this model poses significant risks and social consequences for the well-being of legal professionals. As it turns out, billable hours don’t tell the whole story. According to the findings, billable hours only capture around 67.9%…...read more
Dear Contemplating Change: You have bravely expressed a stuck feeling that is common among lawyers. And you have wisely expressed a truth: you have options. As a lawyer, you have likely invested a lot of energy and time into developing your expertise. And you are curious about professional change. You want to repurpose the valuable tools, materials, and structures you currently have and build something new that fulfills you. I believe that each choice you make in your professional life helps you in making the next one, regardless of how related the choices may seem. There are often threads of connection between the interests, skills, and talents that a person has developed over the years. These threads can teach you what work lights you up (and what work does not) and which avenues to explore as you move forward in…...read more
Many people talk about getting deals done on the golf course. Instead of negotiating over a boardroom table, transactions get done down the fairway (or off the tee block or on the green). I fell victim to the belief that I had to learn to play golf to in order to build a book of business as a lawyer. It has been a frustrating struggle. Thankfully I found a pro who helped with my back swing and I have gotten to the point where I can contribute some shots in a game of best ball (as I refuse to play an actual game of golf!). I am in my thirteenth year of practice and I still take refresher lessons every season! Business development encompasses various strategies and activities aimed at creating growth opportunities and expanding your referral network. While golf…...read more
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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