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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The English Conundrum

Ever feel like speaking English is like walking on a tightrope? Or perhaps akin to constantly learning to dance in a foreign rhythm? I do, sometimes. For those of us who aren’t native English speakers, each day may feel like being handed a complex dance routine to learn from scratch. More so in a professional setting, where every word, expression, and cultural nuance is a step with a strict rule, and the fear of stumbling is always there beneath the surface. If that isn’t enough, add juggling the art of code-switching to the routine, this isn’t just switching languages but also tweaking accents and behaviors to fit in with the dominant crowd.   Reflections Reflecting on my arrival in Calgary from Zimbabwe 14 years ago, the subtle loss of my ability to navigate conversations in my native tongue beyond the… more

Friends Don’t Let Friends Skip Brain Day – Why You Shouldn’t Neglect Your Mental Fitness

We’re no strangers to conversations about mental health. Arguably amplified by the pandemic, mental health has been a topic at virtually every conference or educational that I’ve been to over the past five years. While we can all agree that mental health is important, I recently became acquainted with another concept – the idea of mental fitness. These two concepts, mental health and mental fitness, while related, address different aspects of our psychological well-being. While mental health focuses on the overall well-being of our minds, mental fitness is the concept of actively and intentionally working to improve and maintain your mind’s capabilities. It’s similar to physical fitness, but for your brain. Mental fitness involves working to build mental strength, resilience, and agility, and can include: Cognitive flexibility the ability to adapt to new information and circumstances, Emotional intelligence recognizing, understanding,… more

Reflections on the 2022 National Wellness Study

This is our final post on the series reporting on the “The National Study on the Psychological Health Determinants of Legal Professionals in Canada” (the “Study”). The Study was published by the Université de Sherbrooke, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada and the Canadian Bar Association in December 2022. The Study is the first of its kind in Canada. It delves into the intricacies of the Canadian legal profession and the factors that impact the psychological well-being of legal professionals. In our series we reported on several of the main causes of mental health issues and demographics mostly affected, such as minorities, ethnicized groups, women in law, balancing family life, combatting technostress, the effects of the billable hour model, and stigmas surrounding mental health. We have come to recognize that mental health challenges are more widespread within the legal… more

See Something, Say Something, Do Something

Dear LiL: As a male lawyer, how can I be an ally for my female colleagues and be part of the solution instead of part of the problem when it comes to gender-based discrimination in the legal profession?   We all need allies. For far too long, women’s issues were just those – issues that belonged to and could therefore only be solved by women. While much of the work in this area has been done by women’s organizations, together with some female advocates who have been trailblazers in our profession, the fact is that a collective effort is required to reduce and, ultimately eradicate gender-based discrimination. Unfortunately, there is no one magic solution. It has been a problem of long-standing duration for a reason, including that its origins are in our broader culture. Stereotypes about men and women begin… more

Dear LiL: Junior Lawyer here – how do I determine which area of law I am interested in. I didn’t love where I articled, but I have no idea how to determine my next steps in terms of what practice area to go into (since the study of law in law school is so different from the actual practice of law).

Navigating Your Legal Career: Finding Your Passion in Law   Dear Junior Lawyer, The legal profession offers a vast array of specialties, and finding a practice area you are passionate about can be an exciting—and overwhelming—task. Everyone’s journey will be different, but thinking critically about what you are interested in, gaining diverse hands-on experience, and leveraging the support and experience of your friends and colleagues can help you find your path forward.   1. Define Your Interests Identifying your genuine interests will provide a solid foundation for exploring specific legal areas. Take a moment to reflect on the aspects of law that genuinely interest you. Consider the courses you enjoyed in law school, the type of cases that intrigued you, and the legal issues that sparked your curiosity. What specific subjects or legal challenges that truly captivated you during your… more


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