On Feb. 20, I attended the Women in Governance Annual Recognition Gala. This was a celebration of public companies that made a commitment and achieved at least 30 per cent female representation within their boards. It was inspirational to hear about the shared experiences and the strategic business decisions that drove these companies to make a commitment to actively promote equity within their governance board.
On Jan. 25, a new batch of recent graduates was called to the bar. This is an unforgettable moment in the life of a law student as they become part of what is seen (by most people) as a noble profession that stands as the guardian for justice and equity in our society. This also marks the start of their working career.
Similarly, in our profession, forward thinking lawyers stand to benefit the most from the fundamental changes that are taking place within our legal profession.
For lawyers in Ontario, 2018 will be the year where major opportunities were missed.
I am a strong advocate for the adoption of legal technology and artificial intelligence. Not only do I believe that the adoption of legal tech will make lawyers more efficient and able to provide better more affordable services to clients, but I believe there will be a time, very soon, when not using legal technology tools will risk a lawyer being found to be in a possible breach of their professional obligations.
To my fellow John Candy and Steve Martin fans out there, you will recognize where this comes from; but now that I have worked with trucks (Navistar), cars (Nissan) and planes (Cargojet), all that is left is trains. While all of these areas of in-house practice seem very similar, as they are within the transportation sector, the work in each of these experiences was very, very different.
The challenges faced by the newest members of our profession are unprecedented. It is clear to see why so many of our newest colleagues become victims of mental illness depression, anxiety and other illnesses.
There is a little secret not often discussed or mentioned. It is, in many ways, one of the best-kept secrets within the legal profession, especially among in-house counsel. The secret is the benefit and spectacular opportunities associated with taking on an OLO (only legal officer) role.
In order to celebrate this international showcase of soccer talent, pride and sportsmanship, I would like to share a few insights that came from watching (a lot of) the games and how these can apply to the practice of law and your career as an in-house counsel.
One of the most common questions I hear from junior and mid-level lawyers is: “How do I know it is time to make a move?” Unfortunately, there is never one clear answer.