Leadership Mentorship Women in Law

Take the broad path

Here in Vancouver this week the Canadian Bar Association’s Women Lawyers Forum held another successful event.  Linda Robertson, President of the Women Lawyers Forum, kindly offered the following summary of the event:

“The Women Lawyers Forum held their Second Annual Awards Lunch on November 17th and it was as successful and inspiring as last year’s event. There were 175 in attendance at the Sutton Place Hotel and the feeling in the room was one of warmth and enthusiasm.

Two outstanding women lawyers were recognized – Kathryn Berge, QC received the Award of Excellence and Brenda Edwards received the first Debra Van Ginkel, QC Mentoring Award. Both women received standing ovations when they went up to accept their awards. The speeches by the nominators and the recipients highlighted how far women lawyers have come over the past decade and the power of mentoring. Brenda ended her speech by saying that when asked how she finds the time to mentor so many women, she said that “mentoring feeds my soul.”

The guest speaker was Carole Taylor who has recently joined BLG as a Senior Business Advisor. She spoke about her personal journey from a teenager working in broadcasting to Minister of Finance and all the stops along the way. She encouraged women to take the broad path in their careers not being afraid of accepting positions for which they may not feel entirely ready and to look at all the opportunities in the community and elsewhere that bring a diversity of experience. Too often we focus just on the next step along the promotional road and not what we can learn outside our jobs.

It was an inspiring event because of the outstanding women present at the podium and their openness is telling us about their personal career paths and how it lead to their success.”

As a coach I am often asked about what make the “best investments” of non-billable time.  As Carole Taylor underlined in her presentation – it is valuable to take the broad path.  The broad path means to look for opportunities to learn new things and broaden your horizons.  It is important to stretch a little beyond your immediate knowledge base and skill set.   

My thanks to Linda Robertson for sharing some of the highlights of the The Women Lawyers Forum Second Annual Awards Lunch with us.

About the author

Allison Wolf

I am the founder of AWAL and one of the most senior coaches for lawyers in North America. I have helped countless clients over the past fifteen years, develop thriving legal practices and before that served as director of marketing for award-winning law firms. My specialty is uncovering the thinking traps and gaps holding clients back and helping them acquire the mindsets, skills, and habits for growing successful and rewarding legal careers. After a career in legal marketing and business development with law firms in Beijing, New York, and Vancouver, I was trained as a coach in 2004 at Royal Roads University and now coach clients from across North America. You can reach me at allison@shiftworks.ca or learn more about my coaching practice from the coaching section of the Attorney With A Life Website.