Law Times

May 16, 2011

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Follow on 416-487-4447 • $4.00 • Vol. 22, No. 17 Untitled-3 1 5/5/10 3:55:30 PM Inside This Issue 4 Role Model 7 Religious Revival 9 Focus On Running Your Practice Quote of the week "Do I want to have these people as my partners? Are my partners going to want to have these people as their partners? If you can't satisfy yourself on those questions, I think you're just buying trouble down the road." — Gerald Courage, Miller Thomson LLP, See How, page 11 Covering Ontario's Legal Scene ntitled-4 1 ADR Connect: Find an ADR Professional Arbitrators Gold Standard Mediators May 16, 2011 5/11/11 4:17:11 PM Women face 'nefarious' situations Informal help key to surviving gender dynamic on Bay Street BY MICHAEL McKIERNAN Law Times male-dominated commercial liti- gation fi eld, Jane Southren has her fair share of war stories. "I've had people grab me by the W back of the head and try to kiss me and I've been equally as physical in my response," she said. Th at's an extreme example of what she describes as the "dy- namic that exists between men and women," but it's one she says young women on Bay Street must learn to manage if they're going to survive there. Southren was one of four pan- ellists at a discussion on women on Bay Street hosted by the orga- nization Young Women in Law. Th e event on May 9 at the On- tario Bar Association's conference centre in Toronto aimed to tackle the unique issues faced by wom- en on Bay Street. It comes as the Law Society of Upper Canada's Return to Practice working group issues a report on barriers many women face in coming back to the profession following a leave. Whether dealing with clients, colleagues or opposing lawyers, From left, Andrea Burke, Dera Nevin, Jane Southren, and Andrea Taylor discuss the challenges facing women lawyers on Bay Street. Southren said it's inevitable that sparks will occasionally fl y. Th e key is being able to handle it when they do. "Th ere's anything from nefarious, badly behaved hits to a natural chemistry that is going to evolve be- tween interesting, educated, fun people," Southren said. "I'd suggest you go in like any other relation- ship: open-minded and knowing things are going to happen naturally. Sometimes, you're going to run into people with a nefarious motive and you're going to have to manage it but don't be afraid of that." Dera Nevin, now the senior director of litigation OBA honours its best BY MICHAEL McKIERNAN Law Times the Ontario Bar Association soon after her call to the bar in 2007. Searching for a law fi rm that A matched her own interests and moral outlook, she turned to the OBA for help in making an informed decision about her future. "Th e OBA provided an instant network of lawyers who could speak to all kinds of diff er- ent experiences and work envi- ronments," Miller said. Having found a home at Ottawa employment law fi rm Sevigny Westdal LLP, Miller turned her attention to helping other young lawyers in a similar layna Miller wasn't even sure she wanted to be a lawyer when she found position. Several years later and after leading a host of mentor- ship eff orts, she received the OBA's Linda Adlam Manning Award for volunteerism. "Th e big decision that certain OBA members helped me reach has convinced me to remain in the practice of law, and even better, resulted in me actually enjoying it," said Miller while picking up the award during a ceremony on May 5. "From my experiences, I recognized how much knowledge the OBA's members had to off er and how critical it was for young lawyers to have someone to talk to for perspective and advice." Miller's bulging resumé belies her year of call. She helps lead the OBA's fl agship mentorship program, is on the executive of its young lawyers' division east, and has been heavily involved in its partnership with Timeraiser, a program that links young Ca- nadians to community organiza- tions in need of volunteers. In the spare time she has, she also manages to cram in involvement with a dance com- pany as well as interests in ath- letic pursuits such as triathlon and track and fi eld. Miller was one of six award recipients honoured at the OBA gala at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Toronto. Th e Women's Legal Education and Action Fund picked up the President's Award from OBA president Lee Aka- zaki. Th e 26-year-old organiza- tion, founded within days of s. 15 of the Charter of Rights and See LEAF, page 5 Alayna Miller says she benefited from net- working opportunities through the OBA. support at McCarthy Tétrault LLP, said she was able to defl ect unwanted advances from clients hoping to blur the sometimes fi ne line between business meetings and dates with a fi rm credit card. "Where a client was trying to pay to turn it into a date or get the upper hand, I could say, 'No, this is on the fi rm,'" Nevin said. "It allowed me to reframe the conversation in a way that gave me confi dence when I was still a very young lawyer." According to Nevin, many young female lawyers See 41%, page 5 ith 14 years of long hours and late nights behind her in the Click here to subscribe today to LAW TIMES LT Digital version.indd 1 6/25/10 12:59:47 PM Childview_LT_Jan24_11.indd 1 1/19/11 11:04:05 AM Photo: Michael McKiernan

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