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A great business development guide for women lawyers

November 8, 2014

Looking for a guide to business development for women lawyers? I have found a great resource for you!

I was doing some research this week and came across  A Guide to Business Development for Women Lawyers. It was prepared by the Law Society of Upper Canada, and after giving it a quick read yesterday I have concluded this is a must read for any woman lawyer in private practice.  If you are a senior lawyer it is a good resource to share with your mentees. This guide has specific and actionable business development tips for women lawyers, and valuable quotes from many women lawyers.

And it’s free!

This Guide to Business Development for Women Lawyers covers all the most critical topics – everything from dealing with imposter syndrome to how to ask for business.

Kudos to The Justicia Project Business Development Working Group and the women lawyers who took the time to share their practical experience and insight:

  • Samantha Alfonzo, Associate, Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP – Hamilton, ON
  • Ellen Bessner, Partner, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP – Toronto, ON
  • Elizabeth M. Brown, Partner, Hicks Morley Hamilton Steward Storie LLP – Toronto, ON
  • Mary Catherine Chambers, Partner, Buset & Partners LLP – Thunder Bay, ON
  • Mary M.S. Fox, Founding Partner, Ducharme Fox LLP – Windsor, ON
  • Mandy Fricot, Lawyer, Fricot Law – Thunder Bay, ON
  • Marie Heinen, Lawyer, Henein and Associates – Toronto, ON
  • Cheryl Hodder, QC, Partner, McInnes Cooper – Halifax, NS
  • Deborah A. Humphreys, Weiler Maloney Nelson – Thunder Bay, ON
  • Tanya A. Leedale, Partner, O’Connor MacLeod Hanna LLP – Oakville, ON
  • Barbara Legate, Personal Injury Lawyer, Legate & Associates – London, ON
  • Laurie Pawlitza, Partner, Torkin Manes LLP & Immediate Past Treasurer, the Law Society of Upper Canada – Toronto, ON
  • Janice Payne, Partner, Nelligan O’Brien Payne – Ottawa, ON
  • Corina Weigl, Partner, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP – Toronto, ON
  • Heather Williams, Cavanagh LLP – Ottawa, ON

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Join me at the West Coast LEAF Equality Breakfast on March 5

February 8, 2013

For those of you living in the Vancouver area please come and join me at West Coast LEAF’s Annual Equality Breakfast on March 5 at the Hotel Fairmont Vancouver. The doors open at 6:30 am and believe me the place is bustling and full of women, and some men, shortly thereafter. Each year this celebration of International Women’s Day and the work of West Coast LEAF brings together over 750 people for the liveliest breakfast event of the year. I believe it is one of the largest gatherings of women lawyers in the city each year.

This year, West Coast LEAF will host author, actor, and activist Carmen Aguirre as the special guest speaker. Aguirre’s first book, Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter, won CBC’s 2012 Canada Reads award. Her extensive oeuvre includes 20 plays, many exploring her experience as an exile and activist. Fierce, funny, and unforgettable, Aguirre continues to inspire and unite her audiences.

Follow this link for more information and to purchase tickets to the event. Don’t wait to long, the event is known to sell out early!

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Women in Law – Unintentional Career Stumbling Blocks

October 24, 2011

Anne is a good fit for her corporate legal practice and could really enjoy the work and her colleagues but she is constantly in fear of making an error.  Joanne is at the office long hours and yet her billings are low because she under rates her value as a lawyer.  Sue is a smart and talented mid-level associate who lacks confidence in her abilities.  There are many challenges for women in legal practice and one important one is an internal challenge: lack of self-confidence.

In their blog post for the Harvard Business Review,  Four Ways Women Stunt Their Careers Unintentionally, Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, and Mary Davis Holt discuss the small shifts in thinking and perspective that can help women professionals:

“What we’ve found in our work is that career momentum for women is not about adding job skills but about changing everyday thinking and behaviors. We don’t think the majority of high-performing women need to make major changes. Small adjustments in how they think and act can improve not only how confident they seem, but how confident they feel.”

I couldn’t agree more.  Coaching is an effective tool for surfacing confidence challenges and addressing them.  Lack of confidence is not something women just have to “live with”.  If you lack confidence then I urge you to work with a coach or other related professional to help you grow your appreciation for your strengths and attributes.

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