Benchmark Women in Litigation Forum Toronto 2019 – October 24th

Benchmark Women in Litigation Forum Toronto 2019 – Overview
October 24 – Vantage Venues, Toronto

The third Benchmark Women in Litigation Forum returns to Toronto on October 24 at Vantage Venues.

Building on the previous two years of connecting leading women in litigation and law in the Toronto area, this year’s Forum will provide today’s women counsel with the latest legal developments in all practice areas in order to fully support their organizations. Featuring topical and timely panels on litigation, regulatory, employment, IP, privacy, cross-border, and compliance, expert speakers will focus on the “hot” legal topics for Canadian businesses. There is also a special focus on building the talent pipeline for women through leadership and career best practices on how to build a successful in-house legal department and develop the next generation of women litigators.

• Hear the latest developments on the top five legal issues facing your in-house department
• Understand how to manage your organization’s risk yet still grow in a competitive environment
• Participate in networking opportunities with over 150 in-house counsel and law firm partners
• Share advice on how to advance women’s legal careers and overcome unconscious biases

“Loved the comradery and feeling in the room among the female lawyers. Terrific networking!”
“The level of panelists was so impressive. Everyone speaking was knowledgeable and experienced in their field. I learned a lot and had my eyes opened by subjects I previously knew nothing about.”
“Big players in many industries – the variety and excellence of the speakers was amazing.”

Register today! (In-house counsel registration through Bonnie Wat below)

Sponsorship information
Rebecca Synnott
CALL : +1 212 224 3337

Speaking opportunities
Beth Ranney
CALL : +1 212 224 3542

Registration information (in-house counsel only)
Bonnie Wat
CALL: +44 (0) 207 779 8055

October 10, 2019 -Year of the Mind – a SOLUTIONS focused Workplace Mental Health Conference

Year of the Mind will offer practical solutions for tackling the issues that affect us all. Guests will hear a 360-degree perspective on how to achieve and maintain good mental health. We will hear from the next generation of leaders and the seasoned change makers who are building sustainable programs now. The discussions will take place, the pitfalls will be brought to light, and those who attend will leave feeling more confident and equipped in their journey towards a powerful mental wealth plan.

The Organizers are happy to offer WLAO members a special limited time offer starting September 20: buy a ticket and get another seat for a friend, co-worker, associate for free!

This is a program built around the eight dimensions of wellness.

Register today!

Dimensions of Wellness:

  • Emotional – Coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships
  • Environmental – Good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being
  • Financial – Satisfaction with current and future financial situations
  • Intellectual – Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills
  • Occupational – Personal satisfaction and enrichment from one’s work
  • Physical – Recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods, and sleep
  • Social – Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system
  • Spiritual – Expanding a sense of purpose and meaning in life
7:50 – 8:50 am
Registration and Brain Healthy Breakfast
8:50 – 9:05 am
Welcome, setting our intention.
9:05 – 9:30 am
Top 10 “To Do’s” for Mental Hygiene
9:30 – 10:00 am
Financial Occupational Social
A candid conversation with Jacques Goulet and Michael Landsberg
A Brighter Future, Strong and Steady for Mental Wealth
10:00 – 10:30 am
Spiritual Intellectual
Present for the Future: Technology is transforming the way we live our lives, work and care for our mental wealth. How can we navigate and thrive through all the change and transformation? What about empathy and AI?
10:30 – 10:45 am
Brain Break
10:45 – 11:20 am
Peak Performance at Work: How to implement a workplace mental wealth program, real tools to boost focus, be more engaged & creative; evoke purpose and passion with your team; change management; mindful leadership.
11:20 – 12:00 pm
A candid conversation with Michael Herman, Orlando De Silva.
Raising the Bar
12:00 – 1:00 pm
Brain Healthy Lunch and Networking
1:00 – 1:25 pm
Solutions for “Asking the right questions – Tools for Effective Interactions and Communication” (at work and at home, incl. parenting)
1:25 – 1:55 pm
The Psychology of Money, Financial Stress & Mental Wealth, Solutions to Thrive.
1:55 – 2:15 pm
a thoughtful conversation with Lynn Posluns and Julie Durant
Gender Effect on Health.
2:15 – 2:35 pm
Emotional Environmental Financial Intellectual Occupational Physical Social Spiritual

What is your Mental Fitness Index?

  • What is the role of mental fitness in prevention?
  • What is the link between hight stress and mental health risk?
  • Learn how the act of resiliency and coping will build mental fitness
  • Learn micro-skills that build mental fitness
  • How to start a personal mental fitness plan
2:35 – 2:50 pm
2:50 – 3:30 pm
Emotional Environmental Occupational Social
Re-defining Inclusion – Work and Family
3:30 – 4:00 pm
(Audience Submissions Q&A)
Moving Forward with Action Oriented Takeaways
4:00 – 4:30 pm
Physical Social Spiritual
Two Time Grammy Award Winner Music Producer and Performer, Chin Injeti
Closing Ceremonies


Organized in collaboration with the Court of Appeal for Ontario and The Advocates’ Society


This three-part series is designed to provide skills training and mentoring to advocates from communities represented in the Roundtable of Diversity Associations (RODA) and to educate faculty about the unique issues facing advocates from these communities. The desired outcomes of this program are:

 To foster an environment for continued, meaningful dialogue between communities represented in RODA, the bench, and other members of the bar.

 To provide communities represented in RODA with a unique training and mentoring opportunity that will enhance their advocacy skills, and provide them with practical advocacy tips and strategies that can be incorporated into their practices.

This three-part program is limited to 32 participants who have been invited to participate on recommendation of their RODA organization. All participants must commit to attending all three parts of the program. This program is best suited for advocates in their third to tenth year of practice who are members of communities represented in RODA and who would benefit from participating in this program. Faculty will include judges of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, The Advocates’ Society’s skills instructors, and senior members of organizations represented in RODA.

The total cost to attend the entire series is $175 + HST.

Application Form – Deadline Friday, October 11, 2019

Monday, November 18, 2019 – 5:30pm – 7:30pm: Town Hall

The Town Hall will provide an opportunity for participants to discuss their experiences in the justice system and for faculty to learn about these experiences. A panel discussion will be followed by an “open-mike” forum. Participants may bring questions and comments or submit them anonymously in advance. Discussion points from the Town Hall will be used to help generate topics for the Mentoring Dinner. [Estimated Eligible CPD Hours*: 2.0 EDI Professionalism Hours]

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 – 6:00pm – 8:30pm: Mentoring Dinner

The Mentoring Dinner will feature a panel discussion followed by a series of roundtable discussions where faculty members will act as mentors. Participants will be encouraged to share their views on the topics and solicit general or practice-specific advice from mentors, including about relevant advocacy tools and skills. Discussion points from the Mentoring Dinner, as well as the Town Hall, will help to inform the Advocacy Skills Training Program.

[Estimated Eligible CPD Hours*: 1.0 EDI Professionalism Hour; 1.0 Professionalism Hour]

Saturday, May 9, 2020 – 9:00am – 1:00pm or 5:00pm (TBD): Advocacy Skills Training Program

The Advocacy Skills Training Program will allow participants to develop, improve and hone their advocacy skills. Participants will prepare and practise their advocacy skills based on a simulated case file and receive immediate feedback from faculty.

[Estimated Eligible CPD Hours*: At least 0.5 EDI Professionalism Hour; 0.5 Professionalism Hour; 2.5 Substantive Hour]

* These estimates are subject to confirmation as the program draws nearer.

The Advocates’ Society has been approved as an Accredited Provider of Professionalism Content by the Law Society of Ontario.

90th Anniversary of the ‘Persons’ Case – Pink Tea – October 20, 2019

You’re invited!

Oct. 18, 2019 – The 90th Anniversary of the ‘Persons’ Case will be celebrated with the Famous 5 in Olympic Plaza at 12 pm. 

Oct. 20, 2019 – Pink Tea, Crystal Ballroom, Fairmont Palliser – 2 pm! For more information:

 Please join us and be inspired by these champions!


90th Anniversary of the ‘Persons’ Case is Friday, Oct.18, 2019 and, as you no doubt know, October is Women’s History Month.


The Famous 5 (Judge Emily Murphy, Louise McKinney, Hon. Irene Parlby, Henrietta Muir Edwards & Nellie McClung) are Canada’s premier democratic champions.  These remarkable women succeeded in securing the right for women to vote, run for office, and serve as an elected official or be appointed to the Senate of Canada.


Incredibly, this transfer of power was achieved without a single gunshot or a death or lingering hostilities.


Suffrage meetings were often violently disrupted so suffragists started organizing Pink Teas instead which discouraged most opponents from attending. A fabulous example of the pen being mightier than the sword!


We are now asking Canadians to organize a Pink Tea during the month of October so as to celebrate the F5 and their achievements, particularly the ‘Persons’ Case which finalized the definition of the word ‘persons’ as meaning both men and women and enabled Canadian women to become Senators.

We are hoping you and your sister lawyers will be inspired by the F5 but also share your concerns and plans to improve life in Canada.

For your consideration, attached please find the How to Host a Pink Tea document.

On behalf of Emily, Irene, Louise, Henrietta and Nellie, thank you.




Frances Wright

Co-Founder & Director


The Momentum Summit at OBA September 10th

The Ontario Bar Association is hosting their inaugural Momentum Summit on September 10th, and have extended their member pricing to WLAO members. The focus of this event is to bring together leading lawyers from around the world, trailblazing lawyers from right here at home, and leaders in other sectors to convene and discuss ways lawyers and law firms can continue to advance gender equality in the profession. This will be a great opportunity to engage with other lawyers, representatives from other professions, build networks and as an added bonus, gain 5h 45m of EDI credits.
To take advantage of this, an individual selects “Register Now”, creates a non-member account (this takes about one minute) and is presented with the registration form. They will then click on the “I am a Member of WLAO” box and within a moment, the revised pricing will appear. The link for the agenda and event details:  The Momentum Summit
Advancing Gender Equality in the Legal Profession  (Register: In-Person |Webcast)
The Momentum Summit is the culmination of a year of dedicated efforts by the Ontario Bar Association to advance gender equality in the legal profession. The Summit will focus on practical solutions that the legal profession can implement. Our line up of speakers will discuss what is being done in the Ontario legal profession as well as in other professions and jurisdictions. You will leave with an understanding of what you can do to advance in your workplace to achieve greater equality.
To view the full program agenda, please click here.
Date:    Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Time:    8:30 am Registration | 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Program
Location: OBA Conference Centre | 20 Toronto Street, 2nd Floor | Toronto, ON | M5C 2B8

Position Available – Executive Director BC CIVIL LIBERTIES ASSOCIATION Vancouver, BC

The ED develops organizational strategy, sound practices and supportive relationships – both internally and externally – fostering cooperative and effective collaborations and coalitions that further the BCCLA’s mission. The ED reports to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the successful leadership and management of the BCCLA, working to realize the organization’s goals as laid out in the 2020 – 2025 Strategic Plan. They provide overall direction and guidance to staff and oversee the BCCLA’s law reform, litigation, education, fundraising and operations programs. With a clear vision for the continued growth and success of the BCCLA, the ED is accountable for the financial sustainability of the BCCLA and the prudent use of its resources and maintains positive relationships with key donors and funders. They provide visionary leadership to the BCCLA to enable it to be the leading civil society organization upholding civil liberties and human rights in Canada, taking concrete, sustained and effective action to create change by bringing issues to light in the media, working in solidarity with frontline and grassroots activists, helping challenge unjust laws in the courts and advocating for policy change with elected officials.


You are a fearless and effective advocate for civil liberties and human rights. You are skilled in working in coalition with other organizations, and at being an effective ally. Your deep understanding of civil liberties and human rights issues at the grassroots level translates into an ability to build campaigns and initiatives that result in meaningful change. You are effective working in community and engaging in government and media relations. As the leader of the organization, you are skilled in providing support and guidance to a team of professionals, removing barriers to empower the team to do their best work. You are familiar with issues facing Indigenous communities and other marginalized groups, and you appreciate the distinctive nature of these issues far beyond southwestern BC.  You have a demonstrated commitment and ability to effect action in the area of equity, diversity and inclusion, with that perspective guiding decision making. You have a critical analysis and in-depth understanding of how the law operates, and experience using the law strategically to advance human rights and civil liberties, either as a lawyer or with substantial experience working with the tools of the Canadian legal system.


The BCCLA is committed to ensuring equity, diversity and inclusion are significant considerations in our decision-making, in our internal work and in our work in the world. This is critical for BCCLA to act on our values and to achieve our fundamental mandate to uphold and advance civil liberties and human rights. We encourage applications from members of communities that are marginalized or that experience structural discrimination, including those identifying as Indigenous, people of colour, members of non-dominant ethnic, religious, linguistic and/or cultural groups, women, (im)migrants/newcomers,  people with (dis)abilities, working class people, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and we encourage applicants to self-identify in their application. The BCCLA is committed to excellence, and recognizes that increasing the diversity of our staff, and especially our leadership, supports this objective.


For further information, to obtain the full position description and to learn how to apply, contact Allison Rzen and Jennifer Madden at


Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema


(Monday, September 23, 6:30 pm)

The former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada offers a revealing look at her life, from her childhood in the Alberta foothills to her trailblazing career on the Supreme Court, where she helped to shape the social and moral fabric of the country.


New!! Chappell Partners LLP/June Bushell Award for Lawyers

New!! Chappell Partners LLP/June Bushell Award

Submission deadline: May 27th, 2019

This award acknowledges a lawyer who, like June Bushell, experienced and overcame adversity in pursuing a career in law and, despite that adversity, is making a positive contribution through her legal practice.

The award is open to female lawyers with 5 or more years of practice. The recipient will determine to which registered charity a donation of $1000 will be made in her name.

The Applicant’s letter to the reviewing panel should set out her circumstances and be accompanied by two letters of support/reference attesting to the challenges facing, or faced by, the Applicant and her contributions to her clients, community, or the practice of law. These documents should be sent to the WLAO by email to no later than May 27, 2019 with the Applicant’s contact information.

The award will be presented in Toronto at the WLAO Awards night on June 12, 2019. The recipient will be invited to a luncheon with the partners of Chappell Partners LLP on a date mutually agreed upon.

Being Brown Downtown, “The Lived Experiences of Ethnic Minorities in Corporate Canada”

Making it in corporate Canada is no easy feat but it can be even more challenging when the body you’re in doesn’t look like everyone else.

Join Canadian Club Toronto on Tuesday April 30 for an open and honest dialogue about what it’s like to be ethnically diverse in corporate Canada. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from a panel of individuals about their lived experience.

Our moderator Ginella Massa (City TV) will challenge our panelists –Akif Siddiqui (PwC), Peter Sloly (Deloitte), Faithe Holder (Gowling WLG), and Saima Malik (TD) – to share their personal stories and journeys about what it’s really like to try and make it in corporate Canada as ethnic minorities.

Event: Being Brown Downtown, “The Lived Experiences of Ethnic Minorities in Corporate Canada”
Panelists: Faithe Holder (Gowling WLG), Saima Malik (TD), Akif Siddiqui (PwC) and Peter Sloly (Deloitte), moderated by Ginella Massa (CityTV)

Event page:

WLAO members can use the code “WLAO10” for $10 off an individual ticket, or $100 off a table of 10.

2018-2022 CBA Young Lawyers International Program (YLIP)

2018-2022 CBA Young Lawyers International Program (YLIP)

With funding from Global Affairs Canada, there are currently hundreds of rewarding volunteer opportunities in 10 different countries!

The YLIP program will create 32 eight-month internships each year, for four years. Placement areas include:

  • Southern Africa (South Africa, Namibia, Madagascar)
  • East Africa (Kenya)
  • The Caribbean (Guyana)
  • Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan)
  • Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Myanmar)
  • Eastern Europe and the Balkans (Ukraine, Serbia).

Apply now

5:30 pm - 9:30 pm

100th Anniversary Gala – October 30, 2019

2018-2022 CBA Young Lawyers International Program (YLIP)
100th Anniversary / Social


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Toronto, ON M5C 2V6



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