Supreme Wisdom

Ruth Bader Ginsburg shares her experience of raising a daughter while attending Harvard Law School and fighting for women’s equality.

Check out the video here.

You can also read the accompanying article by Ryan Park, one of my HLS classmates and an RBG clerk. I think it’s always helpful to know we all face the same challenges, it’s how we respond that makes the biggest difference.


January Favo(u)rites: This Ain’t Ordinary Life


There aren’t too many things that I like about January, but January 2017 was special as we prepare for the arrival of baby Matthews. It was, perhaps, with these rose-colored glasses that I have compiled my list of favorite things for January:

    1. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency on Netflix. If you like weird, this will make you happy. I’m a big fan of detective shows, generally, so this may not come as a surprise, but everything about this show was novel and different in ways that I did not expect. I learned after the fact that it is based on a series of novels, so some people may already know about it, but I would highly recommend this show. Also, Elijah Wood looks like he hasn’t aged since LOTR. He’s so good.
    2. Starboy by the Weeknd. I know that this was not released in January, but that’s when I bought it and started listening to it over and over and over. As an Atlanta-area native, where there was always a strong music scene, I am happy to see Toronto starting to make its mark.
    3. Checkout 51: This app helps you save money and it’s easy to use. Again, with the baby on the way, I thought it prudent to see if I could cut costs anywhere. I’ve always been a terrible “couponer” because 1) I don’t subscribe to a print newspaper and 2) I generally like to plan a menu based on our own preferences, etc. rather than what happens to be on sale. This is, admittedly, a baby step in the direction of saving money on groceries, but I’ve used it a number of times already and I like it.

Honorable mention: Dr. Jennifer Wise at Thrive Natural Family Health. I only just started seeing her at the end of January, but she is super-friendly and knowledgeable about chiropractic care during pregnancy. I was experiencing some pain in my left hip and two visits with her have virtually eliminated the pain and helped the baby find a better position. Of course, this was my specific experience, but seeing her really made a difference for me once I put aside my “I’m-a-strong-woman-and-will-deal-with-this-myself” attitude.

Despite the need to avoid my news feed, I thought 2017 started off on a strong note. I’m looking forward to tackling the rest of the year avec bébé.

What are you looking forward to this year?

Creative Stress Relief

Yoga. Mindfulness. Running. Gym.

There are as many ways to relieve stress are there are lawyers who experience stress on a daily basis. Hopefully, you have found a productive way of taking the edge off the day*, but, if not then this may be for you!

Adult coloring books have grown in popularity over the last few years and I thought I would try my hand at it. It took longer than expected but I thought that it was a lot of fun and the plus is that you could bring one of these books anywhere with you for some quick mindless fun while you’re going about your regular activities. If you haven’t tried it – I would recommend it. You can get books of all skill levels and there are even some apps that attempt to simulate the experience.

Have fun coloring!

*If you are having trouble coping with the stress of your job, there is help and you should not suffer alone. If you’re in Ontario, the Member Assistance Program provides counseling and other services for lawyers who are experiencing moments of crisis. Similar programs exist in virtually every state and province. Talk to someone. Get help.

Foreign-Trained Lawyer Series: The Licensing Process, Part II

If you missed Part I of this post, check it out here.

Yet Another Application Process

Becoming a lawyer in Ontario costs a lot of money and takes a lot of time. There are many steps and lots of dollars that will flow from your pocket to the powers-that-be. This may seem critical, but it’s just a fact. It’s not cheap, but it is worthwhile if this is your chosen profession.

Continue reading “Foreign-Trained Lawyer Series: The Licensing Process, Part II”

Foreign Trained Lawyer Series: The Licensing Process, Part I

You’ve successfully completed the NCA process. Congratulations!

Unfortunately, the bureaucracy doesn’t end there. The following post is going to discuss the licensing process in Ontario only. That is the only process with which I’m familiar because it’s the process that I went through. I will note, though, that once you’re called to the bar in one of the provinces, there is a streamlined process for practicing in other provinces, however, I have not explored that and will not do so here.

The Licensing Process

Lawyers in Canada are self-regulated, meaning that it is the lawyers themselves who govern entry into the profession and the rules by which we all practice. In Ontario, the Law Society of Upper Canada (“LSUC”) is the governing body for lawyers. All lawyers who are admitted to practice in Ontario must go through the licensing process, which includes sitting for the bar exam and articling. This is the same for foreign-trained lawyers, although you may not need to article depending on your practice experience in your home country. As a side note, the number of articling positions has steadily decreased over the last few years and the LSUC introduced the Law Practice Program as an alternative to articling. It is still a pilot project and has only been approved for another 2 years. I’m going to break this down over the next couple of posts because this will otherwise be a bit too daunting to read in one go.

The LSUC’s Expectations for New Lawyers

The purpose of the licensing process, according to the LSUC is:

. . . to ensure that candidates have demonstrated they possess the required entry-level competencies, in order to provide legal services effectively and in the public interest.

Seems straight-forward enough, right? Well, sort of. Continue reading “Foreign Trained Lawyer Series: The Licensing Process, Part I”