Annual Report 2020/2021

  • August 17, 2021

Summary of Meetings: Women Lawyers Forum

Number of Meetings Held:11

October 29, 2020
Registration Count: 38
Guest Speaker: Cheryl d'Sa - Narwal Litigation, Bencher Morgan Camley - Dentons Amanda Demner - Vancouver Airport Authority Alexandra Mitredotis - Associate, Fasken
Meeting Title/Topic: WLF FALL LAUNCH: Hot Tips from Top Mentors
Synopsis: We hosted our virtual fall launch event and were inspired by our outstanding speakers, including Cheryl d'Sa of Narwal Litigation and LSBC Bencher, Morgan Camley of Dentons, and Amanda Demner of Vancouver Airport Authority.

November 18, 2020
Registration Count: 55
Guest Speaker: Kim Jakeman , Partner at Harper Grey LLP and co-creator of the Life in Law initiative Una Radoja, Partner at Harper Grey LLP and co-creator of the Life in Law initiative. Moderator: Allison Wolf, Senior Legal Coach
Meeting Title/Topic: Life-in-Law “Dear LiL” Blog – Advice for Women in Law, by Women in Law
Synopsis: 2020 has been a strange year for everyone, but it has also allowed many of us to break out of our usual routines and do things a little differently! As such, and in lieu of our usual fall book club, the WLF Education Committee announced a “Blog Club” event to introduce and discuss the “Dear LiL” blog. The blog is part of the Life in Law initiative, which was founded to provide women lawyers with a safe platform to raise difficult issues in a confidential environment.
And who better to discuss the “Dear LiL blog” than the co-founders of the Life in Law platform? We had a conversation featuring Kim Jakeman and Una Radoja, partners at Harper Grey LLP and co-creators of the Life in Law initiative. The discussion was moderated by Allison Wolf, Senior Legal Coach. The “Dear LiL” blog was developed to support women in law through a forum that provides accessible and confidential services for women lawyers to talk to each other and to experienced practice advisors, and share their experiences and perspectives in a supportive space. The Life in Law initiative, including the “Dear LiL” blog provides a variety of services for women in law, by women in law. The Life in Law initiative can be found here:
We encourage you to peruse the “Dear LiL” blog at your leisure and recommend the following blog entries:


December 09, 2020
Registration Count: 82
Guest Speaker: Rose Shawlee of Harper Grey, Erin Brandt of Porta Law, and Elisabeth Sadowski of Collette Parsons Corrin LLP
Meeting Title/Topic: Harnessing Opportunities: Career Transitions during COVID-19
Synopsis: COVID-19 has forced all of us to re-evaluate our career paths and lifestyle choices. The pandemic has pushed women lawyers all over BC to take a good, hard look at how they practice and what they’d like to change. While 2020 has certainly been a difficult year for us all, it has also been a year of unexpected opportunities. The WLF Education Committee bought the stories of three women lawyers who have successfully harnessed opportunities and made significant career transitions during COVID-19. Rose Shawlee of Harper Grey, Erin Brandt of Porta Law and Elisabeth Sadowski of Collette Parsons Corrin LLP, shared their respective stories of career changes and how they harnessed opportunities during an unprecedented pandemic. From switching law firms to co-founding a new law firm, these lawyers demonstrated that while career transitions can be uncomfortable, there are always opportunities out there for those who look for them!

February 11, 2021
Registration Count: 58
Guest Speaker: Senior Counsel
Meeting Title/Topic: Junior Women Lawyers Networking Event
Synopsis: The WLF contributed in a virtual speed networking event with a diverse panel of senior lawyers who have each forged their own unique path, whether that be working in-house, government, private firm, or in governance.

March 11, 2021
Registration Count: 99
Guest Speaker: Honourable Madam Justice Susan A. Griffin, Supreme Court of British Columbia Honourable Madam Justice Forth, Supreme Court of British Columbia
Meeting Title/Topic: International Women's Day - Women in Law - The Past, the Present, and the Future
Synopsis: Presentation on “Women in Law – the Past, Present, and Future”. The Honourable Justices will shared their experiences, insight, and thoughts on Women in Law through and hosted a live Q&A session.

March 12, 2021
Registration Count: 40
Guest Speaker: Allison Wolf, Legal Coach, Shiftworks - Coaching for Lawyers Paula Price, Legal Coach, Uplevel Lawyer Coaching
Meeting Title/Topic: Coaching for Women Lawyers Synopsis:

  • Create Your Goal. Delivered by Paula Price. Friday March 12 from 12:00 – 1:30 pm
  • First step toward creating the results you want in your practice. Strategies to choose your goal, create benchmarks and develop a winning mindset to overcome challenges. Develop a clear goal, an initial plan of action and custom protocols.
  • Developing a Personal Business Plan. Delivered by Allison Wolf. Thursday April 1 from 2:30 – 4 pm
  • Learn how to make business planning a valuable practice for gaining focus and clarity about your priorities and how best to advance them. Using your goal, create your own personal roadmap for moving forward.
  • Self-Coaching. Delivered by Allison Wolf and Paula Price. Tuesday April 20 from 12:30 pm – 2 pm
  • Strategies to stay on track. In this session, Allison and Paula shared their top three self-coaching strategies.

    April 08, 2021
    Registration Count: 18
    Guest Speaker: Lisa Lapointe, Chief Coroner for BC
    Meeting Title/Topic: Annual Senior Women Lawyers Dinner
    Synopsis: The Women Lawyers Forum invited members to virtually join colleagues at the Annual Senior Women Lawyers Dinner! Our guest speaker was Lisa Lapointe who is the current Chief Coroner for BC. In that role, she oversees the independent investigations of over 12,000 deaths reported to the Coroners service annually. Coroners establish the circumstances of unexpected deaths for the public record and may make recommendations to prevent similar deaths in the future. In 2018, under Lisa's leadership, the Coroners Service was awarded the inaugural Premiers Award for Evidence-Based Design for its analysis and timely reporting of data on illicit drug overdose deaths in the midst of a public health emergency. She received her LL.B from UBC in 1986. She is a mother and a grandmother.

    April 14, 2021
    Registration Count: 109
    Guest Speaker: Angela Bespflug, Associate Counsel, Murphy Battista LLP Emma May, Founder of Charles Real Estate and Sophie Grace & Former Corporate Lawyer Michelle Addison, Fashion Stylist
    Meeting Title/Topic: Empowerment Through Presentation: Dressing with More Intention
    Synopsis: How can you empower yourself through your presentation? Do you need to dress how people expect a lawyer should dress, or is there room for more self-expression? Historically, the wardrobe of a female lawyer has been constructed through a male gaze and resulted in limiting women’s dressing choices to items such as the skirt suit for example, particularly in settings such as the court room.
    Your personal style is a powerful form of self-expression. You can use it to present yourself with confidence and authority. If you’re intrigued about how the sense of self-empowerment transcends into our professional environment, including the virtual environment, through expression of our confidence, please see our WLF Education Committee Event.
    We welcomed an outstanding panel of speakers whose paths to success have combined professional success with personal style. Our speakers shared their tips and insights on a number of topics, including: How to empower yourself through your style choices;
    How to create a personal style that reflects your professional and personal values; and
    How self-expression through style can generate confidence and empower creation of a distinctly female voice in a largely male-dominated industry.
    The discussion was moderated by Vancouver lawyer coach, Paula Price

    May 13, 2021
    Registration Count: 45
    Guest Speaker:
    Meeting Title/Topic: Annual Spring Outreach Event
    Synopsis: The Women Lawyers Forum is pleased to present the Annual Spring Outreach Event! Charcuterie or sweet boxes from Dip & Sip* have been organized to be delivered to attendees for a night of great food and conversation. This is not your regular Zoom meeting (really, it's not)! Come and network with other women lawyers, see some old friends, make new connections and have fun!

    May 19, 2021
    Registration Count: 95
    Guest Speaker: Professor Constance Backhouse
    Meeting Title/Topic: Book Club: Two Firsts: Bertha Wilson and Claire L’Heureux-Dubé at the Supreme Court of Canada
    Synopsis: We are very excited to announce that the renowned Professor Constance Backhouse, author of “Two Firsts: Bertha Wilson and Claire L’Heureux-Dubé at the Supreme Court of Canada” will host the upcoming WLF Education Committee Book Club. Please read the book prior to the event as Professor Backhouse will be available to answer questions regarding barriers and inequalities encountered by the two Justices on their rise to the Supreme Court, their different approaches to addressing inequalities in their legal careers as well as Professor Backhouse’s own experiences in the legal field. A registration notice for this event will be circulated closer to the date.

    June 08, 2021
    Registration Count: 56
    Guest Speaker: Madam Justice Wendy Baker, Supreme Court of British Columbia
    Meeting Title/Topic: WLF Annual General Meeting
    Synopsis: AGM, and a presentation by Madam Justice Wendy Baker.