Why did you decide to become an In-House Counsel?
"I recently decided to take an in house role with the OHRC because I was interested in working on human rights issues from a different perspective. After years of litigating human rights cases, I wanted explore the potential to advocate for systemic changes within the OHRC’s practice framework. As a litigator, most my time was spent dissecting the facts of my client’s case, as in-house counsel I have had a chance to look more closely at the legislation and policies that set the context for many of the cases I litigated."
Is the role of In-House Counsel shifting? Yes or no, and how so?
"I don’t think the role of in-house counsel is shifted, but the spotlight on in-house positions continues to grow amongst all segments of the bar. This may be the result of the increased focus on work-life balance. Over the past decade law schools have encouraged students to place greater emphasis on their mental health and well-being when they enter the profession. Many of these conversations focus on the potential for in-house roles to provide the balance that many lawyers are looking for, without sacrificing the ability to engage with the law in a rewarding way."
Describe your proudest accomplishments in your legal career to date
"I’ve had the opportunity to work with some very courageous advocates who understand the law and continually seek to reform it. I’ve been very fortunate to have been part of cases, inquiries and community movements that have pushed for laws, practices and procedures to respond to the needs of racialized communities and other equity seeking groups."
How are you leveraging legal technology?
"Video conferencing technology has taken centre stage during the pandemic. I’ve used various conferencing platforms to conduct interviews, community consultations, round-table negotiations and other meetings that would have required the extensive travel before the pandemic. Video conferencing may have been introduced as a stop-gap measure, but it’s likely here to stay."
If you had a magic wand and you could change one thing about the legal industry, what would it be?
"I would eliminate the access to justice barriers that prevent equity seeking groups from fully engaging with our justice systems. Several studies have noted that folks who are most in need of legal services often can’t afford legal assistance, or face other barriers which prevent them from engaging with our court and tribunals. I wish this was not the case."
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