Deepa is the founder and Managing Director of Tailor Law Professional Corporation. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto and a law degree from the University of Ottawa. Deepa advises on a broad range of matters and her practice has developed to assist clients with family, wills and estates, business, criminal, employment and general civil litigation issues.
Her passion and involvement in the legal community extends outside her firm where she mentors students through the Women’s Legal Mentorship Program and acts as a guest speaker at the University of Ottawa’s Business of Law class. She is also a CPD liaison on the Executive boards of the Sole, Small Firm and General Practice and Law Practice Management Sections of the Ontario Bar Association. In addition, she is a member of the Advocates Society, the Toronto Lawyer’s Association and the Peel Lawyer’s Association.
We asked Deepa about her background, practice and the challenges that she faces.
How long have you been practicing law? How did you begin your law career?
"My legal career began while I was studying for my undergraduate degree in forensic science at the University of Toronto. During this time, I had a placement at the Crown Attorney’s office in Scarborough and this sparked my interest in law. Following my undergraduate degree, I obtained my Juris Doctor at the University of Ottawa and articled at a large national firm in Toronto. After being called to the bar in 2014, I worked as a Commercial Counsel in an electronics and engineering multinational before deciding to set up my own practice in 2015. "
What has your approach been to the ‘business of law’ side of the practice?
"My approach to the ‘business of law’ has been primarily driven by my focus on delivering cost-effective client-centred solutions. I was originally attracted to a career in law due to my desire to help the everyday person. However, the reality is that the practice of law is as much about helping people as it is about creating a financially stable and successful business. I do not consider these to be mutually exclusive goals however and by developing an approach that puts clients’ needs first, I have been able to organically grow our client base through word of mouth. I have also learned, as my practice has developed, the necessity of engaging those professionals who are specialists in their field. I think it is all too tempting when you first start out to want to take on every task within the firm. Learning to delegate and manage other individuals is a vital skill that I have developed through my time as the head of a small business. "
What challenges are presenting themselves and how are you handling them?
"Aside from general issues like time management and prioritization of tasks, one of the primary challenges I have faced is maintaining business continuity when I am away from the office or otherwise unavailable. This issue in many ways relates back to how I approach the ‘business of law’. I am naturally expected by my staff to know the ins and outs of every aspect of the business and sometimes difficulties can arise when I am not there to provide specific guidance on what needs to be done. I have been able to handle these issues by cross-training staff in different roles so that my knowledge of the day-to-day running of the business is appropriately spread amongst multiple people. I have also been able to alleviate any issues that arise by employing talented and knowledgeable lawyers and non-legal professionals who are readily able to act autonomously and to handle an appropriate degree of delegation."
What is a typical day like for you? What is the best part of your job?
"I would say a typical day starts off with checking my schedule and emails in the morning and reviewing what tasks need to be prioritized before others. I would then go about performing those tasks, whether it be client casework or day-to-day management duties. Between these two activities, I will also try to check in with my staff and mentees, providing guidance where needed.
I would say the best part of my job is the mentoring of new lawyers and legal professionals in the parts of the practice of law that you do not learn in school. Seeing newcomers flourish in their field is immensely rewarding!"
On a totally different note, how do you like to spend your time when you are not at work?
"Is there such a thing as not being at work? Jokes aside, I think it is important to let your hair down after a long day’s work and I try to spend my spare time (when it exists!) with family and friends. My passion for law, however, does often seep into my out-of-office hours where I spend time volunteering with the Ontario Bar Association and networking with peers at various retreats and events."
Lexis Solo and Small e-Brief
News and emerging trends for Canadian solo and small firm practitioners.