June 3, 2021
Bencher Profile Series
Louise Wasylenko, CPA, CMA
Louise Wasylenko, CPA, CMA is one of four public representative Benchers. She was initially appointed at the end of 2015. 

“From a professional point of view, the Bencher role coalesces my experience in governance, human resources, business management, process improvement, adjudication and resolution of challenging problems. It has offered me an enriched experience and a great way to learn and contribute near the end of my career,” she says.

Louise grew up in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta in a French-Canadian family, with French being her first language. She completed her Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Alberta before obtaining her Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation in 1989.

“At the time of my first accounting roles, there weren’t many women working in accounting firms,” she says.

Much of Louise’s career has been in the public sector, specifically in the sphere of health care. Her primary interest has been in-house accounting and budgeting, focusing on business and practice improvement and digging deep into the effectiveness and efficiency of operating systems. In her various positions, Louise gained valuable experience in a variety of key areas, including governance, finance, strategic management, human resources and information technology.

Ted Feehan
For Ted Feehan, the practice of law is a family affair. As the son of former Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, J. Bernard Feehan, and the younger brother of Court of Appeal Justice, Kevin P. Feehan, and with about ten other lawyers in his extended family, the profession is near and dear to his heart. 

While there is always lively discussion and debate at family get togethers, Ted treasures his legal roots and has managed to harness his own personal style in the practice of law. 

“My preferred style of communication is to insert humour into the conversation and have a bit of fun. I like to establish a genuine relationship with my clients and fellow lawyers whenever possible. Our clients’ problems deserve to be taken seriously but lawyers ought not to take themselves too seriously.”

Ted has been putting this personal touch into his 32 years of working as an Alberta lawyer. He attended the University of Alberta receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Political Science, in 1985 followed by a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1988. He articled at Bennett Jones and was called to the Alberta bar in 1989. Ted continued to work at Bennett Jones until June 1998, when he joined Duncan Craig LLP, where he is now a partner. He has practised in all areas of general and commercial litigation.

National Study on Well-being of Legal Professionals
Dear colleagues,

I am writing to tell you about a national study on the well-being of legal professionals in Canada that will launch in your jurisdiction in June. Your participation in the study is requested through completion of a confidential and anonymous survey

Leadership: The Federation of Law Societies of Canada is leading the National Well-being Study in collaboration with the Canadian Bar Association and all law societies across Canada. The study is being carried out in partnership with a research team at the Université de Sherbrooke led by Dr. Nathalie Cadieux. 

Purpose: The purpose of the study is to understand the determinants of well-being among legal professions, and to identify specific intervention strategies to support members’ well-being. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health and well-being will be explored in the questionnaire, although it is not the impetus for the study. 

The Study: The study includes two phases. Phase One involves a national survey on the well-being of legal professionals in Canada. In Phase Two, the research team will conduct interviews with legal professionals to explore differences by province and territory. With data that is national in scope, we will better understand the issues that affect the mental health and well-being of all legal professionals in Canada, and recommendations to address the issues will be evidence based.

Invitation to Participate in Survey: You will receive a message from Dr. Cadieux soon inviting you to participate by clicking on the survey link housed on the secure Qualtrics survey platform. Your participation in the survey is voluntary. You will be able to complete the survey on your PC/laptop or mobile device. The questionnaire should take 30 to 45 minutes to complete. You can leave the questionnaire and return to it at any time, and continue from where you left off. Your response is requested within two weeks of receipt of the survey.

Confidentiality: The study adheres to rigorous research protocols through the Université de Sherbrooke to ensure that only the research team will have access to responses. All survey responses are anonymous and will remain strictly confidential

Eligibility: If you are receiving this email, you are eligible to take part in the survey. The study includes all lawyers in Canada and articling students that are working in any capacity (private practice, public sector, university or college, etc.). It includes members who are presently unemployed, on leave and who have retired or stopped working in law in the past year. 

On behalf of the National Well-being Study Steering Committee, I encourage you to take time to complete the questionnaire when you receive the secure link. The cooperation of members of the Law Society of Alberta is essential to the success of the study, and your participation in the survey would be greatly appreciated.

There is more information about the well-being initiative here. You can also watch a short video about this project from Dr. Cadieux here

Best regards,
Morgan Cooper
Chair, National Well-being Study Steering Committee
Federation of Law Societies of Canada
Justice Beverley Browne Memorial Fund
Both Alberta and Nunavut lost an extraordinary jurist with the passing of Justice Beverley Browne on March 24, 2021 at the age of 68. She practised law in Edmonton, Vermillion and Yellowknife before becoming a judge in the North West Territories in 1990. She was then appointed Chief Justice of Nunavut in 1999, the year the territory was founded. In that role she consistently found meaningful ways to integrate the work of the Court with the community it served. She was a tireless ally of Indigenous peoples, and was instrumental in the establishment of Nunavut’s first law school, the Akitsiraq Law School, and the construction of a new Court House in Iqaluit. Her tireless work in her community was an inspiration to all who knew her, and her work as a judge was always carried out in a way that enhanced the administration of justice for all members of that community.

In 2009 Justice Browne moved to Edmonton and joined the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in Edmonton. She brought her commitment to Indigenous peoples to that Court and involved her judicial colleagues in many programs and projects focused on the advancement and fair treatment of local Indigenous communities. Her intelligence, warmth, and unwavering commitment to community service will be remembered by everyone who knew her.

In her memory, the Justice Beverley Browne Memorial Fund has been established to assist Indigenous students to overcome financial barriers that might restrict or prevent access to post-secondary education. It is a fitting cause which honours the memory and life’s work of Justice Browne.
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