June 10, 2021
"My Experience" Project: Weekly Submissions
Each week, we will feature experiences in our eBulletins collected through the “My Experience” Project. We encourage you to read each experience in its entirety, so it is viewed the way the participant intended. To read more experiences, complete self-reflection questions or submit your own experience, visit the Law Society Listens website.
“...There is a reported judgment from a jurist I (still) respect, who observed that Asians have a
reputation in the community for being industrious and good at math. But as a professor who was
recently interviewed in the media about anti-Asian racism has said, we must 'interrupt and
interrogate our implicit biases.' These stereotypical 'compliments' have an enduring impact on generations of Asians who might aspire to enter the legal profession. The subtext is that we are studious and quiet. That we are not expected to excel at English. That we would not excel at persuading a judge.

And that I will probably still be alone.

One of the effects of entrenched stereotypes is that they can animate surprisingly hostile
reactions to those who don’t fit the mould. A confident, articulate Asian lawyer speaking without a 'foreign accent' might uncomfortably disrupt a person’s view of reality...”

"...I find when white lawyers ask me to mention something about racism/sexism it is a trap.
I was once asked why I did not like an event and after repeated questions I finally said
that another lawyer had approached, come to my table and immediately said that he
should be able to “punch women when they look at him funny.” I said that lawyer should
not be invited to events as he made other women uncomfortable. It became a huge
incident and I was blamed.

A white woman lawyer who is a Partner at a major firm tried to tell me that she
understood about my struggle as a racialized person and I asked her why her firm only
employed white lawyers. She is still very angry about it. Her firm is still all white.

I am repeatedly accused of having gone to Bond or one of the English law schools. I went to a Canadian law school and I wasn’t accepted in a diversity category. I deserved to get in. I find it’s the White lawyers who are most likely to have gotten into law schools with substandard LSATs and Grades but that they accuse any POC they see of this kind of behaviour."

June 2021 Board Recap Video
In our June 2021 edition of the Bencher Recap video, Law Society of Alberta President, Darlene Scott, QC, and President-Elect, Ken Warren, QC, discuss:

National Study of Well-being of Legal Professionals Launched
Message from Dr. Nathalie Cadieux, principal investigator and associate professor at Université de Sherbrooke:
Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to invite you to participate in a unique research study on the mental health and well-being of legal professionals in Canada. The study has been developed by me and my research team at the Université de Sherbrooke in partnership with the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, the Canadian Bar Association and all law societies across Canada.

Legal practitioners are among those professionals most at risk of experiencing wellness issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression. In this context, our study aims to better understand and promote a healthy and sustainable practice of law in Canada. The Canadian legal community is mobilizing to improve wellness in the legal profession. However, we won't achieve this without you.

I invite you to complete our anonymous and confidential online questionnaire. The questionnaire will take 30 to 45 minutes to complete. You can take a break at any time by closing the page, and continue later from where you left off. All we ask is that you complete all of the questions. Please note that once you have completed and submitted the questionnaire, it will be impossible to erase or change your responses.

Your participation is voluntary, but please be assured the responses you provide will be extremely important in our research into the well-being of legal professionals.

The project is governed by a rigorous research protocol and has been reviewed by the Université de Sherbrooke ethics committee. Please be assured that only members of my team and I will have access to your answers. No questions in the questionnaire will allow you to be identified. Your responses will remain anonymous and strictly confidential.

You can take part in the English or French survey by clicking on one of the buttons below:
I would like to thank you warmly for your time, and for helping us improve the practice of law from coast to coast to coast in Canada!
Prof. Nathalie Cadieux, PhD CRHA
Principal investigator and associate professor
Business School
Université de Sherbrooke
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