Nominate Now: Emerging Legal Leader Award Applications due August 25th

Were you registered as a WLMP Participant and graduated from law school between 2011 and 2016? Do you know something who fits this bill? If the answer is yes, then you or your friend may be eligible for the WLMP Emerging Legal Leader Award!

The WLMP Emerging Legal Leader Award recognizes an WLMP Alumna member for her ongoing WLMP mentorship and her dedication to the retention of women in the law.

To be eligible for the WLMP Emerging Legal Leader Award, the Award nominee:

  • must be registered as a WLMP Alumna;
  • have graduated law school and is either in her articling year, or in her first 5 years of legal practice, and/or first 5 years of her non-law career;
  • must not have served on the WLMP National Board; and,
  • was not removed from any WLMP Program for misconduct.

 To apply for the WLMP Emerging Legal Leader Award, the award nominee package should include:

  • the completed and signed WLMP PMDF Alumna Awards Form-2016;
  • a letter of nomination stating the reasons for nomination and background information of the WLMP Alumna nominee’s achievements since graduating from law school and her WLMP University Chapter;
  • The nominee’s current curriculum vitae/resume; and,
  • Letters of support for the nomination (up to a maximum of 3).
    • If possible, 1 of the letters in support of the Award nominee’s application should be from their WLMP mentee. While this is not necessary, it is helpful.
    • Additional letters may be from members of the legal community, who are in good standing with their Law Societies or Associations, or a direct supervisor within their non-law career.

All completed nomination packages should be submitted by August 25, 2016 and must be submitted by email to: wlmp.pmdf@gmail.com.

The award will be presented on Friday, September 30, 2016 at the WLMP Legal Leaders Breakfast hosted by the WLMP uOttawa Chapter. The Award nominee should be prepared to attend the WLMP Legal Leaders Breakfast to receive their award or arrange for someone to accept the award on her behalf.

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Attention WLMP Alumna— Are You An Emerging Legal Leader?

Were you registered as a WLMP Participant and graduated from law school between 2011 and 2016? If the answer is yes, then you may be eligible for the WLMP Emerging Legal Leader Award.

“The launch of the WLMP’s Awards Program marks the end of the WLMP’s 5 year pilot project and inaugurates the WLMP’s expansion phase. It’s great to see it launched and a great opportunity for our WLMP Alumna to be recognized for their work and volunteer spirit,” says Charlotte Wolters, WLMP Founder and outgoing Board Chair.

The WLMP Emerging Legal Leader Award is awarded to a WLMP Alumna member for her ongoing WLMP mentorship and also her dedication to the retention of women in the law.

The award will be presented on Friday, September 30, 2016 at the WLMP Legal Leaders Breakfast hosted by the WLMP uOttawa Chapter. The Award nominee should be prepared to attend the WLMP Legal Leaders Breakfast to receive their award, or arrange for someone to accept the award on her behalf.

To be eligible for the WLMP Emerging Legal Leader Award, the Award nominee:

  • must be registered as a WLMP Alumna;
  • have graduated law school and is either in her articling year, or in her first 5 years of legal practice, and/or first 5 years of her non-law career;
  • must not have served on the WLMP National Board; and,
  • was not removed from any WLMP Program for misconduct.

 To apply for the WLMP Emerging Legal Leader Award, the award nominee package should include:

  • the completed and signed WLMP PMDF Alumna Awards Form-2016;
  • a letter of nomination stating the reasons for nomination and background information of the WLMP Alumna nominee’s achievements since graduating from law school and her WLMP University Chapter;
  • The nominee’s current curriculum vitae/resume; and,
  • Letters of support for the nomination (up to a maximum of 3).
    • If possible, 1 of the letters in support of the Award nominee’s application should be from their WLMP mentee. While this is not necessary, it is helpful.
    • Additional letters may be from members of the legal community, who are in good standing with their Law Societies or Associations, or a direct supervisor within their non-law career.

All completed nomination packages should be submitted by August 25, 2016 and must be submitted by email to: wlmp.pmdf@gmail.com.

For more information about the WLMP Awards Program, please email us with the SUBJECT LINE: WLMP Legal Leaders Award at wlmp.pmdf@gmail.com.

Women’s Legal Mentorship Program Celebrates One Year Anniversary by Unveiling Official Logo

The Women’s Legal Mentorship Program (“WLMP”) celebrated the one year anniversary of its incorporation as a not-for-profit by unveiling its official logo.

“We are very excited to celebrate our first anniversary by revealing our official logo. It represents our continued growth and hard work as we expand the WLMP’s programming nationally,” says Charlotte Wolters, WLMP Founder and Board Chair.

WLMP LogoLee Portas of Frisbee Studios designed the WLMP’s logo icon to represent women law students’ professional development. The interconnecting chain of leaves symbolizes both the knowledge and growth gained through the WLMP’s unique three part mentorship programming.

The WLMP — the first of its kind in Canada — aims to shift the culture of the legal profession and increase the retention of women in the law by helping female law students and WLMP Alumna develop their mentorship and leadership skills and establish networks that grow with them throughout their legal careers from the classroom to the courtroom and beyond.

“Addressing the issue of retention of women in the legal profession requires a comprehensive approach that includes female law students and gives them a chance to practice and develop their skills before they enter the legal profession. Increasing the number of women in the legal profession also improves Canadians’ access to justice,” says Ms. Wolters.

The WLMP is a national not-for-profit that partners with Canadian law schools to provide comprehensive, feminist legal mentorship and professional skills development programming. In 2011, the WLMP piloted its first university Chapter at the University of Ottawa. Currently, the WLMP is working to partner and expand its program to other Canadian law schools.

The Art of the Game and the Rules We Try to Learn

The following article was submitted by a WLMP Alumna, who requested to remain anonymous.

Learn to play the game“Learn to play the game or someone else will play it for you.” That simple sentence fundamentally changed my perception of the practice of law at a large firm.  This advice suggested calculation, persuasion, and execution. It was a male mentor who had given me this advice, and at that time — I rejected it.

Now, as I mentor junior lawyers and work towards partnership at that same firm, I realize that learning the rules of “The Game” is the essence of survival in the practice of law: big firm or not.

When I use the term “The Game,” what I actually mean is a law firm’s individual culture. Each law firm has its own way of determining what behavior is rewarded and what is punished. Unfortunately for junior lawyers, there is no handbook. No guide is handed out to us during the law firm’s orientation. Nope. That advice, for better or worse, is held by the Partners.

What does it mean to play “The Game”?

I think to play “The Game”, a female lawyer must:

  • Persuade someone in power to give you the rule book. This requires authenticity, grit, good work, and yes – some business acumen. It means having a legal mentor that gives you something more than advice over coffee. They give you time. They shortcut the time required to learn law firm culture on your own and they also give you time by telegraphing warning signs for you to leave.
  • Get the rule book early. Although there is nothing wrong in taking the time to find the right legal mentor (I cannot stress this enough), it is still important to know and to learn the rules early. As they all say, “first and early impressions matter.” This is of course true in the practice of law – both for the law firm and also your assessment of your future within that firm.
  • Ask that strong legal mentor to back you up when you play the game. When I decided to actively participate in the politics, culture and leadership of my firm, I needed that mentor right next to me. They had to do more than backseat drive. They had to visibly be in the front of our journey with me – in all its shame, joy, failure and thrill.

My reluctance to label law firm culture as “The Game” flows from the fear of labeling strategic thinking, especially in women, as “not nice”; this comes from the perception that there is something wrong with persuasion, planning, and execution.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of those things. In fact, as I become a more seasoned lawyer, I encourage junior lawyers and students-at-law to cultivate opportunities and have discussions with senior lawyers about “The Game”.  After all, if you don’t master it, someone else may master it for you.

Still Confused About Mansplaining?

Mansplaining is more than a buzzword. The word is descriptive and explains itself. The primary purpose behind mansplaining is to silence a person.

Maybe you’re doubting the reality or frequency of mansplaining, or you’re wondering if there’s any science to back up this phenomena. If so, then check out this video produced by Upworthy showing not only some of the various mansplaining techniques, but also the frequency in which women are silenced from classroom spaces, to office spaces, to traditional media and social media and onwards.

Next time you receive some mansplaining, you may want to consider explaining to them how disrespectful it is to all people.