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CBA Young Lawyers International Program 2015-17

If you are aware of young lawyers who may be interested in applying for an international internship, please forward them the following link: http://www.cba.org/CBA/IDP/yiip/.


CBA E-News - August 2015

In July the CBA Equality Committee published a newsletter containing an article from a member of the Manitoba Women Lawyers Forum, which was critical of the Forum’s decision to put on a spring fashion show.

Read on for a response from Linda Robertson, Chair of the National Women Lawyers Forum.


Patricia Lane, a Manitoba lawyer and long-time advocate for women in the legal profession, has been named this year’s winner of the Cecilia I. Johnstone award.

The award was established to recognize women who have achieved professional excellence, influenced other women to pursue legal careers, supported women in career advancement, or opened doors for women lawyers in job settings historically closed to them.

Lane, a partner at Taylor McCaffrey in Winnipeg, where she has been a member of the management committee since 2010, has had a distinguished career in family law and mediation, arbitration and collaborative law.

In both her professional and volunteer work, Lane is an enthusiastic advocate for women in the legal profession. A great believer that camaraderie and establishing connections between members is key to keeping women in the profession, she co-chaired the first stand-alone Women Lawyers Conference, in 2011.

The award will be presented at the CBA Leadership Conference luncheon on Friday, Nov. 20 in Vancouver.


Message from the Chair

Dear members,

The Women Lawyers Forum had a dynamic and successful year focusing on three main issues. We continued our work to promote more women to the federal Judicial Appointment Committees and to the courts. This followed up on resolutions put forward by the WLF and passed at previous CBA conferences. We believe that the attention that we and others have brought to this issue publicly is showing results. We will continue with this important work.

Our second focus has been on raising awareness about sexual harassment and assault in the legal profession. We put forward a resolution in February at the CBA Mid-Winter meeting calling on law firms and workplaces to institute safe and confidential processes for reporting and responding to sexual harassment and assault.

We then started a sexual harassment awareness campaign by asking women and men to send in anonymous stories about their experiences. In the midst of this, the WLF developed Q&As to address the rationale behind the campaign. We will publish the anonymous stories later this year and will begin work on a toolkit of model workplace policies and resources. This is an important issue that needs more discussion within the profession as many lawyers (both women and men) stay silent for fear of reprisals or silently leave the profession entirely.

Our third initiative is our national Leadership Conference for professional women being held in Vancouver on Nov 20-21, 2015. The conference features an international faculty of judges, lawyers, authors and thought leaders. Topics range from Justice Abella and The Hon Kim Campbell discussing the impact of women at the top of the judicial and political spheres; Linda Bray Chanow from the Center for Women and the Law in Texas discussing women’s relationship to power; Ritu Bhasin from Toronto speaking on the importance of empowered self-leadership; plus workshops on how to develop a grit and growth mindset; how to navigate difficult conversations; how to plan a successful career path, how to thrive not merely survive in our challenging professional lives and many other topics. EARLY BIRD registration closes on August 31.

In pursuit of our goals, we continue our work and collaboration with both the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession and the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations. Both of these entities are focusing on similar issues and projects, and our ongoing collaboration is both fruitful and beneficial to our members.

Linda Robertson
1st Co-Chair, CBA Women Lawyers Forum


Sexual Harassment Awareness Campaign

Sexual harassment is a degrading act that feeds off of an imbalance and abuse of power. Sexual assault is a particularly invasive and traumatizing form of assault. The legal profession is not immune, and until we recognize and acknowledge this, we cannot address the root of the problem.

The CBA Women Lawyers Forum, SOGIC and the Equality Committee want to raise awareness about this issue and generate discussion.

Tell us your story. We want to hear from you. [Q&A's]

Use this confidential and anonymous tool to help us focus awareness on the problem so that we can talk about solutions.

Identities will be protected, however your story may be shared.

You can participate online or by filling in the word document and sending your story to:

The Canadian Bar Association
“Write your Wrong”
C/o Women Lawyers Forum
500 – 865 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5S8


Submission to Government

Judicial Appointments: Letter to Minister of Justice (March 2014)


National Sections: Children’s Law Committee

National Sections recently established a Children’s Law Committee to coordinate activities, provide advice, and respond to law, policy, and legal research developments on matters affecting Canadian children. More information is available on the new Children’s Law Committee webpage.

Join the Children’s Law Committee listserv!

Interested CBA members are strongly encouraged to join the Children’s Law Committee listserv. This is an ideal way to stay informed of Committee activities and get directly involved. The listserv also provides a forum to network and exchange ideas with leading practitioners who share your interests.
Membership is free to CBA members.

Join the listserv (CBA membership number required)


Linda K Robertson’s blog

Linda K. Robertson, our very own Women Lawyers Forum Co-Chair, has a featured blog on slaw.ca, a Canadian online legal magazine. To read Linda’s blog please visit: http://www.slaw.ca/author/robertson/



In order to create networking opportunities and a forum for discussion and exchange on subjects relevant to the Women Lawyers Forum, we have recently created a group on LinkedIn.

This professional networking site allows you to:

  • Establish connections with other professionals interested in mentoring,
  • Access liaising opportunities,
  • Share cases and accomplishments; and
  • Keep informed about upcoming Women Lawyers Forum events and activities.

If you’re already a LinkedIn member, we invite you to join the CBA Women Lawyers Forum group. You can easily do by clicking on the “Groups” tab type “CBA Women Lawyers Forum” in the search box and select the “Join Group” option.  If you are not already a member, membership in LinkedIn is free and easy to join by going to http://www.linkedin.com/home

We look forward to meeting you on LinkedIn.


“What’s She Up To?”

The Women Lawyers Forum wants to get the word out!

The WLF is one of the largest conferences within the CBA and many of its members are doing incredible things within their legal communities and beyond. These accomplishments reflect positively on the legal profession as a whole and on the contributions made by women lawyers across the country.
To ensure these accomplishments are broadly recognized, the WLF will be highlighting these achievements and triumphs in upcoming newsletters and  on its website as a new monthly feature - “What’s She Up To?” 
Let us know what our members have been up to lately. If you or a colleague you know has recently accepted a new position, appointment or award that you think should be recognized, pass it on to the WLF editorial board, and we’ll spread the word!

Contact Gathoni Njuguna.



The latest edition of The Common Room is now available.

The Section is currently looking for articles for its next newsletter. If you would like to contribute to the next edition, please contact CBA Newsletters.

View previous newsletters. (CBA Membership number required)


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