WLF New Brunswick – Branch report

  • August 25, 2017
  • Ellen Desmond

The past year was an exciting one for the New Brunswick Branch of the WLF. Over the past five years, we have continued to build interest in the work of our Forum by offering excellent programming and this year was no exception with many interesting events and opportunities.

We began our year by holding three Lunch and Learn sessions in various locations around the province, with three different female judges. One session was held in Saint John, another in Fredericton and a third in Moncton. Forum members were able to have an informal discussion with our esteemed judges on points of practice and effective advocacy. We are very thankful for the contributions of the Honourable Justice Hackett, the Honourable Justice Richards and the Honourable Justice d’Entremont, who made themselves available to our members and were willing to share their knowledge and experience. These sessions were well received and allowed members in various parts of the Province to participate.

This spring we held our 5th annual conference. The theme was Embracing Change and Overcoming Obstacles, and our special guest this year was Maria Mitousis, a family-law practitioner from Winnipeg, who lost a hand in 2016 when a letter bomb she was holding went off. Those in attendance were very much moved by Mitousis’ honesty and willingness to share the very intimate details of the events that unfolded in her life.

We also held sessions on mindfulness, ways to substantially change your practice, and the pros and cons of having either a general or specialized practice. All of these sessions were excellent, with useful and practical information being shared.

During our conference we also presented the 4th Muriel Corkery-Ryan, Q.C., award to Nathalie Godbout, Q.C., of the firm Godbout Fawcett Law. The award is presented each year to a female lawyer who has opened doors for other women lawyers in our community.

Our annual event has become a success and continues to grow. This is because of the hard work of our committeemembers and because of the collaborative relationship that has been built between the WLF and the Women’s Issue Branch of the Executive Council Office, GNB. Together we have been able to offer a quality annual program that has provided not only substantive programing but mentorship and support to our members.

A very special mention must be made of the Honourable Madam Justice Larlee of the New Brunswick Court of Appeal. Justice Larlee has continued to offer her support each year to our Forum. Her leadership has provided insight and has been very much appreciated. With her assistance, the Forum has become a place of friendship and comradery.

Planning for our next annual event is underway. We continue to look forward as our Forum continues to grow both in membership and in the quality of the programming that we offer to our members.

Ellen Desmond is Chair of WLF NB