Politics & Passion

[Excerpt from the Fall Issue of the TLABC Verdict] – out now! 

There’s a feeling in the air when summer fades and fall begins… that back-to-school ‘something’ that is crisp and busy and smells like falling leaves and hot apple pie.  Warm afternoons turn into cool, dark evenings and calendars fill up again with meetings, fundraising and campaign strategy.

In short, Fall hits – and it’s go-time.

Not that summer was all that quiet around here- we had multiple retreats and conferences going on for the TLABC Staff, the Board & Executive, and some of our campaign committees, (albeit with a few vacation days tacked on.)  We had staff in Los Angeles and Seattle, Washington, Squamish, the Yukon and Osoyoos, and we’ve been examining our goals and planning for the year ahead, but the work has been strategic and internal and now it’s time for action.

I was fortunate to attend a conference in LA this past July and was asked to present to the National Association of Trial Lawyer Executives (NATLE) on behalf of TLABC.  The meetings were in conjunction with the American Association of Justice (AAJ) and were also book-ended by the GOP and Democratic National Conventions.  It was definitely a busy week in California, and there was an undeniable buzz that distinctly reminded me of my very first AAJ/NATLE trip – pre-US election, 4 years ago.  It was the same conference, but in Chicago – just before Obama’s second term. Now, let’s not get it twisted – this particular buzz was not exactly the same.  4 years ago, it felt exciting and hopeful and I was fascinated by the entire business… whereas this time, it simply seemed to stem from fear.

Fear is a powerful thing.  It’s palpable.  You could feel it in the media, as stories broke about even more racism, more crimes of hate and gender, and in the ongoing antics of that man-who-shall-not-be-named.  You could feel it in the public perception as they carefully went about their days, avoiding the conversation as often as possible, completely unsure of what is to come.  Everyone seemed to be reacting to a series of sometimes silent, but very tangible threats to their society, often with humour, but always in fear.

Well, if there’s one thing that I’ve learned from my time at TLABC, is that fear does not fuel change – only passion does.

At TLABC, through our PAC fund, we are constantly working against threats to our justice system, and our members remain diligent in monitoring what may be coming down the pipe.  We want to make change – to protect our citizens – to strive towards better access to justice.  These are no small things.  But success lies in our passion and subsequently, our action.

I’ve heard time after time, that TLABC was founded by a “small group of renegades” – lawyers who truly believed in justice and in the access of it.  These lawyers did not act out of fear, but of concern for their clients and a passion for their practice.  As time goes on and more battles arise to be fought, it is imperative that we remember to do the same.

There are other groups and organizations who are better suited to predictable action and reaction – TLABC is not one of them.  The work continues, not out of fear of the unknown, or of systematic dissolution, but because it is the right thing to do.

As an association, we will rise to the challenges ahead and show time and again our commitment to justice.

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. – Barack Obama

If you want to show your own “Passion And Commitment”then consider making a donation the TLABC PAC fund so that we can take action when the threats to our justice system arise.  Let’s not just sit back, in fear…

Let’s give them something to talk about.

Make a commitment to justice.

[PLEASE NOTE: This was originally published pre- US election]

To donate to the TLABC PAC Fun, please contact megan@tlabc.org


Wellness Wednesday – October

“We are what we repeatedly do. Success is not an action but a habit” – Aristotle.


Last weekend, we held our 11th annual Women Lawyers Retreat at Nita Lake Lodge, in Whistler.  It was a wonderful weekend of inspiration, collaboration and learning.

Despite what some people might think, the challenges women face, (especially in business and in law,) have certainly not disappeared… and it’s crucial that while we acknowledge how far we’ve come, we also recognize what we can do to continue to progress and create change.

As we continue to move forward and support one another, let’s remember that healthy habits are the foundation of growth.

Here’s a Wellness Wednesday pick from our publisher, Julia Chalifoux, from the Centre For Women in Business…

Five Healthy Habits for Women in Business

Take care of yourselves!




Winding Down and Gearing Up…

Well, it’s been a busy, non-stop month!

Our esteemed Board of Governors and Executive Committee recently attended the Annual TLABC Strategic Planning Retreat which was held at the Four Seasons in Whistler.  We had a record turnout of governors for the weekend which resulted in some great discussion about the past year and where the association is headed.  It has been a month of intense decision-making, but also of camaraderie, as our leaders and staff have come together for the benefit of the association. 

It was a month filled with controversy as well, as record numbers of lawyers turned up for the special meeting of the law society to debate the ongoing Trinity Western University issue.  Clearly, this has been a hot topic, fraught with passion and emotion, but was has struck me the most is the respectful nature of the discussion surrounding this difficult subject matter.  We are lucky to be able to be free to have this discussion at all, and there has been a great sense of community that has developed, despite its potentially divisive nature.  It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. 

As always, we are looking toward the future and we have some exciting projects on the horizon.

The ‘TLABC Cares’ initiative will be a focus for this coming year, kicking off with our support and participation in the official launch of the End Distracted Driving campaign.  We were pleased to host the program founders, Joel Feldman and his wife, Diane, who graciously presented the campaign to our Board and Executive, as well as facilitated presentations at two secondary schools in the Greater Vancouver area.  We look forward to keeping you all apprised of this campaign as it develops!  In the meantime, please visit www.enddd.org for more info.

Our seminar season has officially come to an end, giving our seminar-planning committee a chance to gear up for the fall.  We had a great roster of programs this year, and we are proud of all of our chairs, speakers and participants for continuing to organize high-quality, multi-dimensional legal seminars for the justice community. 

With the official start to the summer just days away, we are excited to have some fun member and community events planned, so enjoy the sunshine and stay tuned for more updates!