Wellness in the Workplace


This fall, we will be talking about Mental Health in our 154th issue of the Verdict and teamed with this, we are launching a Wellness in the Workplace initiative at TLABC. We will begin this new initiative, by asking you… our members and our readers… How do you get your health on?

With the fall issue of the Verdict, we hope to provide some insight into how some of our TLABC members and staff are answering this question. Travel, theatre, un-anticipated illness and injury are all circumstances that have inspired some of our TLABC members and staff to think about their health (physical and mental) and wellness a little bit more critically. We’d like to encourage you to do the same.

While health and wellness can often be seen as an inside job, we cannot underestimate the impact we have on one another.

We, at TLABC, want to encourage our members to live well, so that we can also work well. We want to create environments where wellness in the workplace is encouraged, and health (both physical and mental) can be made a priority.

Remember that at TLABC we are a team and:

T – ogether
E- veryone
A  – chieves
M – ore

To get involved in this initiative, we encourage you to send us your photos, stories or favourite wellness posts and tag #TLABCwellness on Twitter and Instagram! Email megan@tlabc.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter@tla_bc for more information.

Business Man Relaxing On The Beach


TLABC Membership Director

We are pleased to welcome a new addition to the #TLABC Team – Karen St. Aubin!


Karen is joining us as Membership Director and will be your go-to gal for all things that support our roster of over 1500 members.  (You can reach her at karen@tlabc.org)

You may recognize her from the Canadian Bar Association, working in Events & Community Relations.

In the spirit of full disclosure, we wanted to share with you some very important information we’ve recently learned about our new colleague… Enjoy!

Favourite colour? Blue

Favourite band/type of music? Oohhh…I’m all over the map on this one as there’s not much I don’t like…but you can never go wrong with cheesy 70s rock

What do you like to do to unwind outside of work? Enjoy the outdoor beauty of this amazing city…the seawall, third beach…but a guilty pleasure trashy reality TV show isn’t all bad, either

What is something on your bucket list? Going on an African safari

Dream travel destination, or favourite place you’ve already been?
(The) Mediterranean

Welcome to the TLABC Team!

Perspective: TLABC New Lawyers Retreat

We think it’s important to get some perspective, from time-to-time, on our events and programs from the people they are designed to benefit the most… our members!

Recently, we held our inaugural New Lawyers Retreat in Squamish, BC and from all accounts, it was a huge success!  Set up as a mentorship weekend, TLABC hosted a group of new lawyers and seasoned veterans for an outdoor adventure retreat.

One of the new lawyer committee representatives, Alexia Majidi, shares her account of this awesome event.

“The first ever New Lawyers Retreat this year was nothing short of a true success!

From the mentors, the speakers, and the general collegial atmosphere, everything was just great. Friday night was an opportunity for everyone to meet and to socialize in a more comfortable setting than what we are all used to back in the office. It was a chance for everyone to loosen up and get to know one another before getting down to business on Saturday morning.

Saturday, we all slowly made our way to the conference hall and sat back and listened to some of the greatest in our profession. Barb Cornish and Mary-Ellen Boyd gave us vital insight into a successful mediation, while The Honourable Madam Justice Lisa Warren gave us her “Top DOs and DON’Ts in the Courtroom.” As a new call, there is nothing more valuable than getting these sorts of tips straight from the top!

Later we broke into smaller groups and had a chance to ask general questions, like work-life balance and the key to a successful practice, from amazing mentors. Once the educational part of the retreat was over we all headed off on our Squamish adventures. Once back from the adventures, we got together for a BBQ and beverages before we headed off into town, finding ourselves belting karaoke tunes with (TLABC President,) Aseem, at The Chief!

I am already looking forward to planning and attending next years’ retreat! It was the perfect way to learn, meet great mentors, and to enjoy ourselves with some of the most humble and brilliant minds that make up the BC Bar today.” 

 Alexia Majidi
TLABC Member/Lawyer – Jiwa Law Corporation


Wellness Wednesday

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There’s no way around it, particularly in our profession.  In fact, it surrounds the way we think, act, and even succeed.  Part of what is attractive about a career in litigation is the fast-paced,  high-stakes environment itself – There is a certain adrenaline rush that comes from working hard, going to court, helping clients, fighting for JUSTICE.  But with all this comes an immense amount of stress.

In our office, we’re constantly talking about “work life balance.”  It’s a lovely thought. Being able to succeed at life with everything in harmonious balance… work, family, home, health, passion, fitness, sleep… (wait, what’s sleep?)

Well, wouldn’t that be lovely.  So how does it work?

For today’s Wellness Wednesday, we are posting some tips for reducing job stress, found in Chatelaine Online.  While stress cannot be avoided, and the work must continue to get done, it’s crucial for our health to find ways to cultivate balance.

These may seem like basic concepts, but do we do anything with them?  Rarely.

And so… read, digest, implement what you can.  Baby steps, as they say.

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From “The Toxic Effects Of Workplace Stress” by Kathryn Hayward for Chatelaine Online – (October 27, 2015)…

Dr. David Posen’s tips for reducing job stress

1. Leave work an hour earlier. “Never in 30 years have I had a patient who couldn’t get the same amount of work done in less time when they took better care of themselves.”
2. Spend that extra hour after work wisely. Book time for exercise, seeing friends, napping or even just sitting near something you find beautiful.
3. Take a micro-break every 90 minutes. Research shows that’s the longest we can concentrate intensely on something. “The best thing you can do is get up and walk away.”
4. Get a better night’s rest. To do this, Posen advises patients to slowly wean themselves off caffeine.
5. Work out. Every bit helps. Exercise drains off excess stress energy, so it lowers cortisol in the body, which can help reduce anxiety.
6. Change the way you think. Modify unrealistic expectations and try to identify problematic patterns. “Type A people need to slow down, and people pleasers need to learn how to say no occasionally.”

Wellness Wednesday – Goal Planning 101

“A Goal is just a dream… with a deadline.” – Napoleon Hill

The goals that we make for ourselves – professional or personal – guide our daily lives and directly affect our motivation, our happiness and, ultimately, our success.

Don’t let each day pass you by in a blur of coffee, meetings and other peoples’ deadlines – make your first goal… to prioritize your goals!  The time will pass anyways, so you might as well make sure you’re filling your life with the things that make you happy and fulfilled.

Make 2016 Goal Planning Easy and Effective with these downloads by sweet paper trail.

Need further convincing that conscious goal setting is good for you?



How to Get a Lawyer to Return an Email

Lawyers, we love you, we really do.  You’re our members, our champions, our colleagues and, dare I say it… our friends.  You are dedicated, talented and bright and your good qualities certainly outweigh any perceived flaws… but… so help me…

Trying to get you to return an email is like herding cats.


We know you want to.  We know you even mean to.  We understand that these things pile up.  Like us, you are inundated with correspondence; sometimes, you get called away to court or your days fly by and before you know it, it’s the day before a volunteer-speaker-chair-committee deadline and finally we track you down…

And so it goes.

(In the spirit of all that is good in the world, please take this post as it is intended – with love…) because we’re always up for a challenge!  There’s gotta be a way…

So we did a little fun survey and here are the results:

  1. Include an invitation for a wine reception.
  2. Write “free, great wine” in the subject line.
  3. Don’t use the words Urgent, Please Respond or RSVP – use engaging text in the subject line instead.
  4. Trick them – (they’ll open cat videos, for example.)
  5. Lawyers like papers – pretend you will send them some materials.
  6. Put “drop dead deadline” in the subject and body of the email. In bold. In red.
  7. Keep it under 22 pages.
  8. Lose the inspirational auto-quote at the end of the email.
  9. … and the flashy fonts.
  10. Don’t end your emails with “I love you” – it gets awkward.
  11. Don’t ‘cc’ a dozen other people. Everyone will let someone else respond.
  12. Don’t send the email.
  13. Call them instead.
  14. Call their assistant.
  15. Write a blog post about it and hope that someone reads it.

(These were the top 15 answers from lawyers themselves, and the staff of TLABC.)

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