President’s Message: Expect the unexpected

  • September 06, 2022
  • Karen Perron

As I launch into the final six months of my extended presidential term – a term that presented twists and turns even before it began when our incoming president was appointed to the bench – I find myself embracing the opportunity to advance my OBA Link mandate even further and to “lean in” to the opportunity for reinvention.

Already – over the busy summer – the OBA ushered in a new era of Institute, with our Ontario Legal Conference and Career Builder Bootcamp in August. That event exemplified the association’s “serving the whole lawyer” approach with sessions on subjects such as how to build the career you envision and stepping outside your comfort zone, combined with mental health and wellness-focused talks on avoiding burnout and embracing a digital detox, as well as activities and excursions that allowed attendees to combine learning with leisure. 

The conference also captured the essence of my OBA Link mandate, not only engaging speakers, participants and advice from across the province, but offering a window to practice realities and opportunities in different regions.

We’re continuing to develop programming tailored to lawyers of varied interests and experiences, years of practice and professional aspirations who wish to connect with practitioners, best practices and emerging developments making waves. You can look forward to our Cross-Border Institute in November for insights from other jurisdictions.

Overall, you can expect more – and more creative – opportunities to give back and gain profile in your regions; more intriguing and inclusive avenues for connecting with lawyers of varied experiences and shared interests: and more events paying tribute to the contributions of leaders of the bench and bar. I’m excited to see many of these returning to our renovated OBA Conference Centre.

Here are a few things that I’m looking forward to over the next six months and beyond:

Having just participated in a number of law school orientation events, I’m excited about engaging this idealistic, ambitious and diverse cohort in our association in ways that are meaningful for them and that make us stronger as an organization.

I’m looking forward to taking direct aim at pay inequity in our profession, with a unique tool – my contribution to the Not Another Decade forward-march to end inequality in the justice sector – to help legal employers value and compensate their lawyers fairly. 

I’m looking forward to more opportunities to come together – virtually and in-person – to celebrate the diversity and channel the generosity of our dynamic, empowered and caring OBA community with events like our Blocko, our cultural celebrations, and fundraising activities.

And, finally, I find myself so looking forward to leading an all-star board of directors – featuring our first-ever all-female team of officers; to collaborating with council members who collectively embody such a wealth of insight, experience and enthusiasm; and to seeing members derive even greater professional and personal rewards from belonging to this ground-breaking association.

Above all, I can’t wait for us to continue making history in what promises to be another successful – and undoubtedly surprising – year for the OBA.