SPILL: Where do you do your best thinking?

  • December 12, 2021

In a year that saw continued rejigging of our workspaces and schedules and, for some, a return to old routines, we wondered where busy lawyers were most frequently able to find focus and foster creativity. So, we asked members: “Where do you do your best thinking?” Results reveal as much about the ‘when’ as the ‘where’.

With the Break of Dawn

“I do my best thinking when my mind has had a chance to rest and refresh. I find some of my best inspiration comes while walking, particularly during the predawn hours.” - Laura Pettigrew, Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario, OBA Public Sector Lawyers Executive

With that First Cup of Coffee

“I do my best thinking when I'm alone at my desk. My best thinking happens first thing in the morning, when I have fewer email distractions coming in and I can settle in with a coffee to give a task my full attention.” - Vanessa Lam, Lam Family Law, OBA Family Law Section

“I do my best thinking in the morning with my first cup of coffee.” - Sarah Schumacher, Workplace Safety & Insurance Appeals Tribunal, OBA Workers’ Compensation Law Executive

With a Change of Scenery

“A change of scenery from time to time has always helped me refocus. As such, our current hybrid model is actually pretty helpful for my productivity.” - Jennifer O’Dell, Lerners LLP, OBA Health Law Section

“My best thinking happens when I am walking, cycling or on the ski hill. Of course, this is an argument that I should become more active. As well, we travel frequently to my wife’s hometown in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. It is 700 km one way so there’s a lot of thinking time en route, especially late into the evening.” - Jonathan Morse, BMO Wealth Planning, OBA Elder Law Section

With Home Cooking

“I do my best thinking in my kitchen. With my home cooking, entertainment system and open concept living room nearby, my thoughts flow really well there. It's an open-minded, creative space.”  - Matthew Gordon, SV Law, OBA Alternative Dispute Resolution Section Executive

I do my best thinking while doing my meal preparation.” - Tamara Sylvester, Ryerson / X University, OBA SOGIC Executive

With Added Comfort

"My dining table quickly became my favourite workspace when we first went into lockdown, but I started getting a stiff neck somewhere along the way and it got worse over time. So now I try to take regular breaks and I sometimes work from my bed with a small pillow under my knees and a couple more pillows behind my back for added comfort." - Angela Ogang, AngeLAW, OBA Young Lawyers Division – Central

“Best thinking: on the couch on a Sunday.” - David Milosevic, Milosevic Fiske, LLP, OBA Civil Litigation Section Executive

With the Right Ambience

“Right now, my best thinking happens in my home office surrounded by books that inspire me and pictures of loved ones, with jazz music playing softly in the background.” - Samantha Peters, Black Femme Legal, OBA Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law

With a Sounding Board

“Whether it’s a complicated contract or a litigation dispute, I do my best thinking when I soundboard with my colleagues or partner. Sometimes it’s good to say things out loud – it frees up space in your head that facilitates in-depth and critical thinking that otherwise would be too clouded/scattered to come out.” - Dan Fridmar, Fridmar Professional Corporation, OBA Sole, Small Firm and General Practice Section Executive

With the Rising Moon

"I do my best thinking wherever I can avoid distractions and feel at peace; typically, that is at a park bench in front of the rising moon or at Church.” - Ian Amirthanathan, IANANDREWLAW.ca, OBA Privacy and Intellectual Property Law Section