The Community

Written by lawyers for lawyers, by its very nature JUST. is an extension of the OBA community. Learn how your peers are dealing with common challenges; read about the struggles and achievements of your favourite legal icons and hear what other lawyers have to say about the state of affairs within the legal profession.  This section is all about learning, sharing and exchanging, lawyer to lawyer.

the author at the sea wall on a sunny day with boats docked in the water behind her and reflection of the ocean-scape in her sunglasses

Discovering Helsinki’s Waterfront Trail: One lawyer’s journey through nature and design

  • June 13, 2024
  • Kerri Salata

From stunning architecture to the functional design of services, a mixture of beauty and efficiency is embedded into every inch of Helsinki. Each September, the city hosts Design Week, a festival that celebrates design of all kinds – even legal design. Having experienced the festival and the spectacular setting firsthand, Kerri Salata finds fall a perfect time to celebrate the fusion of design with the practical, and to focus on rejuvenation, health and wellness.

illustration of four silhouettes, each person in a different colour of the Pride flag

The Importance of Queer Spaces within the Legal Profession

  • June 12, 2024
  • Antoine Collins

Rooted in tradition and precedent, the emergence of Queer spaces should not be dismissed as a progressive fad but should be recognized as fundamental for developing a more inclusive, equal and stronger legal profession.

Rumana Monzur stands behind podium addressing speakers series attendees

Hope and Hard-Won Wisdom Out of Darkness

  • June 10, 2024
  • Direct quotes from Rumana Monzur

After suffering a brutal attack at the hands of her then husband that left her blind, Rumana Monzur not only went on to complete her master’s degree, graduate from law school and work as a litigator for the Department of Justice in Vancouver, she became an advocate for the rights of women and persons living with disabilities.

Woman sitting cross-legged with computer on lap looking in surprise at the screen

SPILL: Your most surprising answers from AI

  • March 14, 2024

Many lawyers contemplating making greater use of generative AI in their practices – a prospect entertained with equal parts curiosity and caution – are in the early stages of testing out just what the rewards and risks might be. So, we asked members who’ve used AI tools, what has been the most surprising result they’ve received from a request.

A group of young lawyers seated in rows listening to a woman speak from the podium

Stay Calm! Lawyers make mistakes

  • March 13, 2024
  • Nancy Bediako

"Get comfortable with losing" – and other lessons learned from legendary litigators at a uniquely revealing, riveting and reassuring evening of tales from the courtroom and mentorship through storytelling.

black and white image of businessman in suit and tie, with briefcase, racing through open door

SPILL: Which fictional character would you like to represent?

  • November 30, 2023
  • OBA Section Executives

How many times have you watched a movie or show featuring a hapless, harangued, misguided or mistreated figure whose situation cries out for sound legal advice or intervention? We asked members, if they could break through the fourth wall and offer their counsel to a fictional character of the big or small screen, who it would be and why.

photo of award recipient Linda Plumpton at the Civil Dinner

“Voices through Which the Vulnerable Speak”: Civil Words from a Celebrated Advocate

  • November 30, 2023
  • Direct quotes from Linda Plumpton

Accepting the 2023 OBA Award for Excellence in Civil Litigation in front of a Ritz-Carlton dining room filled with friends, family and leaders of the bench and civil litigation bar, Linda Plumpton spoke of the alchemy of compelling advocacy, the ability of lawyers to change lives, and the responsibility to use gifts of persuasion to guard hard-fought victories in the fight for a fair and equitable society.

photo of Neha Chugh

Neha Chugh: Addressing bias against trans communities one juror at a time!

  • August 30, 2023
  • Tamara J. Sylvester (one/they/them)

In this case comment with a twist, the author discusses the Ontario Superior Court's decision R v K.P. to grant an application to challenge prospective jurors for cause on the ground of transphobia and includes insights from Neha Chugh, the Ontario lawyer who argued the application, resulting in the first opportunity for the lower courts to test the Supreme Court's obiter comments in R v Chouhan regarding the efficacy of the recently enacted challenge for cause mechanism in the criminal code.

head-shot photo of OBA President Kelly McDermott

President's Message: A fresh outlook on lawyer community

  • August 28, 2023
  • Kelly McDermott

It occurs to me there are some lessons we would do well to revisit even well into our legal careers. It’s easy to become so busy – once we’ve established ourselves in practice, advanced in our field, assumed a rapidly expanding roster of clients, cases or responsibilities – that we find ourselves operating on auto-pilot and losing sight of some questions fundamental to our success and satisfaction.