Q&A with Doreen So

  • December 22, 2022
  • Rebecca Kennedy, Adair Goldblatt Bieber LLP

Doreen So is a partner at Hull & Hull LLP and practices in estate litigation. Born in Hong Kong, Doreen lived in British Columbia with her family until she went to Osgoode Hall Law School, and has lived and worked in Toronto ever since.

Why did you become a lawyer?

After high school, Doreen went straight to university. She knew she wanted to continue with school after finishing her undergraduate degree. Being practical, Doreen liked the idea of going back to school for a vocational purpose and with a defined process to work through (law school, articling, and eventually working as a lawyer).

She had always thought that being a lawyer might be a good fit for her, but was hesitant to commit to it in her younger years. As she moved towards adulthood and considered what she wanted from a career, Doreen came to view law as work that would mean something to her and found that appealing.

Being a lawyer has also had significant positive side-effects. Doreen went to law school in Toronto, quite far from home, and now practices in the city. She met a lot of her closest friends while in law school. Her community in Toronto stems from the people she met in law school and through work, and has grown from there.

What do you like about estate litigation?

Doreen has always been interested in human psychology, humanity, and how people interact with each other. As a result, she wanted to practice in an area of law that would allow her to help people get through their problems. She likes getting to know her clients and the fact that even though the conflict may be similar across similar types of files, each person’s story is unique and each person will be affected by the issues in different ways.

As much as she loves the human aspects of estate litigation, Doreen also appreciates the academic layer and legal structure that applies to estates and trusts. Although the conflicts arise at a human and family level, there is an overlay of strong legal principles that limit and guide what can be done. Doreen noted that there is a lot to know, but enjoys developing her expertise in the area and applying that knowledge to a very human problem. She also pointed out that the law of estates and trusts is still evolving, which makes it exciting.

Of course, Doreen has also appreciated getting to know other lawyers practicing in estates and noted that this is something she particularly enjoys about the estates bar.