Episodes

TRAILER

What is Work that Works?

What drives productivity? Why and how does dysfunction creep into today’s workplaces? Why do some lawyers thrive while certain demographics are leaving the profession at alarming rates? These are often-asked questions and the inspiration behind Work that Works. In this episode, OBA President Charlene Theodore shares her experience as a work place lawyer, and a Black woman in law, and shares her vision for how the legal profession can capitalize on the opportunities before us to enrich our discourse, enhance our workplaces, improve legal services, and ultimately enhance access to justice.

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Episodes

RECENT EPISODES


Catherine Youdan

18

From Truth Comes Transformation

August 18 - 2021 | KARLYN PERCIL

Karlyn Percil, CEO of KDPM Consulting Group and Certified Emotional Intelligence & Neuro-Leadership Coach, shares research-based strategies and resources developed through the lens of intersectionality and lived experience that organizations can use to create a culture of psychological safety and address lack of representation in C-suites and board rooms. 

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Connect with us and the OBA community to discuss #workthatworks  on Twitter and LinkedIn | Not a  member?  Join now.


Catherine Youdan

17

Closing the Opportunity Gap with Equitable Work Allocation

July 28 - 2021 | CATHERINE "CAT" YOUDAN

Catherine “Cat” Youdan offers an inside view of an innovative system that Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP has implemented to leverage technological and human resources to level the playing field by allocating work to associates more equitably and objectively. By taking direct aim at workload disparity that can lead to burnout or disengagement, the program is also ensuring that all associates enjoy the skill- and relationship-building opportunities that will help them advance in their careers. 

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John Brown
16
Bryn Gray
16

A Continuum of Awareness, Understanding, Respect and Acknowledgement

July 14 - 2021 |John Brown and Bryn Gray 

John Brown and Bryn Gray, leaders in McCarthy’s EDI, mentorship, and pro-bono programs, including the recently launched Indigenous Human Rights Clinic, offer insight on how organizations can engage with Indigenous communities to build trust and awareness that will improve access to justice and inspire Indigenous youth to pursue a career in law. Gain practical advice on crafting an effective Reconciliation Plan, creating a welcoming workplace for diverse talent, and cultivating culturally sensitive and astute lawyers. 

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RESOURCES: 

Truth and Reconciliation Toolkit for Firms

Work that Works: Point Counterpoint Expert Exchange

In-house Departments and Law Firms Driving Diversity and Inclusion Together:  More than Just Talk

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Monique Jilesen

15

Putting People First in Workplace Modernization

June 30 - 2021 | MONIQUE JILESEN

As we contemplate a return to the office and the merging of our physical and virtual workspaces, how do we carry on with progressive initiatives from “the before times,” while using all that we’ve learned over the past year to create a hybrid practice model of unprecedented innovation, inclusion and engagement? Monique Jilesen, a partner at Lenczner Slaght who is leading the firm’s COVID response, provides an insider’s take on combining technology and human potential to best effect in the reconfigured legal workplace.

MEMBER ONLY RESOURCES
Advancing Gender Equality in the Legal Profession A Report from the OBA's Solutions Circles and Workbook (PDF)

PUBLIC RESOURCES

Work that Works: Point Counterpoint Expert Exchange

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Connect with us and the OBA community to discuss #workthatworks  on Twitter and LinkedIn | Not a  member?  Join now.


Shani Ocquaye

 

14

Inclusive from the Jump

June 16 - 2021 | SHANI OCQUAYE

A young lawyer, passionate about community-based organizing, empowering marginalized populations, and working with youth, Shani Ocquaye is a driving force behind the development and implementation of Humber College’s EDI framework and strategy. She offers insight into constructing deliberate and well-defined diversity programs, in collaboration with community, task force and employee resource group members, and creating an academic and workplace experience that is inclusive from the jump. 

RESOURCES: The Expert Exchange

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Nikki Gershbain

 

13

an investment in moving the dial

June 2 - 2021 | NIKKI GERSHBAIN

Nikki Gershbain talks about the change she has helped lead in D&I at McCarthy T├ętrault as Chief Inclusion Officer detailing what has worked in her firm, and how a comprehensive, integrated, action-oriented and evidence-based approach to embedding inclusion in the workplace topples both structural and cultural barriers.

MEMBER ONLY RESOURCES: 

Find the Right EDI Consultant Worksheet

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Debbie Burke-Benn

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12

Disrupting the System

May 19 - 2021 | DEBBIE BURKE-BENN

Creating workplaces that work requires a focus on individuals and systems. This episode features Debbie Burke-Benn, an award-winning ‘Authentic Leader’ with a passion for inclusion and vast experience in leading organizational change across various settings, sectors and continents. She delivers helpful insight on disrupting the status quo and both engaging and leveraging the strengths of diverse employees to boost innovation and better serve the public. Hear how “the why” in diversity and inclusion work is often more difficult to capture than “the how.” 

RESOURCES: 

Breakfast with Champions

Making Diversity Work – Moving Beyond Paper

What Do Our Clients Want From Us

The OBA’s Not Another Decade initiative will soon offer a custom-built report card for assessing organization’s EDI plans. Contact media@oba.org to learn more.


Tanya De Mello
11

Work that Works: How to Make it Happen

May 5  - 2021 | NORIE CAMPBELL

Norie Campbell, Group Head and General Counsel, TD Bank Group, has been successfully leading high-impact inclusion efforts and focusing on real-world, practical strategies that recruit, engage and advance diverse candidates into leadership roles. She shares these strategies and describes how they are catalyzing change across the Bank and effectively connecting diversity and inclusion efforts  to customer and community engagement.

MEMBER ONLY RESOURCES: 

Growth Mindset & Career Planner Template 

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Tanya De Mello
10

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Hiring and EDI – How to Get it Right

April 21 - 2021 | TANYA (TONI) DE MELLO

Tanya “Toni” De Mello, Assistant Dean for Student Programming, Development and Equity at Canada's newest law school, talks to us about the promise and the future of the profession. We look at how legal employers can adopt lessons learned from her leading role in creating an inclusive and innovative academic community – and her revelatory PhD research into recruitment in the legal sector – in their efforts to cultivate more equitable and diverse workplaces that attract, empower and inspire the best work from up-and-coming leaders in law.

MEMBER ONLY RESOURCES: 

Hiring and EDI - How to Get it Right

RESOURCES:

Strategies for Retaining Diverse Lawyers

Shifting the Cultural Mindset at Your Firm or Organization

Diversity for Solo, Small and Mid-sized Firms

Cultural Competency as Your competitive Advantage


Catherine Shearer
9

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hEalth is wealth

April 8 - 2021 | CATHERINE SHEARER

How can today’s workplace leaders tackle the ever-important wellness component of work that works? Like all the other components of a modern workplace, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. In the latest episode of Work that Works, OBA President Charlene Theodore sits down with lawyer, Catherine Shearer (host of the Happy Lawyer Podcast) to discuss the varied yet practical ways lawyers and their employers can work together to help bring more happiness to the practice of law and legal workplaces. The episode qualifies for 45 minutes of professionalism hours.

RESOURCES: 

The Virtual Mentor: Recalibrate and Reconnect

Elevating Morale and Fostering Resilience in Today’s Climate

Strengthen Your Leadership Skills with Emotional Intelligence

Additional programs from the OBA Mindful Lawyer CPD Series

OBA Inclusive Leader Series

OBA Wellness Hub

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Minda Harts
8

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Connect with us and the OBA community to discuss #workthatworks  on Twitter and LinkedIn | Not a  member?  Join now.

Why Do You Always Get to Drive?

March 24 - 2021 | MINDA HARTS

How do you advance in a workplace that wasn’t created for you? This is a conundrum many Black women face every day. Bestselling author and CEO of The Memo LLC, Minda Harts encourages us to flip the question by asking ourselves, “How do we create workplaces that work for them ... Black women, Indigenous women, and women of colour … and make their talents, their ideas, their ambitions and leadership abilities part of our organization’s overall success?”

RESOURCES: 

How to Be an Ally By Design

We Are All Treaty People – Why We Need to Be Allies

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Joanne McPhail
7

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Balancing Purpose with Profit

March 10 - 2021 | Joanne McPhail

Consumers are increasingly seeking out businesses that care – that are doing right by their people, their community, and their environment – when deciding where to spend their money. Joanne McPhail, a lawyer who helped Barriston Law become the first B-Corp-certified law firm in Ontario, explains how a commitment to caring about more than profit creates a workplace where lawyers and clients find exceptional value.

RESOURCES: 

A Law Firm's Beginner's Guide to Corporate Social Responsibility

Supplementary Programming:

What Do Our Clients Want From Us?

Access to Justice: How To Be An Ally

Pro Bono Opportunities for Litigators

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This session contains 0h 15m Professionalism Hours

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Dawn Marchand
6

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More Than a Workplace Benefit

February 24 - 2021 | DAWN MARCHAND

Financial stress can keep employees from performing at their best. Dawn Marchand, President and CEO of CBIA – Lawyers Financial, explains how astute legal employers are offering state-of-the-art pension plans, like DBplus, as part of a wholistic approach to creating a healthy, productive, modern workplace as well as courting and keeping top talent.

RESOURCES: 

DBPlus – A defined Benefit Pension Plan for Law Firms

Pension Plan for Partners and Sole Practitioners 

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This session contains 0h 15m Professionalism Hours

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Anthony Morgan
5

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SUBSTANCE OVER SYMBOLS

February 10 - 2021 | ANTHONY MORGAN

When the settings and sectors lawyers operate within are infected by the same systemic problems that afflict the clients and communities they serve, their ability to maintain public trust and eradicate barriers is diminished. Amid a global reckoning on anti-Black racism, lawyer and renowned racial justice advocate Anthony Morgan lays out what lawyers can do in their workplaces to serve not only as powerful examples of equality and inclusion but effective agents of substantive change.

OBA MEMBERS-ONLY RESOURCES: 

A STARTER KIT FOR MOVING TOWARDS SUBSTANTIVE EDI EFFORTS

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Lily Zheng
4

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Every statement is a promise

January 27 - 2021 | LILY ZHENG

Beyond an aspiration – more than a memo, statement or story – fostering workplaces where people act inclusively is ongoing work. Sought-after organizational consultant and author of The Ethical Sellout, Lily Zheng shares insight into where organizations most often fall short in achieving their desired equality and diversity outcomes and provides a practitioner’s view on the strategies and approaches apt to have the most impact. 

OBA MEMBERS-ONLY RESOURCES: 

Checklist for Assessing the Strength of Your Workplace Inclusion Strategies

RECOMMENDED READING:

The Ethical Sellout: Maintaining Your Integrity in the Age of Compromise

Gender Ambiguity in the Workplace: Transgender and Gender-Diverse Discrimination

Work that works: Equality, diversity and inclusion 


Aly Haji
3

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MEANINGFUL WORK:  THE MILLENNIAL EXAMPLE

January 14 - 2021 | ALY HAJI  

An alienating environment and lack of meaningful motivation may well be driving a new generation of lawyers out of traditional law en masse. Aly Haji, author of “An Exodus Explained: Millennials at Law Firms,” offers insight into how firms can stem the tide and engage the purpose and passion of this distinctly diverse, dedicated and values-driven cohort with an eye to ownership, autonomy, and impact. 

OBA MEMBERS-ONLY RESOURCES: 

Reverse Mentoring Cheat Sheet (PDF)

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This session contains 0h 30m Professionalism

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Jennifer Gold
2
Frankie Wood
2

Let Your Values Be Your Guide

December 15 - 2020 | Jennifer Gold and Franki Wood Accreditation Logos

In pioneering a family-friendly practice, Wood Gold LLP, Jennifer Gold and Frankie Wood have redefined legal success and demonstrated that a client-centric approach begins with balance: It’s healthy work-life balance that inspires and equips ambitious lawyers to deliver their very best work.

How can you refocus your priorities so quality output is emphasized over long hours; so difference is illuminated and appreciated, rather than assimilated or ignored; so your organization attracts talented lawyers with different backgrounds and ideas, rather than driving out eager contributors who can’t conform to a rigid schedule? This episode offers key considerations to drive your own workplace reinvention.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST ON:
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OBA MEMBERS-ONLY RESOURCES: 

Learning Plan for Developing Leadership and Business of Law Skills

Value-Setting Exercise (PDF)

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Professionalism Hours - This session contains 0h 15m Professionalism | EDI Hours - This session contains 0h 15m EDI


Quinn Ross
1

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Putting in the Effort

December 2 - 2020 | QUINN ROSS  

Quinn Ross isn’t just a challenger – he’s a change-maker. The former OBA president – and current managing partner of The Ross Firm – hasn’t been afraid to examine the old ways of doing things in order to reshape the workplace model into one that is modern and inclusive.

In this episode, Charlene chats with Quinn about ideas – like a four-day work week – that are shaping the way firms like his are envisioning the legal profession in order to rebuild workplaces that are sustainable and profitable, while remaining focused on the well-being of employees.

OBA MEMBERS-ONLY RESOURCES: 

Planning Your First Step to Workplace Improvement: A Worksheet

Sustaining Modernization and Practice Feasibility: A Worksheet

Considerations for Implementing a Four-Day Work Week Checklist