Author: Kourtney Pratt

ANNOUNCEMENT – Rani Wong, K.C. Racialized Lawyer Membership Fee Waiver

In January 2023, AWL passed a resolution to establish a membership fee waiver program for ten racialized lawyers annually, called the Rani Wong, K.C. Racialized Lawyer Membership Fund. This was done in recognition of the more than two decades of service to the AWL by Rani Wong, K.C., a former AWL President and Board Member, and a champion for equity and inclusion in the profession for racialized women lawyers.

The Rani Wong, K.C., Racialized Lawyer Membership Fund will begin offering covered memberships for the 2024 year and this program will be offered yearly. The fee waiver be a one-time only opportunity for any qualifying lawyer.

If you are interested in membership and identify as a racialized lawyer, please email us today. We expect the 10 memberships will be allocated in short order. Don’t delay in sending us your interest.

We encourage AWL Members to share this opportunity with their networks.

To apply for the one-time fee waiver please email kpratt@stikeman.com. Please include your name, year of call, firm, and practice area in your interest email. AWL will be in touch with all the applicants.

Rani Wong, K.C.’s Biography

Rani Wong, K.C., practices family law as a sole practitioner in association with Calgary Family Law Associates. She began her legal career 25 years ago as a commercial and finance lawyer, practicing with some of Canada’s top national law firms. She articled with Davis & Co. (now DLA Piper) in Vancouver and practiced in the financial services group with Osler Hoskin Harcourt in Toronto before moving to Singapore to do financial restructuring, debt financing and project financing work with the New York firm Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy. Rani then returned home to practice with the commercial energy group at Stikeman Elliott in Calgary after a brief in-house counsel stint.

After more than a decade in commercial and finance, Rani decided to change her practice completely and jumped into family law. She practices in a wide variety of areas within family law and is a trained mediator and arbitrator.

Rani is a strong proponent of giving back to the legal profession and community, especially in matters involving equity, diversity, and inclusion. She served in many capacities with the Association of Women Lawyers, including as its President, a member of its Board of Directors for more than 15 years, and chair of its Membership Committee for many years. In 2012, she developed AWL’s inaugural Mentoring Program for Women Lawyers in Calgary. More recently, she helped initiate the AWL Racialized Women Lawyers Mentoring Dinners, providing mentoring, support and encouragement to racialized women lawyers in Calgary.

She has also volunteered extensively with the Canadian Bar Association. She is the past Co-Chair of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee and Diversity Section in Alberta and was a member of the National CBA Equality Subcommittee. She previously sat on the CBA Alberta Provincial Council and participated in the Legal Education and Training Working Group of the CBA Legal Futures Initiative.

In 2022, Rani was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Canadian Bar Association and the Law Society of Alberta for the Promotion of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the Profession, and was appointed King’s Counsel.

AWL 2023 Annual General Meeting

AWL 2023 Annual General Meeting

The annual general meeting of the members of the Association of Women Lawyers (Calgary) will be held in-person as follows:

December 12, 2023
12:00 PM
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Brookfield Place, Suite 2700, 225 6 Ave SW, Calgary, Alberta

All AWL members are encouraged to attend and will be provided access to the Minutes from the 2022 AGM (to be approved) on the AWL website through their accounts prior to the AGM. Lunch will be served.

Call for Applications for 2024 AWL Board of Directors

The Association of Women Lawyers (Calgary) is currently accepting applications for membership to its Board of Directors for 2024. 

Please send a brief resume or biography, along with two (2) references to Tami Prince at tprince@cassels.com by no later than 4pm on November 17, 2023. 

All AWL members are welcome to apply!

Updated 2023 Event Calendar

2023 EVENTS CALENDAR

MARCH

  • Mothers in the Law In-Person Playdate (March 19, 2023) – The AWL Mothers in the Law Group aims to connect and support mothers who are currently practicing law and mothers who are on maternity leave. Bring your child(ren) or come on your own for the playdates. All are welcome!
  • Mothers in the Law Online Zoom Playdate – the last Tuesday of every month, Wilma Shim hosts a play date by Zoom from 1 to 2 pm. Members are welcome to bring their children or join on their own.

APRIL

  • Mystery Lunch (April 19, 2023) – join 5 other members for lunch at a mystery restaurant for an opportunity to meet and network with other women lawyers in a variety of practice areas and stages.
  • Mothers in the Law Online Zoom Playdate – the last Tuesday of every month, Wilma Shim hosts a play date by Zoom from 1 to 2 pm. Members are welcome to bring their children or join on their own.

MAY

  • Racialized Lawyer Dinner Series (May 1, 2023) – AWL introduced this dinner series to provide mentorship, support and camaraderie to women lawyers from racialized or marginalized groups. The dinners are open to all AWL and CMLA members and friends who identify as a member of a racialized/marginalized group, as well as members who would like to provide mentorship and support as allies.
  • Networking Night (May 24, 2023) – AWL is hosting a networking event for members at Rodney’s Oyster House (355 10 Ave SW). Come and enjoy great conversation, some tasty appetizers and a cocktail/mocktail (or two) with fellow AWL members!
  • Mothers in the Law In-Person Playdate (May 27, 2023) – The AWL Mothers in the Law Group aims to connect and support mothers who are currently practicing law and mothers who are on maternity leave. Bring your child(ren) or come on your own for the playdates. All are welcome!
  • Mothers in the Law Online Zoom Playdate – the last Tuesday of every month, Wilma Shim hosts a play date by Zoom from 1 to 2 pm. Members are welcome to bring their children or join on their own.

JUNE

  • Allyship, Diversity and Inclusion Series (June 1, 2023) – AWL is excited to continue its Allyship, Diversity and Inclusion series launched in 2021. The first topic of the 2023 will be Trauma Informed Lawyering and Reconcilitation with Sarah Sinclair.
  • RiverWalk Stroll (June 3, 2023) – join fellow members for a morning walk along the RiverWalk to reconnect with AWL colleagues and meet new ones (weather permitting).
  • Book Club (June 7, 2023) – join other members in a quarterly book club to read and discuss an agreed-upon reading list, meet new people, and share new perspectives.
  • Spring Celebration (June 14, 2023) – a night to celebrate new women lawyers that joined the Calgary bar during 2022. Come join us in celebrating our newest members.
  • Mystery Lunch (June 21, 2023) – join 5 other members for lunch at a mystery restaurant for an opportunity to meet and network with other women lawyers in a variety of practice areas and stages.
  • Mothers in the Law Online Zoom Playdate – the last Tuesday of every month, Wilma Shim hosts a play date by Zoom from 1 to 2 pm. Members are welcome to bring their children or join on their own.

JULY

  • RiverWalk Stroll – join fellow members for a morning walk along the RiverWalk to reconnect with AWL colleagues and meet new ones (weather permitting).
  • Mothers in the Law Online Zoom Playdate – the last Tuesday of every month, Wilma Shim hosts a play date by Zoom from 1 to 2 pm. Members are welcome to bring their children or join on their own.

AUGUST

  • RiverWalk Stroll – join fellow members for a morning walk along the RiverWalk to reconnect with AWL colleagues and meet new ones (weather permitting).
  • Golf Tournament (August 11, 2022) – Join AWL for the Annual Golf Tournament! Every year this event provides a great opportunity to get outdoors, network with clients and colleagues, and enjoy a fun day of golf. The golf tournament is one of AWL’s longest standing and most successful annual events.  Members are invited to play and to invite colleagues and clients to join them. 
  • Mothers in the Law Online Zoom Playdate – the last Tuesday of every month, Wilma Shim hosts a play date by Zoom from 1 to 2 pm. Members are welcome to bring their children or join on their own.

SEPTEMBER

  • RiverWalk Stroll – join fellow members for a morning walk along the RiverWalk to reconnect with AWL colleagues and meet new ones (weather permitting).
  • Book Club – join other members in a quarterly book club to read and discuss an agreed-upon reading list, meet new people, and share new perspectives.
  • Mystery Lunch – join 5 other members for lunch at a mystery restaurant for an opportunity to meet and network with other women lawyers in a variety of practice areas and stages.
  • Racialized Lawyer Dinner Series – AWL introduced this dinner series to provide mentorship, support and camaraderie to women lawyers from racialized or marginalized groups. The dinners are open to all AWL and CMLA members and friends who identify as a member of a racialized/marginalized group, as well as members who would like to provide mentorship and support as allies.
  • Mothers in the Law Online Zoom Playdate – the last Tuesday of every month, Wilma Shim hosts a play date by Zoom from 1 to 2 pm. Members are welcome to bring their children or join on their own.

OCTOBER

  • Allyship, Diversity and Inclusion Series – AWL is excited to continue its Allyship, Diversity and Inclusion series launched in 2021. Topic and speaker(s) to be announced.
  • Networking Evening – AWL is hosting a networking event for members at a locally owned business to support Calgary-owned small businesses and provide an opportunity for members to network with others in the legal community.
  • Mothers in the Law Online Zoom Playdate – the last Tuesday of every month, Wilma Shim hosts a play date by Zoom from 1 to 2 pm. Members are welcome to bring their children or join on their own.

NOVEMBER

  • Racialized Lawyer Dinner Series – AWL introduced this dinner series to provide mentorship, support and camaraderie to women lawyers from racialized or marginalized groups. The dinners are open to all AWL and CMLA members and friends who identify as a member of a racialized/marginalized group, as well as members who would like to provide mentorship and support as allies.
  • Mothers in the Law Online Zoom Playdate – the last Tuesday of every month, Wilma Shim hosts a play date by Zoom from 1 to 2 pm. Members are welcome to bring their children or join on their own.

DECEMBER

  • Book Club – join other members in a quarterly book club to read and discuss an agreed-upon reading list, meet new people, and share new perspectives.
  • Mystery Lunch – join 5 other members for lunch at a mystery restaurant for an opportunity to meet and network with other women lawyers in a variety of practice areas and stages.
  • Mothers in the Law Online Zoom Playdate – the last Tuesday of every month, Wilma Shim hosts a play date by Zoom from 1 to 2 pm. Members are welcome to bring their children or join on their own.

JANUARY (2024)

  • Canmore Retreat (January 26 – 28, 2024) – join the AWL Board and members for a weekend of professional discussion, relaxation and great company.

2023 Events Calendar

March

Mothers in the Law Online Zoom Playdate – the last Tuesday of every month, Wilma Shim hosts a play date by Zoom from 1 to 2 pm. Members are welcome to bring their children or join on their own.

Mothers in the Law In-Person Playdate (March 19, 2023) – The AWL Mothers in the Law Group aims to connect and support mothers who are currently practicing law and mothers who are on maternity leave. Bring your child(ren) or come on your own for the playdates. All are welcome!

APRIL

Mystery Lunch (April 19, 2023) – join 5 other members for lunch at a mystery restaurant for an opportunity to meet and network with other women lawyers in a variety of practice areas and stages.

Mothers in the Law Online Zoom Playdate – the last Tuesday of every month, Wilma Shim hosts a play date by Zoom from 1 to 2 pm. Members are welcome to bring their children or join on their own.

MAY

Racialized Lawyer Dinner Series (May 1, 2023) – the AWL introduced this dinner series to provide mentorship, support and camaraderie to women lawyers from racialized or marginalized groups. The dinners are open to all AWL members and friends who identify as a member of a racialized/marginalized group, as well as members who would like to provide mentorship and support as allies.

Networking Night (May 10, 2023) – the AWL is hosting a networking event for members at Café Alchemist (850 – 2nd Street SW), a locally owned, locally sourced, made from scratch, café in downtown Calgary. Café Alchemist was the 2023 Reader’s Choice Runner- Up for Best Restaurant of 2022. Come join your fellow AWL member for an evening of good conversation and networking.

Book Club – join other members in a quarterly book club to read and discuss an agreed- upon reading list, meet new people, and share new perspectives.

Mothers in the Law In-Person Playdate (May 27, 2023) – The AWL Mothers in the Law Group aims to connect and support mothers who are currently practicing law and mothers who are on maternity leave. Bring your child(ren) or come on your own for the playdates. All are welcome!

Mothers in the Law Online Zoom Playdate – the last Tuesday of every month, Wilma Shim hosts a play date by Zoom from 1 to 2 pm. Members are welcome to bring their children or join on their own.

JUNE

RiverWalk Stroll (June 3, 2023) – join fellow members for a morning walk along the RiverWalk to reconnect with AWL colleagues and meet new ones (weather permitting).

Allyship, Diversity and Inclusion Series – the AWL is excited to continue its Allyship, Diversity and Inclusion series launched in 2021. Topic and speaker(s) to be announced.

Spring Celebration (June 15, 2023)– a night to celebrate new women lawyers that joined the Calgary bar during 2022. Come join us in celebrating our newest members.

Mystery Lunch (June 21, 2023) – join 5 other members for lunch at a mystery restaurant for an opportunity to meet and network with other women lawyers in a variety of practice areas and stages.

Mothers in the Law Online Zoom Playdate – the last Tuesday of every month, Wilma Shim hosts a play date by Zoom from 1 to 2 pm. Members are welcome to bring their children or join on their own.

JULY

RiverWalk Stroll – join fellow members for a morning walk along the RiverWalk to reconnect with AWL colleagues and meet new ones (weather permitting).

Mothers in the Law Online Zoom Playdate – the last Tuesday of every month, Wilma Shim hosts a play date by Zoom from 1 to 2 pm. Members are welcome to bring their children or join on their own.

AUGUST

RiverWalk Stroll – join fellow members for a morning walk along the RiverWalk to reconnect with AWL colleagues and meet new ones (weather permitting).

Golf Tournament (August 11, 2022) – Join AWL for the Annual Golf Tournament! Every year this event provides a great opportunity to get outdoors, network with clients and colleagues, and enjoy a fun day of golf. The golf tournament is one of AWL’s longest standing and most successful annual events. Members are invited to play and to invite colleagues and clients to join them.

Mothers in the Law Online Zoom Playdate – the last Tuesday of every month, Wilma Shim hosts a play date by Zoom from 1 to 2 pm. Members are welcome to bring their children or join on their own.

SEPTEMBER

RiverWalk Stroll – join fellow members for a morning walk along the RiverWalk to reconnect with AWL colleagues and meet new ones (weather permitting).

Book Club – join other members in a quarterly book club to read and discuss an agreed- upon reading list, meet new people, and share new perspectives.

Mystery Lunch – join 5 other members for lunch at a mystery restaurant for an opportunity to meet and network with other women lawyers in a variety of practice areas and stages.

Racialized Lawyer Dinner Series – the AWL introduced this dinner series to provide mentorship, support and camaraderie to women lawyers from racialized or marginalized groups. The dinners are open to all AWL and CMLA members and friends who identify as a member of a racialized/marginalized group, as well as members who would like to provide mentorship and support as allies.

Mothers in the Law Online Zoom Playdate – the last Tuesday of every month, Wilma Shim hosts a play date by Zoom from 1 to 2 pm. Members are welcome to bring their children or join on their own.

OCTOBER

Allyship, Diversity and Inclusion Series – the AWL is excited to continue its Allyship, Diversity and Inclusion series launched in 2021. Topic and speaker(s) to be announced.

Networking Evening – the AWL is hosting a networking event for members at a locally owned business to support Calgary-owned small businesses and provide an opportunity for members to network with others in the legal community.

Mothers in the Law Online Zoom Playdate – the last Tuesday of every month, Wilma Shim hosts a play date by Zoom from 1 to 2 pm. Members are welcome to bring their children or join on their own.

NOVEMBER

Racialized Lawyer Dinner Series – the AWL introduced this dinner series to provide mentorship, support and camaraderie to women lawyers from racialized or marginalized groups. The dinners are open to all AWL and CMLA members and friends who identify as a member of a racialized/marginalized group, as well as members who would like to provide mentorship and support as allies.

Mothers in the Law Online Zoom Playdate – the last Tuesday of every month, Wilma Shim hosts a play date by Zoom from 1 to 2 pm. Members are welcome to bring their children or join on their own.

DECEMBER

Book Club – join other members in a quarterly book club to read and discuss an agreed- upon reading list, meet new people, and share new perspectives.

Mystery Lunch – join 5 other members for lunch at a mystery restaurant for an opportunity to meet and network with other women lawyers in a variety of practice areas and stages.

Mothers in the Law Online Zoom Playdate – the last Tuesday of every month, Wilma Shim hosts a play date by Zoom from 1 to 2 pm. Members are welcome to bring their children or join on their own.

JANUARY (2024)

Canmore Retreat (January 26 – 28, 2024) – join the AWL Board and members for a weekend of professional discussion, relaxation and great company.

AWL Statement – Law Society Special Meeting Rule 67.4

The AWL Board calls upon all members of the Law Society of Alberta to attend and vote at the Special Meeting it has scheduled for February 6, 2023.

The Special Meeting has been set to vote on a resolution (“Resolution”) to repeal Rule 67.4 of the Rules of the Law Society of Alberta. Rule 67.4 provides that the Benchers may prescribe specific continuing professional development requirements (“CPD”) for members and that failure to comply can result in suspension.

The AWL Board opposes the Resolution. If passed, the concern is that it would (a) undermine the ability for the Benchers of the Law Society to mandate cultural competency education for members of the profession; and (b) send a message to members of equity-seeking groups that the legal profession in Alberta plays no part in working to achieve equity, diversity and/or inclusivity in the profession or in the justice system, and that Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples is not a priority.

The Resolution was raised in a January 13, 2023 petition signed by 50 members of the Law Society of Alberta. The petition states that Rule 67.4 should be repealed on the basis that (a) it “unnecessarily diminishes and hinders professional autonomy in the area of CPD to the detriment of the profession and the public”; (b) “the Legal Profession Act does not authorize the Benchers to prescribe and mandate any specific CPD including any specific cultural, political, or ideological education on Alberta lawyers”; and (c) “under Rule 67. 1 (3) each lawyer possesses both the freedom and the responsibility to determine whether a learning activity meets the criteria of Rule 67. 1 (2) and therefore qualifies as CPD”.

The AWL Board disagrees with the arguments in the petition, and is of the view that the Legal Profession Act does indeed grant authority to the Benchers to give effect to Rule 67.4. The ability to practice law is a privilege that comes with obligations that include seeking to understand our cultural biases and how these impact our ability to discharge our duties to the profession.

It is also important to emphasize that, in the spirit of Reconciliation, the AWL Board fully supports Indigenous cultural competency training (among others) in accordance with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Call to Action #27 which specifically calls upon law societies in Canada to ensure that lawyers receive appropriate Indigenous cultural competency training.

Please attend the Special Meeting and vote as you see fit. You must pre-register to receive the meeting link.

Link to Register for Special Meeting: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_iQZjXhLuQG-dNPowwcCF4A

Mother in the Law Playdate

Date: Saturday, Nov 12, 2022
Time: 10am-12pm
Location: Eau Claire Market indoor playground (200 Barclay Walk SW)
RSVP: wilmashim@gmail.com

Call for Applications for AWL Board of Directors

The AWL is currently accepting applications for membership to its Board of Directors. Please send a brief resume or biography along with two references to Melanie Gaston at megaston@osler.com by no later than 4 pm on November 21, 2022