Conference: The Power in Law?

Achieving equality, emotional well-being and social change in and through law.

November 7-8, 2013
College of Law, University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Law Society of Saskatchewan CPD hours: This conference qualifies for 10 CPD hours (including 7.5 ethics hours)

In 1920, Elsie Hall became the first female to graduate from the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan.  At that time, legal education and practice across Canada were almost the exclusive preserves of white men.  Since then, particularly since the 1970s, we have witnessed a surge of women entering law schools and the profession as well as a dramatic increase in the numbers of Aboriginal people, members of racialized groups, people with disabilities and people of differing sexual orientations. 

Has legal education or the practice of law proven to be empowering for the diverse populations within the field of law? How can the experience of students and practitioners be improved? What are the major barriers to achieving equality, emotional well-being and progressive social change through and in the practice of law? 

At this conference, we will invite discussion in relation to these questions and the following themes:

  • The current status of diverse groups within the legal field and the likely impact of future changes and trends within legal education and the profession.
  • Conditions that impede equality for people within the legal profession. These conditions include unequal pay and status and expectations of long working hours that make the optimal care of children and elders and work/life balance generally difficult, if not impossible, for both men and women to achieve.    
  • Achieving emotional well-being within law practice or related endeavors given high rates of stress and depression in the legal profession.  Speakers will canvass the emotional impact of conflict between clients and between lawyers on legal professionals, the impact of different models of dispute resolution on lawyers, the role of stress and vicarious trauma and the challenges of nurturing your personal voice and maintaining both empathy and objectivity in dealings with clients.
  • Finally, the Conference will address the power of law to promote social change and the varied ways in which individual lawyers have worked to effect change.

This conference is intended to be a relatively intimate event, one in which registrants are encouraged to reflect on their own personal experiences and to discuss their insights with others. We have scheduled small workshops on each of the two days to maximize exchange and discussion.  Participants are encouraged to bring issues that they find to be important to these workshops and to reflect on what they have found gratifying and fulfilling about their legal careers, what has held them back or conversely, helped to enhance satisfaction with their work.  We expect that the speakers, given their profiles and the breadth of their experience, will assess trends that have or will impact legal professionals in the future and provide a clearer sense of how equality, emotional well-being and social change through and within the field of law might be achieved. 


Registration - Seats are limited, so register today!

Hotel Information

Special thanks to the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan for its generous support of this conference.