Creating a Seat at the Table: Reflections from Women in Law
About the project
Collaborators: Beth Bilson, KC, Leah Howie, Brea Lowenberger
The project, Creating a Seat at the Table: Reflections from Women in Law, is informed and inspired in part by previous work of organizations such as the Law Society of Saskatchewan and the ground-breaking Touchstones Report (1993) of the Canadian Bar Association. The Law Society of Saskatchewan’s Justicia Project Report (2016) outlined that “while women are entering the legal profession and private practice in record numbers, the statistics across the country show that they also leave private practice in disproportionate numbers”. When Saskatchewan lawyers were asked how equitability in their workplace could be improved, the “most common answer (18%) was a need to increase female leadership and overall presence in the workplace”. In considering the impacts that proper mentorship had on participants, “[o]verall, there were comments that there seems to be less mentorship occurring today than in the past”. Other data collected indicated that there was “… a need for more networking among women”. More recently, several participants at the March 2019 meeting of the Dean’s Forum on Access to Justice identified that “[b]arriers to inclusion can be deeply entrenched and so using inspiration from the work and practices developed by others may be an important step to creating a faster pace of change than has historically been the case”.
This project has brought together a group of women alumni to reflect on their experiences, and those reflections are the foundation of a book, published October 7, 2023, that will celebrate success and inspire ongoing action. The book can be ordered on the University of Regina Press website HERE.
CREATE Justice hopes to build on this project to engage with Usask College of Law graduates and other Saskatchewan lawyers in other initiatives that will foster leadership, mentorship and networking among female lawyers.
We are excited to share that the dates for our book launches have been set, a podcast associated with the “Creating a Seat” initiative is underway, as is a “Creating a Seat” Collective, to launch Fall 2024.
Donations are currently being sought to fund such initiatives. If you are interested in:
- Attending a book launch in Fall 2023, please sign up HERE;
- Getting involved in these next steps please subscribe to our email list HERE; and
- Contributing financially to make these next steps possible, please visit HERE and select the “Women in Law” designation from the drop-down menu.
Interested in getting involved or learning more? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beth Bilson, KC, Leah Howie, and Brea Lowenberger, “Invitation To Support HAVE A SEAT AT THE TABLE – Celebrating Success, Inspiring Action: Letters From Women Alumni Of The University Of Saskatchewan College Of Law” (Law Society of Saskatchewan Blog, September 9, 2021)
Dear Beth…A Women in Law Podcast
A podcast about what women in the legal profession experience. The hurdles they encounter, the challenges they face, but also the heroic and inspiring ways they are shifting paradigms and dismantling the status quo.
Epidode 1: "It's never to late to be who you might have been" with feature guest Adrienne Forgeron, B.Comm., J.D. of The Gentle Lawyer.
Episode 2: “Never Use Others for Kindling” with feature guests Brooke Johnson Isaak, JD and Kate Bilson, B.A (Hons.), LL.B, LL.M.
Episode 3: "The Otherside: what does being an accomplice look like?" Special co-host Lawren Trotchie, a Métis lawyer, joins Leah Howie and Jen Quesnel in the studio. Feature guest is Courtenay Phillips, a Cree lawyer who practices privacy law.
Episode 4: Creating a Seat at the Table: A Roundtable Discussion. In this special episode of Dear Beth, A Women in Law Podcast, we share a recording of the official student book launch of Creating a Seat at the Table: Reflections from Women in Law which took place October 16th, 2023 at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law.