22 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 77 PART 1 JANUARY 2019
ularly if they work for sole practitioners or at smaller firms. By volunteering,
you can expand your network beyond your firm and meet other likeminded
junior, intermediate or senior counsel in your practice area that
you might not otherwise have the chance to meet.
Developing relationships within the legal community is not just about networking;
it is more about connecting with others at all levels of call. Michael
Slater, Q.C., of Slater Vecchio LLP cites Scott Gerber and Ryan Paugh from
their book, Superconnector: “Being a Superconnector isn’t a talent or a gift—it’s
having the awareness to realize that we all want the same things, even if we
take different paths. It’s reaching out to someone else and saying, ‘I can help
you get there.’”2 In other words, having common shared experiences and working
alongside those with similar goals create connection. And those connections
will only enhance your personal and professional life.
Examples of how you can contribute to the legal community include joining
legal associations and becoming part of their executives; writing in legal
journals, in magazines and on blogs; speaking at seminars and workshops;
and mentoring students, from high school to law school and beyond.
Several legal organizations across the province accept law students and
lawyers at all years of call as their members, and many organizations offer
discounted rates for younger lawyers.
Canadian Bar Association, British Columbia Branch (the “CBABC”)
The CBABC is a 6,500+ member organization with over 70 sections3 across
the province. The sections are “practice-focused groups organized by substantive
areas of law. They provide education, resources and opportunities.
They also address legal issues, regulations and trends.”4
Sign up to a section that appeals to your interests and/or practice areas.
There are sections specifically for young lawyers, for women lawyers and
in areas ranging from Aboriginal law to children’s law, health law and wills
and estates. After signing up to a section of interest, event notifications
arrive via e-mail during the sections’ term from September 1 to August 31.
Each section is run by an executive of volunteers, elected from the membership,
who create events throughout the year. The executives typically put
out a call for nominations in May of each year; however, it is always best to
attend events and make connections with the section members, executive and
chairs prior to the election to increase your chances of being elected.
In addition to the section executives, volunteer committees “operate … to
implement programs and … serve the interests of the profession and the
public”.5 Some standing committees include an advisory committee to the