Class of 1979

When I entered the University of Toronto Law School, I had already been through several career worlds: community college teacher, literary agent, and sociology graduate student. And before that, in undergrad at McGill, I'd been a student activist in the tradition of the late 60s. I had worked in several factories to bring together a student-worker alliance.

So arriving at U of T Law School after all these experiences, I found things a bit tame and ivory towerish. I do recall being told that our class was exceptional, with more women and more mature students - I guess just like me.

I was called to the bar in the early 80s, during the first recession.

After several years as a sole practitioner subspecializing in trade marks and employment law - a weird combination, but involving some creative-oriented law - I felt my role was too traditional, not making enough of a difference. So I started looking for alternatives. As a solo, I found I used a lot of temp staff, given the ebb and flow of my sole practice. So a light bulb went off - why not look at temp lawyers. The idea seized me, and so I gradually phased down my law practice after eight years, and laid the groundwork for an entirely new business - lawyer recruitment.

I have found in recruiting that I continue to question things, and to attempt to effect change whenever possible. My identity as a female: yes I was part of the women's liberation movement in the 1970s. But I am also the daughter of WW2 holocaust survivors, one of whom, my mother, was a strong female way before women's lib. I did experience my share of frustrations as a female lawyer. I recall how it hurt me when, after spending many months daily eating with and getting to know a local restauranteur, I found him in my law office one day waiting for my male lawyer co-tenant and not for me!

I was the only female recruitment company owner in the legal field for many years. I felt that I was always different from my male counterparts. Though this may have hurt me, I took pride in often representing non-mainstream candidates and clients, ones who stood for values of social justice and fairness.

I have always been an advocate of fairness in all realms including in the workplace. I feel that there are many serious workplace challenges in the legal profession, the most serious being ageism, excessive reliance on marks as a hiring tool, and the depletion of human resources in the workplace.