Class of 1976

What was it like, as a woman, to enter the legal profession in the 70s? While initially alienating because there were so few female role models either at the law school or in practice, I was fortunate to find a career path that allowed me to pursue my interests in social justice and women's rights and to do so with many colleagues and clients with common interests and values.

A fortuitous summer job, which connected me to the nurses' union, led to a longstanding professional relationship and gave me the opportunity to apply my skills in a focused way to help a group of predominantly female health professionals. I was then fortunate to meet two motivated activist women. Together we overcame obstacles, such as getting a bank loan, to form Symes, Kitely & McIntyre, one of the first all-women law firms on Bay Street. Also together, we worked on challenging and rewarding cases such as the representation of nurses at the Grange Inquiry into a series of deaths at The Hospital for Sick Children. We also had a lot of fun. My subsequent tenure at Cavalluzzo's has given me further opportunities to work with colleagues in the pursuit of social justice on behalf of a wide variety of groups, whether they be teachers, postal workers or health care professionals.

Ultimately, my most rewarding accomplishments have been through the relationships that I developed with professional colleagues and clients and the role we have had in assisting many working women and men strive for social justice. It is very encouraging to see that many current law students have a keen interest in the issues that I have found to be compelling and rewarding. I hope these younger members of the profession can find a career path that allows them to pursue their interests.