By Karen Gross / Photo by Jeff Kirk

From the Spring/Summer 2018 issue of Nexus

Lisa TalbotAlmost 20 years out of law school, Lisa Talbot, LLB 1999, still speaks in the awed tones of a freshly minted graduate. Growing up in Niagara Falls, both of her parents were school teachers. “Before coming here I didn’t know any lawyers, and law school was a dream of mine that seemed somewhat unattainable. So I just feel really grateful that I had the opportunity.” Talbot took that opportunity and ran with it. As a partner at Torys, she’s a respected litigator specializing in employment law and advisory work. A few years ago she was recognized as one of Lexpert’s Leading Lawyers Under 40. “I like the idea of taking on someone else’s burden and helping them work through a problem,” Talbot says. “I’ve also been lucky to work with people I really respect and learn from every day. It’s a privilege.”

As part of the law school’s mentoring program, Talbot has maintained ties to the campus and its vast intellectual depth. Her efforts with students led to lasting friendships and an enduring belief in the value of a richly varied student base. “I’m really passionate about the need for diversity in our profession,” she says.  “I believe that having a strong financial assistance program is key to promoting diversity. It also allows for more choice after graduation. Young lawyers are better able to consider careers in public law or social justice if they’re not carrying challenging debt.” That’s why she supported the law school with a generous $50,000 gift to create the Lisa Talbot Bursary.

It all makes sense to Talbot, who can still easily connect with her younger self despite how far her career has come.  “From a personal standpoint, I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to go to law school and be part of this profession,” she says. “At current tuition levels, and without financial aid, I likely would not have been able to attend. I think about how grateful I would have been to get that hand.”