Outstanding CBA volunteer: Ken Mandzuik

By CBA/ABC National April 19, 201819 April 2018

Outstanding CBA volunteer: Ken Mandzuik


CBA National: What is your main motivation for giving back as a CBA volunteer?

Ken Mandzuik:  In volunteering with the CBA at the national and local level, I have been exposed to a lot of the work that CBA does that sometimes, unfairly, flies below the radar. Whether it is interventions before the Supreme Court or responding to parliamentary or legislative committees, there is a lot of hard, detailed work the CBA does that benefits all lawyers in every practice area. This is important work that has rightly earned the CBA’s reputation as “the voice of the legal profession”. It requires the dedication and effort of staff and volunteers; by volunteering, I feel I can play some small part in this benefit to the entire profession.

N: We’ve all heard the saying, “Be the change you wish to see.” What is it that you want to achieve by giving your time to the CBA?

KM: The CBA remains, in my opinion, the strongest and most relevant national legal organization in Canada. Its work is important enough for lawyers and all Canadians that I want to ensure its work continues as best as it can. Without its membership, it could not function. Members need to see and know that the CBA is there to offer its expertise when legislation is introduced—not on a partisan basis, but based on the expertise of its members. Members need to see and know that when solicitor-client privilege is attacked, the CBA is more often than not in the Supreme Court advocating for its protection. Members need to see and know that on issues affecting all Canadians, like access to justice, the CBA is working to find solutions. Volunteering with the CBA makes all of this possible.

N: Has anything surprised you in what you've taken away from the experience?

KM: A surprise that one finds in volunteering with the CBA is how easy it can be, and it is easy for one important reason: the dedication of the staff. The quality of work product I have seen at the national and local level is exceptional. The depth of talent and expertise you can find in the staff is likely unknown to most of the membership. A peek behind the curtain shows experts in government relations, communications, cat-herding, legislative reform and more. Much of the strength of the CBA comes from the staff—not just from organizing meetings and conferences, but in making happen what the members want and need. I have found without exception the staff are not there just to pick up a paycheque—they are invested in the CBA and its success.

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