The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Kerry L. Simmons, Q.C.

Message from the president

Sharing experiences

By Kerry L. Simmons, Q.C. June 18, 2018 18 June 2018

 

I’ve been a proud member of the CBA since I was in law school. After serving as CBA President, I can honestly say I’ve never been prouder to be part of this organization.

One of the highlights of every president’s year is travelling across the country to meet with members. I found them making connections, shaping their skills, mentoring the next generation and advocating for change on the provincial and national level. This is how you are using the CBA to enhance your success.

It is also how you make the CBA what it is today. And the best way we can recruit new members and keep current ones excited is to share stories about how the association makes us all better lawyers. Growing membership takes more than just advertising who we are and what we do; we also need to be ambassadors for the organization. So when I visited members, I asked them to really think about why they joined – and to share that experience with non-members. What’s your 60-second elevator pitch about how joining the CBA made you a better lawyer? 

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Message from the president

Committing to diversity and inclusion

By Kerry L. Simmons, Q.C. March 10, 2018 10 March 2018

 

This year the CBA celebrates the 25th anniversary of a ground-breaking report, Touchstones for Change: Equality, Diversity and Accountability. Chaired by Bertha Wilson, the first female justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, the report presented a snapshot of the profession in 1991-1993. It offered 228 recommendations for changes in private, in-house and government workplaces, law societies, law schools, the judiciary and the CBA itself to remove barriers to gender equality.

The CBA has since strengthened its commitment to equality in every part of its governance, member services and programs. Members created the Aboriginal Lawyers Forum, the sections on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identification, Women Lawyers, Young Lawyers, French-speaking Members, and equality committees and executive positions.

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Message from the president

Answering the call for reconciliation

By Kerry L. Simmons, Q.C. December 8, 2017 8 December 2017

 

In December 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission published 94 calls to action. They included a call for lawyers and law students to learn and understand the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law and Aboriginal-Crown relations, and to develop their skills in inter-cultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights and anti-racism.

Two years later, how have lawyers and law students responded? Have you read the TRC Report, the executive summary, or the calls to action? Have you learned how the law was used to wrongly assimilate Indigenous Canadians? Have you attended a meeting or a training session to develop your cultural understanding of Indigenous peoples and their experiences? 

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Message from the president

The CBA is your passport to success

By Kerry L. Simmons, Q.C. September 15, 2017 15 September 2017

 

As a proud member of the CBA since law school, I, like so many others across the country, have found ways to use the CBA to become a better lawyer. For me, the CBA offered a place for me to organize local sections, build my referral network for my litigation practice, and receive and offer mentorship. These opportunities developed my communication and diplomacy skills and enhanced my reputation. I became a better lawyer.

As a mid-career lawyer, I use the CBA to work on law and policy reform, understand the issues facing the administrators of justice and constructively offer solutions on behalf of the profession. Thinking about the bigger picture ensures I keep up with legal developments and gives me more tools to help my clients achieve their goals.

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