ABOUT


Women in Law celebrates, empowers and supports women across Canada’s legal landscape. The summit aims to advance action on achieving gender equality, champion inclusive and diverse leadership, and inspire the next generation of emerging law leaders to succeed. 

Featuring panel discussions, an engaging keynote presentation, fireside chats and interactive networking to enable women in law to thrive at all stages of their careers, the summit focuses on promoting DEI and allyship, supporting women to break barriers in law, and attracting the next generation of legal talent, and promises a day of creative thinking and empowerment.  

Join us in Toronto on April 17, 2024 as we recognize the achievements of women in law while discussing solutions to build a more inclusive legal culture with thought leaders from some of the country’s leading law firms and in-house counsel.  

Why attend?

  • User Icon

    Re-connect in person with colleagues from across the legal landscape

  • Chat Icon

    Discover the latest insights from top senior partners, thought leaders, and changemakers

  • Idea Icon

    Develop fresh strategies for advancing DEI

  • Bytesize Portfolio Icon

    Gain practical knowledge on how to support, empower, and bolster women in law

  • Bullhorn Icon

    Discover actionable takeaways on self-advocacy and career development

SPEAKERS


Karima Kanani 
Karima Kanani 

Partner 
Miller Thomson LLP 

Kristin Taylor
Kristin Taylor

Managing Partner
Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

Linda Beairsto
Linda Beairsto

Partner, McCarthy Tétrault
President, MT>Align  

Amanda Fowler
Amanda Fowler

The Athlete’s Lawyer, Amanda Fowler Sports Law
Corporate Counsel, Aviva Canada

Ashley Butts
Ashley Butts

Senior Counsel
BASF Canada

Leena Yousefi
Leena Yousefi

Founder & CEO
YLaw

Lia Bruschetta
Lia Bruschetta

Partner, Litigation
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Milly Chow
Milly Chow

Partner
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Cindy Clarke
Cindy Clarke

Regional Managing Partner – Toronto
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG)

Radha D. Curpen
Radha D. Curpen

Vancouver Managing Partner
Bennett Jones LLP

Erin Durant 
Erin Durant 

Founder 
Durant Barristers 

Ashlee Froese
Ashlee Froese

Founder
Froese Law

Annie Gaudreault
Annie Gaudreault

Founder
VEEV Health & Wellness

Lai-King Hum  
Lai-King Hum  

Founder 
Hum Law

Erin	Kleisinger, KC
Erin Kleisinger, KC

Partner, McDougall Gauley LLP
President, Federation of Law Societies of Canada

Sangeetha Punniyamoorthy
Sangeetha Punniyamoorthy

Partner, Intellectual Property
DLA Piper

Barbara Sheng
Barbara Sheng

Partner
Stikeman Elliott LLP

AGENDA


All times in ET
  • Registration and breakfast
  • Opening remarks from Chairperson  
    Karima Kanani 
    Karima Kanani 

    Partner 
    Miller Thomson LLP 

  • Opening Keynote: Finding your Power – How to connect with and combine your strengths to become a better leader  

    This engaging opening keynote will feature the sources of power that can be used to improve communication, attain success, effectively engage others, and achieve balance. Gain perspective on how these strengths have contributed to a woman’s journey to managing partner/senior counsel and the lessons learned along the way. 

     

  • Speed networking  

    Expand your network, make new connections, and meet fellow delegates in a structured networking session. An energizing opportunity to reflect on the keynote themes in two short rounds of speed networking. 

    Karima Kanani 
    Karima Kanani 

    Partner 
    Miller Thomson LLP 

  • Panel: Strategies to empower women in law – Taking charge of your own career path  

    In a profession that has traditionally been male-dominated, how can women overcome traditional barriers, bias, and the eternal struggle of balancing work and family responsibilities to achieve their goals? How do you best determine and steer your career path to get to where you want to be, no matter where you are in your career? How can you shape the trajectory of your career? What are the key skills to consider to drive your career forward? Join this engaging conversation to learn from the experiences of successful senior women lawyers who have charted their own paths as they discuss their career wins, pivotal moments, and the challenges they overcame.  

    • Hear from women leading in law who have successfully navigated self-designed careers  
    • Getting comfortable with self-advocacy and building the confidence to ask for what you want 
    • Define your own goals – or have them defined for you 
    • The importance of sponsorship, mentorship, and relationship-building   
    • How to leverage your network for the benefit of your career  
    Panelists
    Amanda Fowler
    Amanda Fowler

    The Athlete’s Lawyer, Amanda Fowler Sports Law
    Corporate Counsel, Aviva Canada

    Ashlee Froese
    Ashlee Froese

    Founder
    Froese Law

    Kristin Taylor
    Kristin Taylor

    Managing Partner
    Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

  • Networking coffee break 
  • Idea generator: Support system – Best practices for supporting women lawyers’ health and well-being  

    With women facing a host of unique health issues and challenges throughout their lives, introducing a practical, holistic women’s health strategy can help enable better gender balance across the workforce. How can we create an open culture in which women feel supported, confident, and safe in talking about mental health issues? How can you take control of your own health and well-being in the workplace? Learn how you can benefit from a culture that prioritizes women’s health, and the strategies you can implement in your own team. Among the issues to be discussed in this interactive session:  

    • How to support women’s health issues, both mental and physical 
    • How small adjustments can have a significant impact  
    • A breakdown of common taboos in the workplace  
    • Strategies to fight fatigue, boost resilience, navigate work-life balance, recognize and prevent burnout, and perform at the top of your game 
    Annie Gaudreault
    Annie Gaudreault

    Founder
    VEEV Health & Wellness

  • Panel: No woman left behind – Examine intersectionality for the benefit of your team 

    Embracing different perspectives and ideas creates more effective, productive, and sustainable organizations. As a profession, we’ve come a long way, but we still are growing. It is vital that we evolve current thinking on diversity, equity, and inclusion to include considerations of intersectionality, an academic term that recognises how different aspects of a person combine to create overlapping areas of privilege and oppression (Kimberlé W. Crenshaw, 1989). What does it take to build a supportive environment that is both welcoming and empowering? Examining the challenges faced by women of color, LGBTQ+ women, and women with disabilities in the legal profession, our panel will explore how to build on current DEI programs to understand women in law’s experiences of intersectionality in the workplace. By highlighting these nuances, we can advance opportunities for all and enable each other to succeed.  

    • Learn about intersectionality in law and why it is important to overcoming inequality in our workplaces 
    • Effective and innovative strategies for creating a workplace that is both welcoming and empowering 
    • How to examine issues in the workplace through an intersectional lens with practical tips and actionable takeaways. Encourage active participation with communication that fosters openness and creates space for everyone   
    Moderator
    Ashley Butts
    Ashley Butts

    Senior Counsel
    BASF Canada

    Panelists
    Milly Chow
    Milly Chow

    Partner
    Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

    Radha D. Curpen
    Radha D. Curpen

    Vancouver Managing Partner
    Bennett Jones LLP

    Barbara Sheng
    Barbara Sheng

    Partner
    Stikeman Elliott LLP

  • Networking lunch  

     

     

  • Panel: Knowledge exchange – Enabling growth through sponsorship and mentoring 

    Taking a 360 approach to mentoring and sponsorship in our organizations can enable us not only to prevent the potential brain drain from the older generation of lawyers set to retire, but also to enable growth opportunities for younger lawyers to learn, train, and practice their craft. This panel discusses the crucial importance of mentorship and sponsorship for women in law, and how to create networking opportunities for women lawyers. The panel will discuss the importance of mentoring at different career levels, and the need for women to be mentored by men as well as other women. Speakers will share tips on how women lawyers can find good mentors and sponsors and harness exposure to different career paths in law. Learn:  

    • Different approaches to mentoring across the legal landscape  
    • The importance of harnessing a variety of mentoring relationships to grow, learn, and connect in different ways  
    • How to harness the power of your network to find your next opportunity  
    • The latest best practices to maximize the benefits of mentoring and sponsorship relationships  
    • Leveraging mentoring and sponsorship to prevent the ‘brain drain’ and inform future leaders  

     

    Moderator
    Erin	Kleisinger, KC
    Erin Kleisinger, KC

    Partner, McDougall Gauley LLP
    President, Federation of Law Societies of Canada

    Panelists
    Lia Bruschetta
    Lia Bruschetta

    Partner, Litigation
    Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

    Erin Durant 
    Erin Durant 

    Founder 
    Durant Barristers 

    Sangeetha Punniyamoorthy
    Sangeetha Punniyamoorthy

    Partner, Intellectual Property
    DLA Piper

  • Candid conversation: Artificial intelligence and its evolving impacts on law – the future is here?  

    Join the women at the leading edge of AI as they explore how the disruptive rise of generative artificial intelligence has played a transformative role in legal services in recent years. When used well it is a game-changer for improving efficiency – but emerging AI legal risks and pitfalls require vigilance. How will the role of AI in our profession evolve, and what does this mean for our approach to training junior lawyers? What are the challenges and opportunities for lawyers? How can firms embrace AI to attract the next generation of legal talent? Learn crucial updates from women leading AI in law as they guide you through the latest AI use-cases and anticipate future developments in 2024 and beyond. 

    • Exploring innovative and successful use cases of generative AI in legal services – and the pitfalls to avoid
    • Why should lawyers embrace the use of AI?
    • How will AI adoption impact the traditional law firm model?
    • Discover emerging trends with the future forecast – the latest insights you need to consider
  • Networking coffee break  
  • Fireside chat: Innovations in accountability – the role of senior leadership in advancing diversity in law 

    A diverse workforce is good for business, how can senior law leaders drive forward DEI goals through innovative business models? With more law firms willing to disclose gender pay gap information, some are taking this a step further with pay transparency. Join managing partners discussing changing pathways, flexible working, innovative approaches to pay transparency, and accountability for driving forward equality in law. Learn how your organization can benefit from new workplace practices that enable psychological freedom and resilience for your team. Gain unique insights into the priorities, objectives, and goals of leading managing partners and senior in-house counsel in this lively panel on DEI impact and accountability. 

    • What are managing partners doing to drive accountability in their firms? 
    • The difference between transparency and uniformity 
    • The business case for a four-day-week – how does this impact billable hours targets? 
    • Innovative ways to recruit and retain diverse legal talent – and the dangers of not prioritizing DEI 
    • Discover the positive impacts of the latest business model innovations and flexible working practices  
    Moderator
    Cindy Clarke
    Cindy Clarke

    Regional Managing Partner – Toronto
    Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG)

    Panelists
    Linda Beairsto
    Linda Beairsto

    Partner, McCarthy Tétrault
    President, MT>Align  

    Lai-King Hum  
    Lai-King Hum  

    Founder 
    Hum Law

    Leena Yousefi
    Leena Yousefi

    Founder & CEO
    YLaw

  • Closing remarks from Chairperson 
    Karima Kanani 
    Karima Kanani 

    Partner 
    Miller Thomson LLP 

SPONSORS


ASSOCIATE SPONSOR

  • Cassels Brock & Blackwell
  • Gowling

VENUE


ARCADIAN COURT TORONTO

TRAVEL PLANS

Preferred Accommodation

Hotel room rates are subject to all applicable taxes and fees. Rooms are subject to availability from April 16 – April 18, 2024. We recommend that you book as soon as possible.

Courtyard Toronto Downtown

475 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4Y1X7

Book your group rate via the reservation link or call 1-800-847-5075. Use the group name Women In Law Summit Canada 2024 to secure the discounted rate until March 12, 2024

Room rate: $299
Cut-off date: March 12, 2024
Check-in: 3pm
Check-out:
12pm
Reservation Link: Women In Law Summit Canada 2024
Phone Number: 1-800- 847-5075

Holiday Inn Express Toronto Downtown

111 Lombard Street, Toronto, On M5C2T9

Book your group rate via the reservation link or call 416-367-5555. Use the group name Women In Law Summit Canada 2024 to secure the discounted rate until March 01, 2024

Room rate: $299

Cut-off date: March 01, 2024

Check-in: 3pm

Check-out: 11am

Reservation Link: Women In Law Summit Canada 2024

Phone Number: 416-367-5555

Chelsea Hotel Toronto

33 Gerrard St W, Toronto, ON M5G 1Z4, Canada

Book your group rate via the reservation link. Use the group name Women In Law Summit Canada 2024 to secure the discounted rate until February 21, 2024.

Room rate: $299

Cut-off date: February 21, 2024

Check-in: 3pm

Check-out: 11am

Reservation Link: Women In Law Summit Canada 2024

Registration for Women in Law Summit Canada 2024 is now open

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