SABA Conference 2024 Welcome Letter

Dear SABA North America Members, 

Welcome to The 6ix!  On behalf of SABA Toronto, it is with great pleasure that I welcome you to our vibrant and diverse city, as we host the 2024 SABA NA Conference for the very first time. 

Toronto, known for its rich cultural tapestry and dynamic legal community, provides the perfect backdrop for our conference. Based on total population, Toronto is the 5th largest city in North America and the largest metropolitan area in Canada.  Almost 20% of this population is South Asian – so it is no surprise that Toronto is the largest (and in my biased opinion) best SABA Chapter. 

Over the next few days, you will have the opportunity to engage in thought-provoking discussions, attend insightful panels, and foster meaningful connections with fellow South Asian attorneys from across North America.  Please take this time to meet with your cross-border colleagues as a major theme of this conference is on growing these connections. The exchange of ideas and experiences here will not only enhance your professional and legal capabilities but also reinforce the shared values that unite us as South Asian attorneys. 

We have also catered a fun social calendar during the conference to assist in this regard.  We hope that you all attend our Kickoff Boat Cruise on Wednesday night, a showcase of singing and performances from your peers on Thursday night’s SABA’s Got Talent, a meet and greet of Canadian chapters during Friday evening, and a performance by our very own Bollywood/Canadian icon, Raghav, during the gala on Saturday night. 

During your time here, we also encourage you to explore the beauty and culture that Toronto has to offer. From its iconic landmarks to its vibrant neighborhoods, this city has much to offer. In the helpful conference app, our team has put together a list of places to visit, attractions and events to take part in, as well as culinary delights.   

As you navigate through the diverse offerings of this conference, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on the journey that brought us all here.  Primarily we are here to celebrate these achievements, acknowledge the challenges we have collectively encountered, and envision a shared future we can build together. 

Long Live the North! 

Devin A. Persaud 

President, SABA Toronto 

Partner, Miller Thomson LLP 

dapersaud@millerthomson.com 

SABA Spotlight Series – Ira Parghi

SABA Spotlight Series – Ira Parghi

Ira Parghi is a partner at INQ Law (https://www.inq.law/iraparghi ) with over 20 years of experience practicing information law and health law.

Ira joined the board of SABA in 2022. She is a volunteer member of the Canadian Blood Services Research Ethics Board and a Chair of the University of Toronto Tribunal. She previously served on the boards of directors of the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario (SALCO) and the Gerstein Crisis Centre.

Ira was born and raised in Kamloops, BC and moved to Toronto for law school. Her parents are from Gujarat, India.

1. What drew you to the legal profession and particularly to information and health law?  

Honestly, it was partly by process of elimination: I didn’t want to be a doctor or an engineer, so in my world that left me with only a few options. But I also felt a “pull” towards the law: I was interested in doing something analytical and with the potential to have a real impact on public policy and on people’s lives.

As a junior lawyer, I wanted a high-volume litigation practice where I could manage files on my own and get on my feet. A health law position came along, I gave it a try, and I loved it. And I often say, half jokingly, that this is the closest to practicing medicine that I will ever get.

Information law was something for which I was just in the right place at the right time. Ontario had just enacted a patient privacy statute and it made sense for me, as a junior associate, to become expert in it. Then I moved to the US and took on a job as a Corporate Privacy Officer at a large health system, and my privacy work took on a life of its own. And now I get to “ride the wave” of a lot of hot issues like big data, digital health, and artificial intelligence. I could not have predicted any of that when I started out.

2. If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you be?
I don’t know! Maybe a teacher. But that is tough, tough work. I think I would be looking for a way to monetize my knowledge of 80s song lyrics.

3. What do you enjoy about being part of the SABA Toronto board?
I know I will sound old when I say this. When I started in private practice, there were very few South Asian lawyers around. I am amazed by how far we have come in a relatively short time. But I have no illusions about how much remains to be done. Serving on the SABA Toronto board is an opportunity for me to try to give back, to support and mentor junior colleagues, to connect with the community and support pro bono initiatives, and to help raise the visibility of South Asian and other visible minority members of the bar. SABA Toronto members and my fellow directors are amazing: engaged, really committed, and doing amazing things professionally and outside of work. I love seeing what they are doing and learning from it.

4. What’s your favourite South Asian snack?
It’s hard to pick just one. I would say…  an ice cold Limca and pav bhaji with a side of pani puri accompanied by aloo tiki and a chaser of uttapam.

5. What’s the best advice you have received? 

To maintain a sense of humour about things. And to avoid rushing to judgment. Life is complicated. People are complicated. We should give each other the same grace we would want for ourselves.

SABA Spotlight Series – Amrita Mann

Picture of A. Mann

SABA Spotlight Series – Amrita Mann

Amrita Mann is a partner in the Dispute Resolution Group at Simmons da Silva LLP and exclusively practices commercial and civil litigation, with a focus on shareholder disputes, real estate litigation and construction litigation.

Amrita is a second generation Canadian and, although born in Canada, grew up in Punjab, India, where she went to middle school and high school before returning to Canada. Having grown up in India, Amrita is not only fluent in Punjabi and Hindi but also reads and writes both languages flawlessly, which is huge asset to her practice in the Peel region where she represents a number of South Asian businesses, professionals and entrepreneurs.

When she’s not busy litigating, Amrita spends her time with her two children (a 2.5 year old and a 5 month old) and her chickens at her farmhouse in Caledon Village. Amrita is an avid fan of Indian music, Bollywood movies and cricket. Interestingly, Amrita was the captain and wicket-keeper of her high school cricket team.  In her spare time, Amrita is passionate about travel and fitness, especially kickboxing.

Amrita joined SABA Toronto as a member in 2013 and the Board of Directors in 2021.

1. What drew you to the legal profession and particularly to litigation?  
On a personal level, I was drawn to litigation because it involves lifelong learning. In order to properly represent a client, I need to understand his or her business, family dynamics, and/or financial situation. I may need to learn the details of a specific transaction, or how a particular machine or process works, or events or strategy behind a particular decision, in order to be able to explain it later to a judge or jury. In some ways, it’s like staying in school (which I enjoyed) but being paid for it. The diverse nature of my litigation practice constantly keeps me on my toes.

2. Who are some people who have helped guide you in your career?
My mother taught me by example that hard work can never be replaced. She fought every imaginable odd during very tough times to find a way to raise me and my two siblings and to make sure we received the best education available. She knew what she wanted, and that was to ensure that her children got every opportunity possible. So I have always been determined not to let her down and to always be looking to do more. Staying hungry is my mission.

3. If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you be?
Either a politician at the regional/municipal level or a lobbyist with a grassroots movement or organization.

4. What’s your favourite memory from being part of the SABA board?
Its difficult to pick one. The galas are always fun and filled with many great memories. On a personal level, on behalf of SABA I helped with organizing a Diwali and a Gurpurab food drive in partnership with the Seva Food Bank last year where volunteers from both organizations attended at local grocery stores in the Brampton and Mississauga area and encouraged customers to donate food items to those experiencing or at risk of poverty. It was extremely humbling yet rewarding to be able to serve and  partake in the mission to provide equitable access to safe, nutritious and culturally appropriate food to people in need.

5. What’s your favourite South Asian snack? 

I have a few favorites but I can never resist a plate of chaat papri.

6. What’s the best advice you have received?

Listen more than you speak. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. The most successful litigators are not always the loudest or the most boisterous; they are the most curious, the most detail-oriented, the best prepared, and the most willing to outwork the opposing side.

SABA Toronto Endorses the Good Governance Coalition in the 2023 Bencher Elections for the Law Society of Ontario

Since 2005, SABA Toronto has worked to help its members transcend barriers that visible minority lawyers once thought impossible to overcome. We continue to advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within the profession.

It is in this spirit and tradition that SABA Toronto lends its full support to the candidates running as part of the Good Governance Coalition (GGC or the Coalition) in the upcoming 2023 Law Society of Ontario bencher election. See below the list of GGC Candidates and a primer on voting in the election.

SABA’s commitment to EDI includes a deep appreciation for the vibrancy of the communities we work in, which include equity-seeking groups that continue to face systemic barriers in society. It involves making a concerted effort to ensure our profession reflects the diversity of the communities we work in and the clients we work with. Most importantly, it means continuously evaluating our profession and those responsible for steering it in the right direction in the name of public interest, demanding the highest standards of professionalism, competence, and leadership. 

Lawyers and paralegals across Ontario will vote in April to elect benchers who will govern the Law Society of Ontario. SABA strongly endorses the GGC. The Coalition’s candidates bring incredible depth, experience, and leadership, and include among them past presidents and directors of virtually every major legal association in Ontario. Its candidates understand the importance of EDI in our profession and they themselves reflect its broad diversity. Among its candidates are SABA members Jennifer Gold, Shalini Konanur, Neha Chugh, and Isfahan Merali.

It is essential that our regulating body be run by experienced and representative leadership that values diversity over division. Anything less would not be in the public interest. Events over the past four years at Convocation are deeply troubling to SABA Toronto and continued turmoil may place self-regulation at risk. The privilege of self-regulation has already been lost in Britain and Australia. Closer to home, it is at risk in British Columbia. We must protect it here.

While SABA Toronto has endorsed individual candidates in past bencher elections, it is critical that the Coalition prevails over candidates and a group that denied the Law Society’s findings of systemic racism in the profession and campaigned on the singular promise of repealing the Statement of Principles. SABA Toronto endorses the entire Coalition and urges its members to vote for all 40 of its candidates to ensure a better regulatory body and a more equitable legal profession.

The 2023 bencher election will take place from April 19-28, 2023. SABA Toronto encourages all of its members to review the policy positions of the Coalition’s candidates to ensure you have the information necessary to cast your vote in favour of a more progressive future for the Law Society of Ontario: https://www.goodgovernancecoalition.ca/

 

About SABA Toronto

The South Asian Bar Association of Toronto is Canada’s largest equity-seeking bar organization, dedicated to promoting the objectives of South Asian members of the legal profession. SABA represents South Asian legal professionals and ensures that their interests are recognized, respected and voiced with the Law Society of Ontario and various levels of provincial and federal government. SABA aims to unite its over 1000 members, deliver programming for professional growth and advancement, promote access to justice and give back to  South Asian communities. Its membership is dynamic, ever-expanding and includes legal professionals from large and small law firms, sole practitioners, government agencies and departments, nonprofit organizations, and corporations. Members of the judiciary, academics and law students also form an integral part of SABA Toronto.

SABA Spotlight Series – Davin Michael Garg

SABA Spotlight Series – Davin Michael Garg

Davin Michael Garg is Crown Counsel with Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General at the Crown Law Office — Criminal, where he conducts criminal trials and appeals at all levels of court. His specialties include Charter litigation under sections 9 and 10, impaired driving prosecutions, and white-collar and corruption cases. He practices in English and French. He is also a coordinator of the office’s articling student program, which includes developing inclusive recruitment strategies.

Davin first got involved in SABA by volunteering in the mentor match program, and he joined the SABA board in 2021. He has since organized multiple social events, including the SABA pub nights, the joint social with CABL and FACL, and the recent event in Peel. He is currently organizing a criminal law evening jointly with The Advocates Society, set for the end of April 2023.

Davin’s family hails from Agra, India. He looks forward to returning soon with his two-year old son, who is already an expert at counting to five in Hindi. Davin was born in Vancouver, where he completed his undergraduate degree in business at Simon Fraser University and his law degree at the University of British Columbia.  

What drew you to criminal law? 

The ability to contribute to the pursuit of justice in a tangible and immediate fashion. I previously worked with CTV News in Vancouver, and I was assigned to cover a story at the local courthouse. I was taken by how everyone in the courtroom had an important role to play, and how much the case mattered to everyone involved. The courtroom setting also speaks to me. I appreciate how each party gets a chance to be heard, and not just the loudest or most powerful voices.

What do you enjoy about being part of the SABA board? 

It’s incredible the people that I’ve met, both my fellow directors and the other people that I’ve met through SABA projects. I joined the board to contribute my perspectives, but I didn’t appreciate how much being on the board would also broaden my horizons. My favourite part of our recent Peel social was connecting with new and prospective members and encouraging them to experience all the ways that SABA can enrich their practice of law.

What’s your favourite South Asian snack? 

I will say mangos because I have fond memories of my dad espousing their virtues. I remember as a little kid we’d go out in search of the perfect, ripe mango. We were looking for the red, rosy hues, with skin just tender enough to the touch. We’d return home, and he’d peel the skin to prepare the perfect slice. It was the only fruit that he didn’t add salt or spices to before eating.

What are some moments in your career that you are proud of? 

I’m certainly proud of the cases that I’ve argued, especially the ones that involve a jurisprudential issue or where the stakes are high. But the moments that stand out for me are when I feel like I’ve made a difference or helped someone. As Crown Counsel, we do not measure success on a file by winning or losing. It’s about doing what is right and putting the best case forward.

Do you have advice for young lawyers?

Get deep into the forest, but don’t lose the forest for the trees. What I mean is that success as a lawyer requires passion for the craft and relentless consumption of whatever is relevant to your case, including the facts and the law. But you can’t lose sight of the reality that your ultimate audience, such as a court, requires you to distill all that complexity into something that is manageable. It can be tough for lawyers to find the balance between the details and the bigger picture.

SABA Spotlight Series – Kelvin Ramchand

SABA Spotlight Series – Kelvin Ramchand  

Kelvin’s family came from Berbice, Guyana. His cricket loving parents quickly became fans of baseball, a sport that most resembled it when they came to Canada. Kelvin is an avid a fan of both sports.

Kelvin is a Federal Crown Counsel with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and worked on high profile criminal cases including drug, organized crime, terrorism and wiretap prosecutions in Toronto. Kelvin is on the PPSC Student Committee and has a sincere commitment to mentorship, equity, diversity and inclusion in the office.  Kelvin joined SABA after being called to the Bar and previously served on the board from 2017-2018.  

What drew you to become a crown prosecutor? Did you imagine doing anything else? 

After being a prosecutor in my grade 7 mock trial, I was inspired to pursue a path in criminal law. I hoped to become a professional baseball player but realized that was unlikely being from Scarborough (still holding out hope the Jays will discover me one day!).

What do you enjoy about being part of the SABA board? 

Working with like-minded and passionate individuals who tirelessly advocate for important issues while providing mentorship to future South Asian lawyers.

What’s your favourite South Asian snack? 

Samosas with extra dipping sauce.

What do you like to do during your down time to relax? 

Learning to cook, listening to podcasts/audiobooks and playing or watching sports.

What’s something unique you have learned about the practice of law that you can share with other lawyers?

Law is a very people oriented practice. Be mindful of your reputation and always be respectful, kind and empathic.

SABA Spotlight Series – Arun Krishnamurti

SABA Spotlight Series – Arun Krishnamurti

 

Arun Krishnamurti is an experienced technology lawyer with a track record of practical, business-oriented legal advice. After having worked at a leading law firm, and now in-house at Google Canada, Arun’s well versed in analyzing and responding to complex (and frequently cross-border) legal issues, including product launches, cloud services and other outsourcing agreements, consumer protection and many other commercial and regulatory topics. In addition to SABA, Arun currently sits on the board of Can Tech, and remains actively involved in his communities, taking active roles in mentoring, as well as supporting diversity and equity seeking groups. 

Arun has been named to Lexpert Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40 and as a Rising Star by the South Asian Bar Association of North America.

  1. What drew you to become a technology lawyer? Did you imagine doing anything else? 

It was something I sort of fell into.  I have always been interested in technology, and when I was an articling student I found myself involved in a couple of deals where I just loved the work. Being involved in ambitious, interesting projects with lofty goals and cutting edge technology really sparked something in me.

  1. What do you enjoy about being part of the SABA board? 

It’s a group of such talented people. Lots of passionate, dedicated folks involved.  I loved making these connections, and finding a community of folks I could relate to. For me it was a lot about getting involved with and helping build this community (both the organization, and the broader South Asian bar).

  1. What’s your favourite South Asian snack? 

I will forever love gulab jamun.  If I had to go savoury, then murukku.

  1. What do you like to do during your down time to relax?  It’s mostly family-focused right now.  Spending time with my kids and friends.  Wherever I can fit in a trip (especially pre-pandemic), travel was always one of my favourite ways to spend free time.

  2. What’s something unique you have learned about the practice of law that you can share with other lawyers?

Much of your legal career is based around exposure.  You have to put yourself in as many places as possible to get that “right place, right time” moment.  It can be uncomfortable, but it’s the best way to find your path.

SABA Spotlight Series – Anisha Bhardwaj

SABA Spotlight Series – Anisha Bhardwaj

Anisha Bhardwaj is a first-generation lawyer born to parents who immigrated from India to Canada. Growing up, Anisha enjoyed watching Bollywood movies on the weekends and emulating Priyanka Chopra’s dancing (when her parents were not watching). This eventually led her to compete in Miss India Worldwide Canada. Nowadays, when she is not busy litigating, she enjoys tasting different cuisines from around the world and posting food reviews on her blog (ironically named Judge Foody).

Anisha is an associate in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution group at Aird & Berlis LLP, where she has a general commercial litigation practice and represents clients across a number of industries, such as real estate, commercial leasing, construction, employment and municipal.

1. What drew you to litigation?

Since a very young age, I knew I wanted a career where I could advocate on behalf of my client in a courtroom. I eventually learned about the litigation process and how it actually involves so many other steps that I also enjoy, such as written advocacy (which makes me feel like a creative story writer), negotiating a settlement with the opposing party, and investigating the case. I love the challenge and excitement of the litigation process both inside and outside of the courtroom; it makes me really look forward to waking up every morning knowing that each moment of the day will be unpredictable but challenging and will bring with it an opportunity to help my clients.

2. How did you come to be involved with SABA?

My involvement began during my role as President of the South Asian Law Students’ Association (SALSA) at Windsor Law. I worked with SABA to coordinate a mentorship program for lawyers and students that provided an insight into the organization and provided mentorship from SABA members. After I graduated from law school, I volunteered with SABA and then joined the board after being called to the Bar. Having received invaluable mentorship from SABA as a student, I wanted to give back and am now actively involved in coordinating SABA Toronto’s mentorship program for lawyers.

3. Do you have a favourite memory from being part of SABA?

I had an incredible time at the 2019 SABA Toronto Gala and Awards Night, which was the last SABA Gala before the pandemic started. It was held at Liberty Grand and roughly 400 people were in attendance (which now sounds like a distant dream given the current pandemic environment). There was live music, great speakers and the food was delicious. It had all the hallmarks of a successful networking event.

4. What’s your favourite South Asian snack?

I have a few favourites, but I think that if you put a plate of South Asian snacks in front of me, the Aloo tikki would disappear the fastest.

5. What’s the best advice you have received about the practice of law?

“Practice in an area that you enjoy”. I feel incredibly fortunate to be doing what I genuinely enjoy. Sometimes it takes time to find the right practice area, but if you persevere and remain committed to the goal, you will eventually get there.

SABA Spotlight Series – Amrita Tamber

SABA Spotlight Series – Amrita Tamber

By: Vipal Jain, WeirFoulds LLP

Amrita Tamber is a South Asian lawyer of Punjabi background. She has recently joined Purolator as Legal Counsel, where she works on commercial transactional matters. Prior to joining Purolator, Amrita was a Principal Associate at Capital One Bank where she drafted and negotiated complex commercial agreements for the credit card business. Amrita received her Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) from Wilfrid Laurier University in Political Science before attending Bond University where she completed her J.D.

Amrita is a strong advocate for equality and diversity in the legal profession and society at large. Currently, she is co-chair of SABA’s Social Media Committee and has more recently joined Can-Tech’s Women in Tech Committee as a social media volunteer as she enjoys content creation. Amrita is also a mentor for the NCA Network where she provides support and guidance to internationally trained lawyers. She was also the Director of Communications for Young Women in Law from 2016-2018.

Outside of work, Amrita enjoys various activities such as health and fitness, hiking, traveling and trying new restaurants.

 

  1. What do you enjoy about your practice?

Growing up, I always had a way with words and loved reading. I could never put my books down and would stay up late at night when I wanted to finish an exciting read. Now, being a contracts lawyer means that I have to be very detail oriented and read between the lines. I enjoy using my business mind and being able to advise on risk and incorporate ways of minimizing risk into contracts. I never deal with the “same” problem and there is always something new, which keeps me on my toes as I always need challenging work. I enjoy negotiating complex terms with opposing lawyers to obtain the best outcome for my company. It is also satisfying when I am able to see the finished product come to life after an agreement has been signed and the business starts the project.

  1. How did you come to be involved with SABA?

I moved around throughout my undergrad, JD and Articling so I was outside Toronto for a very long time. Once I was getting called to the bar in 2015, I learned about SABA and went to the Fall Social. After only one event, I made so many valuable connections that I still have to this date. The community was so friendly and supportive so I started attending more events throughout the years, gaining mentors and friends. Eventually, I applied to become a member of the Board in 2020 as I wanted to give back to the community that had been so supportive over the years.

  1. Do you have a favourite memory from being part of SABA?

I joined the SABA Board in 2020, not knowing that life would take us into a virtual environment. My favourite memory would be a more current one from this past December where some of the Board members were able to get together for an in-person dinner. It was so nice to socialize with the team and I hope that we can have more moments like that in 2022!

  1. What’s your favourite South Asian snack? 

My favourite South Asian snack is definitely aloo tikki with channa (potato patty with chickpea curry) and a bit of tamarind chutney on top. It’s not something that I have very often anymore, but it reminds me of my childhood. More recently, it’s always an appetizer served at weddings that I look forward to!

  1. What are some moments in your career that you are proud of?

Overall, I am proud of myself for being the only first generation post-grad educated professional in my family. I took a big leap going to an international law school. I had always wanted to see the world and live in a beautiful country (can’t get any better than Australia) and I was able to experience that while completing my education.

Coming back to Canada, I had gained support from mentors and joined various organizations to help break into the market. Now, I’m proud to be an integral part of various organizations in a leadership role where I can give back to the community.More recently, in only two years I have completely shifted industries from FinTech to transportation and logistics on top of working in a virtual environment. I would say that I am proud of my career leap and pat myself on the shoulder for doing it all remotely!

 

 

SABA Spotlight Series – Ashok Menen

SABA Spotlight Series – Ashok Menen 

By Vipal Jain, WeirFoulds LLP

Ashok Menen is a lawyer and a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) with a background in forensic accounting.  Ashok recently joined the Financial Crime and Investigations Group at Export Development Canada (EDC) as a Senior Advisor.   Prior to joining EDC, Ashok served as Senior Investigation Counsel in the Enforcement Branch of the Ontario Securities Commission.  Before entering law, Ashok worked as a forensic accountant at a Big Four accounting firm and at a global forensic accounting boutique.  

 

Ashok has been a member of SABA since 2015.  This year marks his fourth year as a director.  He currently co-chairs SABA’s Pro Bono and Community Outreach Committee.  

 

Ashok was born in Singapore and immigrated with his family when he was 10 years old.  Ashok is passionate about issues affecting immigrants and in particular, helping newcomers integrate into the Canadian job market and fully leverage the value of the skills and experience they bring.  

 

  1. Is your current career path what you originally intended?

I am not sure I ever expected my career path to take such a circuitous route.  I did have aspirations to combine a CA and a law degree.  However, I started to have serious doubts somewhere around the second time I failed the Uniform Final Exam (UFE), which was then the final hurdle before being admitted as a Chartered Accountant. Luckily, I eventually passed and was able to go to law school in my 30s; almost a decade after I started my first full-time job in accounting. I owe my career to a supportive family and most of all, an amazing partner.  

The focus of my career has been financial misconduct and risk management.  I have been drawn to roles with a strong public interest bent. I am incredibly fortunate to have been given opportunities to do what I consider to be interesting and meaningful work in large part because I have benefited from the guidance of wonderful mentors; particularly those in the legal profession.  

  1. Do you have a favourite memory from being part of SABA? 

My favourite memory was helping organize and participate in SABA’s Pro Bono Ontario (PBO) Hotline initiative.  It was rewarding being able to assist people who may not otherwise have access to legal services. The tools that the PBO Hotline has developed for volunteers make you feel incredibly well supported.  

To that end, in March 2022, SABA is conducting a month-long drive to encourage members to volunteer for the PBO Hotline.  I urge members to please sign up by clicking here

  1. What do you like to do during your down time to relax?

I usually unwind by running a marathon or translating ancient Sanskrit texts into Latin. If I don’t have time for any of that, I am perfectly happy with a good book or a British detective series on demand and a pint of local craft beer.  That first part is a joke…my Latin is not what it once was.

  1. What’s your favourite South Asian snack? 

Growing up in Singapore, I think my favourite snacks are actually from South East Asia.  There’s a savoury pastry from that part of the world called a curry puff that I am quite fond of.  Then again, because I enjoy food so much, I am not sure whether curry puffs are truly my favourite snack or whether they are just something I am currently craving.  

  1. What’s something unique that you have learned from practicing law that you can share with other lawyers? 

One aspect that I think exists in many professions but is perhaps more pronounced in law is the willingness of lawyers to serve as mentors.   As I noted above, I have benefited immensely from mentorship throughout my career.  I have generally found people I approach for mentorship and guidance to be very generous with their time and advice.  

If I have one piece of advice for young lawyers, it would be to seek out mentorship; formal or otherwise.  If you are unable to find mentors at your current employer, organizations like SABA provide plenty of opportunities to meet and learn from senior members of the bar.  If your experience is anything like mine, these mentors will provide sage advice in various stages of your career and remain an important part of your life for years to come.  Of course, the gift of such guidance comes with an obligation to pay it forward.  There is no dearth of opportunities to serve as a mentor if you are so inclined.  In addition to mentoring through your workplace and at SABA, I would encourage members to consider serving as a mentor to a newcomer through the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC).