April 6, 2021
"My Experience" Project: Weekly Submissions
Each week, we will feature experiences in our eBulletins collected through the “My Experience” Project. We encourage you to read each experience in its entirety, so it is viewed the way the participant intended. To read more experiences, complete self-reflection questions or submit your own experience, visit the Law Society Listens website.
"The last few months have been difficult ones. World events have forced me to reopen old wounds and personally engage with my experiences as a person of color, specifically as a black woman – and even more specifically as a black female lawyer in Alberta. But amidst the backdrop of this worldwide discussion on race, I could not help but notice the deafening silence of my profession as it relates to this issue.

Although I have lived my entire life being one of a handful of visible minorities in any environment I’ve ever been in, I have never felt less included, less represented and less welcome than I did in law school. It was abundantly clear that most of my classmates did not share my views nor were they even aware of the existence of the systemic challenges faced by a number of facets of our society. I heard through the grapevine that I had been labelled as a “militant” by classmates who had become aware of the community building and anti-racism work that I had been involved in my own community. I quickly realized that my success in this profession would require my silence and my assimilation..."

"Active harassment and passive racial discrimination have occurred throughout my experience in law. I am now 22 years at the Bar. I excelled at law school, practiced at prestigious national firms, currently hold an active successful inhouse practice and a small private consulting practice, teach at the university level, sit on tribunals, and a list of other accomplishments. My successes have been hard fought against a relentless tide of racialized discrimination starting from law school, articling, court appearances and well into private and in-house practice.

The litany of “terrible experiences”, “bad manners”, millions of microaggressions, cultural dominance and outright racist acts I have witnessed, endured and perhaps myself, perpetuated, is long, and probably comparable to many other BIPOCs practicing law in Alberta and across the country. Believe me, I have too many racist experiences to recount. These stories are gutwrenching and run the risk of being counterproductively deflating to hear even if the shared experience makes it a little easier for BIPOCs to navigate a successful legal career...”

Court of Queen's Bench Announcement

Effective immediately, if you wish to serve a commencement document in a foreign country that is a Contracting State to the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters [the “Hague Service Convention”], you must comply with the Hague Service Convention requirements.

A commencement document is a statement of claim, an originating application, a counterclaim, a third-party claim, and a claim under the Family Law Act that starts a new proceeding (Form FL-10). Although a Joint Statement of Claim for Divorce is a commencement document, it does not need to be served, so the Hague Service Convention process does not apply.
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