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BIPOC Women in Law: Navigating Race, Gender and Equity in the Legal Profession

  • 28 Oct 2020
  • 5:30 PM - 6:50 PM
  • Zoom

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FACL BC understands that the intersectional experience of being a BIPOC woman in law can be a challenging journey and that BIPOC women and allies have opportunities to break down barriers and promote equity.

This event will start with a panel discussion about the experiences of BIPOC women in law and how our speakers have navigated challenges, such as balancing a career and pressures related to family life. It will address systemic barriers that BIPOC women in law face and how the legal community can advance race and gender equity in the legal profession. The second segment of the event will be an interactive question and answer period.

Panelists:

  • Sara Pedlow - Burns Fitzpatrick LLP
  • Aachal Soll - Cates Ford Soll & Epp LLP
  • Cheryl Martin - Martin & Martin Lawyers
  • Chrystie Stewart - Stewart & Springford LLP

Biographies:

Sara Pedlow - Burns Fitzpatrick LLP

Sara Pedlow is an associate with Burns Fitzpatrick, practicing primarily in the areas of wills and estates. Sara has represented both individuals and corporate clients at all levels of court in British Columbia.

Sara previously enjoyed a varied practice – including collections, insurance defence, family law, and commercial litigation – which now provides her with a unique perspective to legal work that she relies on to offer her clients creative, practical and cost-effective solutions.

Sara earned her law degree from the University of British Columbia. While at law school, she spent three years working for the Canadian Journal of Family Law, culminating in her role as the journal’s Senior Editor in her final year. She also helped prepare the course materials for the BC Real Estate Association’s 2008, 2009 and 2010 Legal Update, and sat as a student court judge for the UBC Alma Mater Society. Sara joined the firm as an Articled Student in 2011 before being called to the B.C. bar in 2012. Sara currently sits on the Board of Directors of British Columbia’s Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers and is an affiliate member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, a global professional body comprised of lawyers, accountants, financial advisors and other practitioners that help families plan for their future.

Aachal Soll - Cates Ford Soll & Epp LLP

Aachal obtained her BA degree from Simon Fraser University in 2011 and received her JD degree from Thompson Rivers University. She has training in trauma-informed practice when providing general legal services, and training in providing legal advice to Sexual Assault Survivors. She recently attended training for the Hear the Child Report and is working towards getting qualified to be a report writer for the Hear the Child Reports.

Aachal practices primarily in the areas of family law and child protection. Her practice includes private and Legal Aid clients. She has appeared in Provincial Court and Supreme Court. Aachal represents parents in their family law cases with each other or parents whose children have been removed by the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

Aachal also represents children over 12 years old in the child protection process. This includes providing them independent legal advice and representing them in mediations, case conferences, and full child protection hearings.

Aachal is an avid volunteer with the Canadian Bar Association. She is the Co-Chair for the Family Law – Kamloops Section. Aachal has been an executive member of the Women Lawyers Forum (WLF) – Kamloops Section since June 2015 and chaired the section for three years. She is the WLF Representative to the BC Provincial Council. She has chaired the CBABC Law Week Regional Committee and served on the CBABC Member Services & Engagement Committee, the CBABC WLF Retreat Committee, the CBABC Equality & Diversity Committee, and the Family Law Working Group.

In the broader Kamloops community, Aachal has volunteered with the “Pit Stop Meals” lunch program through Kamloops United Church and been a member of the Family Tree board.

Outside of her profession Aachal likes to read, snowboard, do yoga and to travel. She is an engaged mother of a young and very active daughter.

Cheryl Martin - Martin & Martin Lawyers

Cheryl L. Martin is the Managing Partner of MARTIN & MARTIN Lawyers in Kamloops, B.C. Cheryl’s primary area of practice is Child Protection. She also practices in the areas of Wills and Estates/Probate, Adult Guardianship/Incapacity, and residential real estate.

Cheryl received her law degree from Dalhousie Law School (now Schulich School of Law) in 1998. She moved to Kamloops, B.C. right after graduation and articled with MJB Law.

Over the past 20+ years, Cheryl has practiced in many areas of law, including but not limited to personal injury, family and divorce law, employment law, immigration, criminal, expropriation law, administrative law, foreclosures, and business/corporate law.

Cheryl’s community service includes

1. Board member for the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia (“TLABC” - Yale District) and has served as a member of the planning committee for the annual TLABC Medical/Legal Conference;
2. Regular presenter/panelist for various education groups – University and High Schools;
3. Member of the Inns of Court in Kamloops;
4. Served 10 years as an Executive board member for the Kamloops Child Development Society;
5. Parenting Advisory committee for 4 years;
6. Past Chair of the Kamloops Music Collective (formerly known as Kamloops Interior Summer School of Music);
7. Secretary of the Sons of Norway, Heimdal Lodge #141 (member for 14+ years);
8. Board member of the BC CRN (BC Community Response Network) which addresses education and resources for elderly and vulnerable people in B.C.;
9. Regular volunteer at the Pitstop food program; and
10. Certified Death Doula. (fun fact)

In addition to her law practice and community involvement, Cheryl enjoys chasing her musical pursuits in piano and tenor saxophone as well as enjoying the outdoor adventures in Kamloops. She is as an avid kayaker/paddleboarder (usually by moonlight).

Cheryl is married to Lesra Martin and they have two teenage daughters.

Chrystie Stewart - Stewart & Springford LLP

    Chrystie has appeared in the Federal Court, British Columbia Supreme Court, Provincial Court, BC Human Rights Tribunal and the Civil Resolution Tribunal. Her most recent cases involved construction disputes, wrongful dismissal, complicated estate litigation, and on-reserve land issues. She also conducts employment investigations at the request of employers who are navigating complaints in the work place, particularly with regard to sexual harassment.

    Before becoming a lawyer, Chrystie gathered significant experience working with First Nations, assisting in capacity development and negotiations with government and industry stakeholders.

    Chrystie completed both a Bachelor of Arts, and Juris Doctorate from Thompson Rivers University.

    She was part of the inaugural class of TRU Law and continues to serve as the Faculty of Law Indigenous Student Liaison and coach of the Kawaskimhon National Indigenous Moot competition.

    Chrystie articled with Doug Springford and made her decision to stay on as an associate when the lawyers were working late on a Friday night and Doug propped his cowboy boot on the boardroom table while articulating a legal strategy for a client.

    Chrystie has travelled the world but makes her home in Kamloops where she was born and raised.

    When not at the office, Chrystie wrangles a confident French bulldog and a little yellow lab. Chrystie is also the past president of the Kamloops Bar Association and a current member of the Western Canada Theatre Company Board of Directors.

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