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Spotlight

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  • 13 Apr 2021 10:59 PM | Anonymous


    Spotlight: Victor V. Ramraj

    Victor is a law professor at the University of Victoria and the Director of the Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives. He is a member of FACL BC. 

    1. What is something that not many people know about you?

    My parents migrated to Canada from the Caribbean in the mid-1960s. I was born in Fredericton and grew up in Calgary. My personal connection to Asia is that I spent 16 years at the National University of Singapore from 1998-2014 before returning to Canada.

    I also recently edited a book, Covid-19 in Asia: Law and Policy Contexts, consisting of 30 chapters by 61 contributors, published by Oxford University Press in December 2020. 

    (The book can be found here: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/covid-19-in-asia-9780197553831?cc=us&lang=en&#)

    2. How did you first get involved with FACL BC?

    I attended the FACL BC gala dinner as a member of UVic's Faculty of Law.

    3. What has been your favourite FACL event or initiative so far?

    I've been especially impressed with FACL's advocacy work.

    4. What advice would you give yourself if you were to go back in time?

    Learn more Asian languages.

  • 30 Mar 2021 10:57 PM | Anonymous


    Spotlight: Serene Chow

    Serene Chow is a lawyer at Boughton Law and was one of the founders of FACL BC.

    1. What is something that not many people know about you?

    I have been on a flying trapeze!

    2. What has been your favourite FACL event or initiative so far?

    Annual FACL BC Gala

    3. What advice would you give yourself if you were to go back in time?

    I would continually keep an open mind for opportunities and be confident in my abilities.

  • 17 Mar 2021 8:27 AM | Anonymous


    Spotlight: Will Tao

    Will Tao is a Canadian immigration lawyer and Principal of Heron Law Offices. Will was also a past board member.  

    1. What is something that not many people know about you?

    I decided to start my own Firm just recently (in February 2021). It is a challenging process. I have had to spend significant time with Trust Accounting, Tech, and Building Systems I used to only have to apply. However, it's brought me closer to my work. I think there's something to be said about the Japanese Sushi Chef approach of breaking down your product and processes and doing it slowly. Hopefully, I can do this work of immigration law and serving migrant communities for a very long time. 

    2. How did you first get involved with FACL BC?

    I was a Member-at-Large for two terms, including as Mentorship Chair - a role I started when I was still an articling student back in the tail end of 2015!

    3. What has been your favourite FACL event or initiative so far?

    There is no one favourite event/initiative. The direction of FACL towards a more progressive, advocacy-based organization has been a beautiful process to watch. Sometimes I wish I stuck around on the Board a little longer but proud of all the new faces and ideas that have moved the organization to where it is today.

    4. What advice would you give yourself if you were to go back in time?

    Don't be afraid to speak out, step up, challenge, and fail with purpose. Even since I have started practicing law in 2015, you have seen the racialized legal community reclaim their voice. We have shifted the conversation in law and policy to the point where we can speak on things we used to discuss only in hushed tones or with fear and anxiety. For me, Law is now a process about conquering the fear and uncertainty that have held me back for too long. Embrace the process of struggling and failing, for the more crevasses you find yourself in, the more lessons and experiences you have to differentiate yourself from other lawyers.

  • 2 Mar 2021 11:16 PM | Anonymous


    Spotlight: Raminder K. Hayre

    Raminder K. Hayre is a lawyer at Soul Counsel and is a member of FACL BC.

    1. What is something that not many people know about you?

    I grew up as a dancer and also competed in the U.S.A. and Canada. I judged a dance competition in Melbourne when I lived in Australia for law school.

    2. How did you first get involved with FACL BC?

    I joined as a member in order to be assigned a mentor. I am now involved as a general member and often mentor students. I have also been happy to speak on a panel for FACL (regarding systemic racism).

    3. What has been your favourite FACL event or initiative so far?

    The FACL Gala as it allows us to foster and create relationships with people in the bar. It is also a nice informal way to mingle with colleagues and esteemed professionals. I always enjoy listening to the speakers. 

    4. What advice would you give yourself if you were to go back in time?

    Everything works out in the way that it is meant to. Law school and articling are stressful, but you will get to where you want to be. It is important to not listen to those that try to put you down.

  • 16 Feb 2021 9:17 PM | Anonymous


    Spotlight: Pablo Tseng

    Pablo Tseng is a Partner at McMillan LLP and was a past board member.

    1. What is something that not many people know about you?

    I de-stress by playing Tetris. Best game ever, IMHO.

    2. How did you first get involved with FACL BC?

    I joined FACL BC as a director in 2015, and have continued to be involved with the organization ever since.  

    3. What has been your favourite FACL event or initiative so far?

    My favourite FACL event is the annual gala. It's at the gala that I get to catch up with others in the FACL community. The keynote speakers are always a treat!

    4. What advice would you give yourself if you were to go back in time?

    Do not lose sight of things that are important to you outside of work. The legal practice is consuming and can swallow you before you know it. Make sure to take time to take good care of yourself, and strike a balance between work-life and personal life. 

  • 2 Feb 2021 11:30 PM | Anonymous

    Spotlight: Lori Lam

    Lori Lam is a Litigation Associate at Baker Newby LLP and was a past board member.

    1. What is something that not many people know about you?

    I love abstract art and black and white photography.  I am a big fan of the work of Ansel Adams and Richard Avedon.

    2. How did you first get involved with FACL BC?

    I was a part of FACL BC's inaugural Board in 2011.  I created what was then FACL BC's Social & Networking Committee and had the distinct pleasure of organizing its first social events.  It was exciting to meet so many Asian lawyers through those events who later on became familiar faces at FACL BC activities, some even becoming good friends.

    3. What has been your favourite FACL event or initiative so far?

    Our FACL BC Family Feasts. This was a food-centric initiative (our Board loved to eat!) where we gathered for a meal with senior members of the Bar. These senior members were Asian lawyers who were trailblazers through their own accomplishments and careers. Hearing their stories encouraged us to forge ahead in our legal careers.

    4. What advice would you give yourself if you were to go back in time?

    I would tell my younger self that my experience as a Chinese-Canadian female litigator born to immigrant parents is a strength.  Not only does my background contribute to diversity in the legal profession, it helps me better understand and connect with others from diverse backgrounds.

  • 19 Jan 2021 11:43 PM | Anonymous


    Spotlight: Aleem Bharmal, QC

    Aleem Bharmal, QC is a human rights lawyer at the Community Legal Assistance Society and is a member of FACL BC. 

    1. What is something that not many people know about you?

    I'm still living in the 80s in my mind.

    2. How did you first get involved with FACL BC?

    Through my work with the Legal Equity and Diversity Roundtable (LEADR).

    3. What has been your favourite FACL event or initiative so far?

    The seminar on unconscious bias.

    4. What advice would you give yourself if you were to go back in time?

    Follow your passions and instincts and don't worry so much about outside pressures and expectations.

  • 5 Jan 2021 10:43 PM | Anonymous


    Spotlight: Candace Cho Banville

    Candace Cho Banville is the principal lawyer at Onyx Law Group and was one of the founding Board members.

    1. What is something that not many people know about you?

    I co-founded an educational not-for-profit called Uno a Uno in Cotacachi, Ecuador in 2015 with my husband after a year's sabbatical.  I really believe in innovating the legal industry to keep good talent practicing law, especially women.

    2. What has been your favourite FACL event or initiative so far?

    The annual banquet that brings together members is a fun community event.

    3. What advice would you give yourself if you were to go back in time?

    Don't take yourself too seriously - work hard, do your best, and plan well but have faith it will all work out.

  • 23 Dec 2020 7:32 AM | Anonymous


    Spotlight: Julian Ho

    Julian Ho is the Director of Legal Affairs and Intellectual Property at Clarius Mobile Health and was a past board member.

    1. What is something that not many people know about you?

    I lost a lot of weight once, like 60 pounds. It was a gradual process over several years, where I improved my relationship with food and exercise. Fortunately, I’ve generally been able to keep it off.

    2. How did you first get involved with FACL BC?

    I was attending law school in Toronto when FACL began in 2008, before the BC chapter started. I attended the FACL Ontario conferences throughout my years as an associate on Bay Street, and appreciated the perspectives I learned about diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. FACL helped me understand the unconscious biases I faced, and that I myself held. It was inspiring to see individuals who looked like me and had similar upbringings hold senior positions in the legal field. When I moved back to Vancouver in 2016, I naturally wanted to get involved with FACL BC.

    3. What has been your favourite FACL event or initiative so far?

    I appreciate FACL’s advocacy efforts. During my tenure as a FACL BC Board member, I helped coordinate activities that furthered the dialogue on issues of diversity on the Bench and at the Law Society. These are important issues. Change is happening, but it takes time and it’s encouraging to see this work continue. I’ve also been impressed with how the FACL BC leadership has been able to pivot during the pandemic. Out of the gate, FACL BC recognized the challenges the pandemic presented with in-person gatherings, but astutely also saw opportunity to build connection with individuals who may not otherwise have availability. The breadth and frequency of the programming from a volunteer-run organization such as FACL BC is incredible.

    4. What advice would you give yourself if you were to go back in time?

    Take more time to reflect. Life can feel like an endless barrage of tasks, whether they are files at work or responsibilities in your personal life. It’s important to occasionally check in with yourself to see if the path you’re on is still the right one, and course correct if not. 

  • 9 Dec 2020 9:05 AM | Anonymous


    Spotlight: Jennifer Lau

    Jennifer Lau is the Director of Career Services at the Peter A. Allard School of Law and was a past President of FACL BC. 

    1. What is something that not many people know about you?

    Before starting law school, I lived and worked in Washington, DC in the early 2000s. I worked at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History on Asian Pacific American initiatives, and then in university student services at the University of Maryland-College Park, where I advised Asian Pacific American student groups. As the daughter of Hong Kong and Chinese immigrants to Canada, I was born and raised on the west coast of Canada, and those years that I spent as a young adult on the East Coast of the US were some of my most formative experiences. I decided to go to law school (in Canada) because my time in the US instilled in me a desire to be a better citizen, and understand how the "system" worked. I've never regretted the decision to go to law school!

    2. How did you first get involved with FACL BC?

    I've been involved with FACL BC from the very beginning! Serene Chow, our founding President, invited me to a dinner at Kirin in downtown Vancouver with Judge Maryka Omatsu to discuss the founding of a BC chapter of FACL. 29 of us gathered on August 29, 2011, and from there, a movement grew. It feels like ages ago, but also just like yesterday since I am still in touch with so many of the folks who were at that original dinner. Since then, I have been President, a board member, and Gala chair, and I am so delighted to be "just" a member now and see that FACL BC continues to thrive and lead the conversation on the need for diversity in the legal profession.

    3. What has been your favourite FACL event or initiative so far?

    Every single one of the FACL BC Galas that I've attended. It is always so inspiring to be in a room with hundreds of Asian-Canadian judges, lawyers, and law students, and our allies. 

    4. What advice would you give yourself if you were to go back in time?

    Self-care is an investment in Future You.

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