Spotlight: Sara Pedlow
Sara Pedlow is a Senior Associate in the Wills, Estates & Trusts group at DLA Piper (Canada) LLP and was a past board member.
1. What is something that not many people know about you?
I was born in the Middle East and had pet pigeons growing up. They lived in a little pen on our balcony and would roam free during the day and return nightly. They’d step into my hands and let me hold them. I loved them so much, I wrote and illustrated a book about them when I was 10 or 11. I even won a prize for it. I was “too coo for school” (I also hail from a family of punners – it’s my birden to bear).
2. How did you first get involved with FACL BC?
I had such a great time at my first FACL Gala that I reached out to the Board afterwards to see how I could become more involved. They were incredibly welcoming. Samson Chan, who was the Vice President at the time, invited me for coffee and told me all about the organization and the different ways I could contribute. I ended up joining the Mentorship Committee, then the Board, and now I sit as a volunteer on the Mentorship and Documentary committees.
3. What has been your favourite FACL event or initiative so far?
There are so many great FACL initiatives, it’s hard to narrow it down. The Gala and Dim Sum lunches usually win the popular vote for connecting with old friends and making new ones. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Mentorship Roundtables, even though I’ve only ever attended those as an organizer. This event is tailored to students and junior lawyers, who circulate through rooms that each feature a different practice area. Attendees are given the opportunity to ask a panel of lawyers questions about their practice in a more intimate setting. I am always blown away by the panelists and their openness and candour. Finally, though it hasn’t launched yet, the mini-documentary “But I Look Like a Lawyer” is high on my list of favourite initiatives. I expect the documentary will strike a chord with our members. Many of the stories are hauntingly familiar and I am grateful to the contributors who were willing to share such vulnerable moments in their careers. I am hopeful this project will increase intercultural awareness and competency, and I anticipate it will leave a lasting impression on the legal profession. I encourage everyone to register to attend the premiere launch on November 5, 2021, from 12:30 to 1:30pm: https://faclbc.ca/documentary/.
4. What advice would you give yourself if you were to go back in time?
Trust yourself. This can be such an antagonistic profession. Unlike doctors who work on a team where everyone shares the goal of saving the patient, we lawyers are pulled in different directions by everyone around us: clients, opposing counsel, adjudicators, supervising lawyers, etc. It’s important to stay grounded, to trust our own judgment, to not be afraid to speak our minds and advocate for ourselves. And don’t underestimate the importance of mentorship! Everything from senior counsel who provide practice advice, to allies who advocate on our behalf, to peers who simply let us vent. I can’t say enough about having a good support system. Cultivate a mentorship family and make sure to pay it forward.