SPOTLIGHT SERIES

  • 2 Mar 2022 11:48 PM | FACL BC (Administrator)


    Spotlight: Winston Sayson, Q.C.

    This month’s first spotlight is Winston Sayson, Q.C. Winston was a trial Crown counsel at the BC Prosecution Service before his retirement. He is a current FACL BC member.

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

    I enjoy Filipino Martial Arts. Arnis sticks, knives, and sharp-edged weapons thrill me! :-)

    2. How did you first get involved with FACL?

    I recall joining the first FACL BC dinner when Judge Maryka Omatsu spoke to our new group. This eventually led to me being the speaker for FACL's third annual gala in 2014.

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

    I would be kinder to myself and look after my mental health. I would learn to stop working non-stop and find a better work-life balance.

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

    The annual galas of FACL BC are my favourite events. I think the mini-documentary, "But I Look Like a Lawyer", is one of the most impactful and significant initiatives of FACL BC.


  • 16 Feb 2022 11:48 AM | FACL BC (Administrator)


    Spotlight: Stephanie Wong

    Stephanie is an associate at Lawson Lundell LLP.  

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

    I'm an open book so there's not a lot that people don't know about me, but I think the most important thing to know is I believe Halloween is the best day of the year and I love my cats to an unhealthy degree.

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

    I’ve been a member since its early days, since Serene Chow, a mentor, was President!

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

    I love the FACL Galas! FACL does such a great job with their keynote speakers and it's a great place to see a lot of my favourite people!

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

    If I were to go back in time, I think I'd tell myself that it all shakes out in the end. There's no right answer to life so just do the right-est thing.


  • 2 Feb 2022 11:37 AM | FACL BC (Administrator)


    Spotlight: Ellen S. Hong

    Ellen is a partner and litigator at Hamilton Duncan Armstrong + Stewart Law Corporation.  

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

    I raised funds for an overseas development project by hosting a 24-hr Rock-A-Thon where I rocked on a rocking chair for 24 hours in a cafe in Montreal. Ultimately, I raised enough funds to go to Ghana for 7 weeks.

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

    I joined as a member several years ago. I have volunteered as a mentor.

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

    The premiere of the "But I Look Like a Lawyer" documentary.

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

    You don't always have to be conciliatory or smooth over ruffled feathers.


  • 21 Jan 2022 9:00 AM | FACL BC (Administrator)


    Spotlight: Dr. Ruby Dhand

    This month’s second spotlight is Dr. Ruby Dhand.Ruby is an Associate Professor at the TRU Faculty of Law and a current FACL BC member.

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

    I played high school basketball. 

    2. How did you first get involved with FACL? 

    I first became involved with FACL as a member and I learned so much attending a number of really interesting events about EDI in the legal profession. I was also excited and honoured to support FACL as the Area Representative for Kamloops, BC. 

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

    I would have advised myself that "what matters most is how you see yourself."  

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

    My favourite FACL event was the "BIPOC Women in Law: Navigating Race, Gender and Equity in the Profession." This event featured lawyers who highlighted the impact of racial, gender-based and intersectional barriers to equity in the legal profession. It was inspiring to hear what practical strategies and resilience tools lawyers can use to navigate systemic barriers and advance equity in the legal profession.

  • 5 Jan 2022 1:21 PM | FACL BC (Administrator)


    Spotlight: Baljinder Kaur Girn

    Baljinder is Senior Crown Counsel at the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and a current FACL BC member.

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

    My backup plan if I was not accepted to law school was to go to France to train as a chef.

    2. How did you first get involved with FACL? 

    I have followed FACL BC on social media platforms for a number of years. However, I first became involved when I was asked to participate as a panelist for the launch of the documentary "But I Look Like a Lawyer." I was very honored to participate.

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

    Get involved early on in your career with organizations that promote diversity and inclusion and don't be afraid to share your lived experiences to highlight inequities in the legal profession.

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

    The documentary launch has definitely been my favourite event.



  • 15 Dec 2021 10:35 AM | FACL BC (Administrator)


    Spotlight: Jessica Y. Lo

    Jessica, a former Board member, is a lawyer and Estate Planning Manager at Solus Trust Company Limited.

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

    Some know that I enjoy gardening, but the truth is that I'm actually probably closer to a crazy plant lady! I have a collection of over 200 plants at home, love the science behind how they grow and propagate, and have previously earned blue ribbons at plant shows.

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

    As a member, I was thankful to have received a lot of encouragement through connecting with other Asian lawyers. Wei William Tao then asked me to join the mentorship committee to help facilitate more of those interactions, so naturally, I said yes! Who knew that it would then lead to getting further involved as a Board member, to eventually co-chairing the mentorship committee, serving as Vice-President (Internal) and then as the National Rep. Now I'm just glad that new boards have since taken over, daring to dream bigger and continuing to grow FACL BC to what it is today!

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

    It's so hard to choose! I've enjoyed them all: from the family feasts and the galas, to all the mentorship socials and various talks over the years. The Asian dining etiquette event was especially fun and memorable though!

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

    Don't overthink things and hold yourself back; it's okay to sit at the proverbial table, ask questions, contribute ideas, and take up your deserved time and space! Also know that finding your path is a continuous process. Expect to recalibrate often and make the necessary course corrections along the way.


  • 1 Dec 2021 9:00 AM | FACL BC (Administrator)


    Spotlight: Victoria Wu

    Victoria Wu is Corporate Counsel at WorkSafeBC.

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

    I am an avid volleyball player. The only times that I have stopped playing volleyball are during pregnancies and COVID. Team sports have taught me great life lessons and shaped me into who I am today.

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

    I heard about FACL BC when I first came back to BC to requalify as a lawyer from Hong Kong. I was encouraged by a colleague who was a Board member at the time to volunteer and get involved with FACL BC to raise awareness and provide a voice for the Asian Canadian legal professionals. I then served on the Board for two years from 2018 to 2020.

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

    It is hard to pinpoint one favourite event or initiative, as I enjoy all of them. I like to highlight that the mentorship program provides a great platform for law students and junior lawyers to receive mentorship from experienced lawyers who have been through the same walk as an Asian Canadian lawyer in the legal industry. I have received very positive feedbacks from the mentees that the mentorship program has provided them with tremendous support in navigating through the early days in the legal industry.

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

    Be perseverant. Trials in life give us opportunities to grow and build character as we overcome them. The achievements today are the fruits from the trials we have endured with perseverance and determination.


  • 17 Nov 2021 5:12 PM | FACL BC (Administrator)



    • Spotlight: Linda G. Yang

      This month’s second spotlight is Linda G. Yang. Linda is an associate at Fulton and Company Law Corporation. She is a current FACL BC mentor and past board member. 

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

      Prior to joining Fulton, I spent 2 years in Cebu, Philippines as a legal fellow for an NGO called International Justice Mission. I worked with the local legal team to advise police and prosecutors on how to investigate and prosecute cases of online sexual exploitation of children. It was a transformative experience. Also, I was born in Lanzhou, China, home of the hand-pulled noodle. So I think I'm pretty snooty about noodle dishes in general.  

      2. How did you first get involved with FACL? 

      When I was a 2L at Dalhousie, and one of literally five Asian students in my class, I attended the Asian-Canadian Law Students Conference in Toronto jointly hosted by Osgoode's and U of T's various Asian student societies. I was shocked at first and then thrilled to see so many Asian law students in one place! FACL Ontario was a sponsor at that event. I was inspired on my return to Halifax to start the FACL Atlantic chapter with the handful of Asian students at Dal. At our launch event in 2014, our keynote speakers were the Honourable Madam Justice Linda Lee Oland of the NSCA (as she then was), the first judge of Asian descent on the appellate bench, and Ms. Lena Metlege Diab, MLA (now MP), Nova Scotia's first female Attorney General and Minister of Justice. Having these two pioneering women throw their support behind FACL was really memorable.

      On my return to Vancouver for articles, I knew I wanted to stay involved, knowing what it was like to be without a community like FACL during law school. Eventually, I joined the Board as a member-at-large for a term.

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

      Change the negative narratives I had about my abilities. It definitely would have saved me a lot of stress and anxiety. Also, ask for help more readily and not let ego get in the way of doing that. Finally, take mental well-being seriously. Struggling alone is not heroic.

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

      The annual gala is a chance to see our legal community together in one place (or on one screen!) and listen to the advice and experiences of a seasoned member of our profession. I think there's real power to that experience and always leaves me with a sense of belonging and confidence. I look forward to seeing everyone in person again in the future! I'm also super impressed by the Board's advocacy efforts in recent years. I am VERY excited about the FACL BC documentary.



  • 4 Nov 2021 11:19 AM | FACL BC (Administrator)


    Spotlight: Samson Chan

    This month’s first spotlight is Samson Chan. Samson is currently Senior Corporate Counsel at London Drugs and was a former FACL BC board member. 

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

    I worked as a vaccine program researcher at BCCDC during the last pandemic and actually published clinical papers as the first author (as if my resume isn't nerdy enough).  I'm still very much involved in healthcare personally and professionally.

    2. How did you first get involved with FACL? 

    I first got involved by attending the 2013 FACL BC Gala as a first year law student, and then officially as a student director in 2015 (back when the AGMs were held at a bar!).  Back then I did not imagine FACL BC to grow this fast and become what it is today, and definitely did not think I would one day become the President.  Needless to say, I'm super proud of what FACL BC has achieved and accomplished collectively and we're in great hands with the current board.

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

    Invest in yourself and be more entrepreneurial earlier on in life, whether that be learning new languages, improving on public speaking skills, trying new business ventures or investments, etc.  Life is too short to stay in status quo.  Don't dream - just do it.

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

    The FACL BC Gala (all of them) has always been a major highlight, but I would say the upcoming documentary "But I look like a lawyer" will be my favourite initiative.  It's such a game-changer for Asian Canadian lawyers to publicly and collectively deliver such strong and unfiltered messages regarding the existing systemic racism in the profession.



  • 20 Oct 2021 9:00 AM | FACL BC (Administrator)


    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.


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