SPOTLIGHT

  • 15 Dec 2021 10:35 AM | Anonymous


    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 | Anonymous


    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 | Anonymous



    • 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 | Anonymous


    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 | Anonymous


    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.


  • 6 Oct 2021 9:00 AM | Anonymous

     

    Spotlight: Christopher Yan

    Christopher Yan is a Corporate Lawyer at Lawson Lundell LLP and was a past President of FACL BC.

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

    That I have a twin brother! His name is Alex but no, unfortunately, we do not have any telepathic abilities.

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

    My involvement with FACL BC started during my time as a director for the FACL chapter in Alberta (FACL Western). At that time, there were many discussions about collaboration and building out the FACL brand across Canada. Since I was returning to Vancouver for my articles, it was a natural fit for me to get involved with FACL BC and to assist in any way I can to support its growth. Looking back more than a half decade ago, FACL BC has definitely come a long way from where it began. It has established itself well in the BC legal community.

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

    Though there are many events to choose from every year, my favourite FACL event each year is always the Annual Galas. Not only were they great events for networking and getting to meet new professionals (not just lawyers but from other industries as well), they also provided an excellent opportunity to rekindle relationships with past colleagues and friends. Further, I found the keynote speeches at each of the galas to have been very inspirational. Further, the "after-party" at each of the galas were also memorable and they were an enjoyable way to connect with others in a more casual setting.

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

    To dream bigger and expect more from yourself! It does not matter if this relates to your career, health, or relationship with family/friends. Too often do people aim for a “lower” bar since they are told that’s all they can expect to achieve or attain. It is incredible how much a person can achieve if they reach and put their mind to it.

  • 22 Sep 2021 9:00 AM | Anonymous


    Spotlight: Julia Lin

    Julia Lin is the founder of Julia Lin Law and was a past board member.

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

    A fortune teller told me to go to law school, and so I did - but not before spontaneously moving to Tokyo for 7 months! I taught English, travelled around Asia, and it was one of the best experiences I've ever had.

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

    Shortly after joining as a member in 2013, I served on the Board as Secretary for a couple of years.

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

    Galas were always a lot of fun, but I would have to say the Mentorship program is a current favourite. It is so rewarding to be in a position to give back to junior lawyers and students.

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

    Don't let the profession define who you are. Find your authentic voice, and speak up!

  • 8 Sep 2021 9:00 AM | Anonymous


    Spotlight: Dave Namkung

    Dave Namkung is a partner at Smith Legal Search and was one of the founding members of FACL BC.

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

    My friend and I created a food stand called "The Satay Stand" and our slogan was "Grab Life by the Skewers". I also spent a summer as a door-to-door salesman. I was more adventurous during my undergraduate days!

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

    I joined as we were forming the entity in BC -- I was one of the founding members.

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

    So many! I really enjoyed the Chinese Dining Etiquette event, the Unconscious Bias Event, FACL Family Feasts. Too many!

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

    Be present.

  • 25 Aug 2021 9:15 AM | Anonymous


    Spotlight: Janis Ko

    Janis is a senior associate at Onyx Law Group and was a past board member.

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

    I have a Bachelor of Science degree from SFU and worked in a biotech lab for four years before going to law school. In 2008, after deciding that law school probably wasn't right for me (or I wasn't cut out to be a lawyer), I took the LSAT "for fun" and applied to one law school “for fun”. Now, thirteen years later, I have no doubt in my mind that going to law school and becoming a lawyer was the best decision I ever made and I'm so grateful for everything this profession has given me.

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

    I first got involved with FACL BC when Candace Cho and Serene Chow recruited me to join them as board members. I had just started articling at Onyx Law Group at the time and didn't really know anyone so it was a great opportunity to connect with some really cool people and expand my network.

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

    Definitely the 2013 FACL BC Gala which featured an inspiring keynote speech by the Honourable Judge R. Patrick Chen.

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

    Be yourself. You can and will succeed in this profession without conforming to society's expectations of what a lawyer should look like or act like. Diversity is a strength, not a weakness.

  • 11 Aug 2021 11:13 AM | Anonymous


    Spotlight: Tina Parbhakar

    Tina Parbhakar is an associate at North Shore Law LLP and is currently volunteering in the Documentary Committee.

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

    I have been learning French and Spanish for a long time. I have yet to visit Senegal or Spain, although I hoped to visit these countries by now and actually had the opportunity to go to each one for a brief period, with friends who went (but I tend to not like short visits where long distances are involved and also prioritized my school and work obligations at the time). All that to say, learning these languages will likely be a life-long effort, inclusive of any immersion experiences that happen.

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

    I became involved relatively recently, in 2018, although I knew of FACL BC for some time, as it was developing. Some things that stood out for me about FACL BC were how well-organized it is and how it provides high-quality professional development that is geared towards a broadly understood Asian legal community. I appreciate and see value in supporting an affinity group that empowers its diverse members and I enjoy meeting and learning more about colleagues and their practices at FACL BC events and galas.

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

    As I am actively involved in them, my two favourite initiatives are the Supportive Relationships workshop series and the But I Look Like a Lawyer documentary, which are tangible contributions to building cross-cultural understanding in the profession as well as to inclusion of individuals from different races, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds in the justice system.

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

    Spend time on understanding your strengths and weaknesses as well as what makes you feel content and discontent. You can investigate the complaints and worries you think about often to turn them into changes that improve your surroundings, relationships and/or abilities. Find or create spaces where approaches and ideas are discussed and collaborated upon without judgment. Be curious and don’t get too attached, just try your best and be open to all the ways things may work out.

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