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JK Rowling hates November as much as I do. I have proof

December 4, 2013


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I am in the midst of reading, for the second time through, the entire Harry Potter series.  I do so for my three children as much as for myself.   If you haven’t read the books once, you should do so.  Foreshadowing, as a literary tool, is actually considerably more effective the second time through.

I don’t think J.K. Rowling will necessarily be remembered for her prose.   There likely won’t be a Rowling Studies course at even the most liberal of liberal arts colleges 100 years from now.   But she should be remembered for her story telling.  In this day and age, with our house resembling an Apple Store (1 iMac, 2 MacBook Pros, 2 iPads, 1 iPad mini, 3 iPhones, 2 iPod touches and all the headphones and charging devices that come with), it’s quite something to watch my 9 year old boy actually put down the Minecraft – a Lego style adventure game that puts players in a randomly-generated world where they can create their own structures and contraptions out of textured cubes and yell things at their siblings like “get off my world!” – to listen rapturously to my at times-overly-animated (but entirely cathartic) reading of the story while his 6 year old brother and 12 year old sister (on her second time through as well) listen on.   Yes, they can read but it’s as much for me and my enjoyment to read aloud as it theirs.   What’s my point?   If you’ve been reading this space for the past few years you know how I feel about November as a month.   Easily my 12th favourite one.   And so, when I read this passage last night – “October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces” – I thought maybe I’ve been unfair about Rowling’s prose but certainly not wrong in my assessment of November.

In short, it is a month where the days grow shorter and darker and colder; ski season hasn’t started yet holiday music has; what stat holiday there is – arguably the most sensible of them all – is the least respected, declining into less of a commemoration of our war veterans to merely an in-lieu-of day off between Thanksgiving and Christmas; sports on TV are generally meaningless, flu season takes hold, work is a grind and, unless you were born in it, offers very, very little indeed.  Yet, like you, we soldiered on.

In early November our new Edmonton office was formally opened and announced with Rick Vogel’s smiling face gracing the business section of the Edmonton Journal.  Rick has hit the ground running bringing in multiple executive searches and no doubt causing my beloved Edmonton Oilers to win 5 of their last 7 games.

Rick Vogel Edmonton journal ad

Toward the end of the month I did my annual talk at Lester B. Pearson High School in Northeast Calgary about things you can do with a law degree (where grade 10’s and 11’s peppered me with questions such as “what kind of car do you drive?” and “how much money do you make?”).  I managed again, I think, to demoralize the young students with my depressing assessment that the hardest part of their journey from Lester Pearson to law firm partnership is the time between grade 11 and their articling year and not the years which follow.   Yet they keep inviting me back.  Go figure.

Adam at lester pearson

And this week we once again, for the third consecutive year, in fact, attend the Candy Cane Gala in support of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation as a Gold Level Sponsor.    Our humble enterprise has proudly donated over $75,000 to the hospital and we hope to continue doing so for many years to come.

CandyCane Group photo

Notwithstanding the weather out there, December is off to a great start.   We have seen a very nice and rather unexpected uptick in our search work.   Below we’ve highlighted a few of our new mandates which range from a fantastic succession opportunity to inherit the practice of a retiring partner at a boutique law firm, to a Board Member for Edmonton Economic Development, to an in-house lawyer for Agrium’s Wholesale group, to a Manager of Talent Development for a midstream services company.  We also undertook a very interesting consulting mandate from Total E&P Canada to dig into best practices around the compliance function within large national and international energy companies.   In short, we’re keeping out of trouble.  Unlike Fred and George Weasley.

I’d normally wish you a great December and talk about seeing you in 2014 but our mid-month edition is already in the works with a great article by our own Lisa Luedtke to ease you into the holiday season.    Until then…

Stay Warm,




This month’s featured job postings:

Partner – Boutique Law Firm

Board Member – Edmonton Economic Development

Legal Counsel – Wholesale Agriculture

– Manager Talent Development – Midstream Services Company