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Pekarsky & Co. presents at Calgary Women Studying Law Association

November 29, 2017

On November 8, 2017 Adam Pekarsky and Erin Dand of Pekarsky & Co presented on the subject of “Advocating for Yourself in the Workplace” at the Calgary Women Studying Law Association’s (CWSLA) skills development workshop at cSpace King Edward. CWSLA, a student organization at the University of Calgary Faculty of Law, is aimed at advancing women in the legal profession.

 

Adam and Erin, both “recovering lawyers”, shared insights gleaned from their days of practicing law, as well as through their experience as legal and executive recruiters.

 

Advocating for yourself in the workplace is certainly a daunting task for any employee, let alone a newly minted junior lawyer. Adam told CWSLA students to “think of when you last asked your parents for permission. You have to know your audience, and the way you make your ask is just as important as what you are asking for. Tone matters just as much as substance.”

 

Adam and Erin also discussed the importance of building goodwill as a junior lawyer, before you try to cash the proverbial goodwill chips. A legal employer will be much more inclined to consider your request when you have established a reputation for being a reliable and hardworking associate.

 

Erin also cautioned the female students at CWSLA about the importance of knowing what area of law you want to practice before you go out into the workplace. If you want to be a family lawyer, don’t try to practice corporate law for a couple years and then switch to family law. “Advocate” for yourself by finding employment in the area of law you are passionate about, because switching down the road will effectively mean starting back at ground zero.