Mothers in Law: Towards Equality Within the Profession for Lawyer Mothers

This presentation will report on a study we carried out in early 2016, where we met with and interviewed ten mothers who are lawyers in a diverse range of fields in the legal profession, all based in the Ottawa, Ontario, Canada region. Interviews took place in person, in offices, over kitchen tables, and over the phone. What we learned from these interviews was that, while conditions for some Canadian woman lawyer mothers, are improving, the situation at least anecdotally described by others is actually worse than in the past. Our study confirms that, anecdotally, the numbers provided by prior quantitative studies about challenges faced by lawyer mothers continue to ring true. The lawyer mothers we spoke with are not experiencing overall better conditions within the legal profession than those in decades past. Progress that has been achieved is uneven, arbitrary and ad hoc, and really depends upon the whims and negotiations of individuals. The presentation will open up a space for discussion of what our survey participants said would be of help for them, and we will elicit conversation from participants as to how well these views align with their own

Stephanie Lewis.jpg

Rebecca Bromwich

Carleton University Department of Law and Legal Studies

Rebecca Jaremko Bromwich is Program Director for the Graduate Diploma in Conflict Resolution program. Dr. Bromwich is also a per diem Crown Attorney with the Ministry of the Attorney General in Ottawa. She is a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (ADRIO) and has a Certificate from the Program on Negotiation Master Class at Harvard University (2017).

Rebecca received her Ph.D. in 2015 from the Carleton University Department of Law and Legal Studies, and was the first ever graduate of that program. She was awarded a Carleton Senate Medal as well as the 2015 CLSA Graduate Student Essay Prize for her graduate work. Rebecca also has an LL.M. and LL.B., received from Queen’s University in 2002 and 2001 respectively, and holds a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Cincinnati.

In addition to her several years teaching at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, Rebecca has taught at the University of Western Ontario’s Faculty of Law, and at the University of Cincinnati. She has also been a columnist for the Lawyers Weekly and has authored and co-authored several legal textbooks for students and legal system practitioners, including lawyers, paralegals and police.

Rebecca has been an Ontario lawyer for over fourteen years. She worked in private practice from 2003 – 2009, starting at a large firm, doing a wide range of litigation work. She also worked for six years as Staff Lawyer, Law Reform and Equality, to the Canadian Bar Association, then as a Policy Counsel with the Federation of Law Societies of Canada.

Anne-Marie McElroy.jpg

Anne-Marie McElroy

McElroy Law

Anne-Marie grew up in Ottawa, Ontario and graduated with a degree in sociology and contemporary studies from the University of Kings College in Halifax. She completed her law school at the University of Ottawa in 2009 and has been practicing criminal law exclusively since her call to the bar in 2010. After articling with Shore Davis Hale, she worked as an associate at Hale Criminal Law Office before joining May & Konyer. She has represented clients with a wide range of criminal matters, ranging from impaired driving, assault, theft and sexual offences.

After gaining valuable experience under reputable mentors, Anne-Marie started her own criminal law firm, McElroy Law, in 2015. Her practice is dedicated to offering her clients an approachable legal service. She has gained her reputation by listening to her clients' needs. She offers her clients creative legal solutions after assessing the merits of their cases along with what to expect in the court. As your defence lawyer, she can discuss the risks and your options so as to enable you to make the most informed decision.

Over the years she has established good relationships with her colleagues, the Crown and the judges. Her reputation and ability to access the value of each case have gained her credibility in the criminal justice system. She is easy-going, but when required she can also be strong at producing the best results for her clients. She is also well-connected with the community through her involvement in the Community Adult Justice Network, where she works with organizations such as the Elizabeth Fry Society and John Howard Society.

Anne-Marie is an award-winning blog writer. She won the 2015 Canadian Law Blog award, 'Clawbie' award for the best new blog. She writes eloquently on areas of the law that are often misinterpreted and the blog has quickly been recognized as one of the best in the country. She also won the 2016 'Clawbie' award for the best practitioner blog.

Following her success in the blog, Anne-Marie has made media appearances on local radio and television on criminal law, providing commentary and insight into cases in the news.