SPOTLIGHT SERIES

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  • 16 Nov 2022 12:08 PM | FACL BC (Administrator)


    November Spotlight #2: Afifa Hashimi

    Afifa, a former FACL BC board member, is an Associate Lawyer at Moore Edgar Lyster LLP. 

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

    I love art. Recently, I’ve been trying to dedicate more time to painting and other creative hobbies I enjoy.

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

    I found out about FACL BC in 2018 through an access to justice event I attended organized by the Advocacy Committee. As a law student, I was inspired by FACL BC's mission and the board members I met, so I joined the Advocacy and Mentorship committees as a volunteer. I joined the Board and served as a Co-Chair of the Advocacy Committee while I was articling, and I served as VP External last term.

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

    They're all great – it's impossible to choose one! My favourites include our documentary, “But I Look Like a Lawyer”, the “Intersections of Racial and Gender Justice” event earlier this year, and the Advocacy Committee’s political engagement work. I’m so grateful to have worked on FACL BC's initiatives with amazing colleagues and friends who are so dedicated to making our profession and our world a better place. They continue to inspire me, and I'm excited to see new initiatives as the organization continues to grow.

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

    Stay true to your values and don’t be discouraged by those who think your goals are too ambitious or too idealistic. When your actions are aligned with your values, the right opportunities and people will always find you. Remember that there is strength in community. Positive change is only possible if people believe that it's possible and work together to make it happen. 

  • 2 Nov 2022 12:49 PM | FACL BC (Administrator)


    November Spotlight #1: Alex J. Chang

    Alex, a former FACL BC Board member, is a lawyer at Lesperance Mendes Lawyers. 

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

    I recently finished my first 50km ultra trail running race with a dislocated and broken pinky finger.

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

    I first became involved as a volunteer on the Mentorship Committee before becoming its chair and a member of FACL's Board and Executive.

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

    My favourite recent event was "What I Didn't Expect When I Was Expecting".

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

    Don't be afraid to ask for guidance. It is natural to take pride in being independent or to worry that asking for help is a nuisance. However, if you take joy in helping others, it's safe to assume that others feel the same when the roles are reversed. You will do better and save yourself a lot of grief by seeking help from a peer or mentor.

  • 19 Oct 2022 10:10 AM | FACL BC (Administrator)


    Spotlight: Abigail Cheung

    Abigail, a past FACL BC President, is an associate lawyer at Harris & Company LLP. 

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

    Outside of work, I love cycling. I once biked from Vancouver to Seattle for a charity event!

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

    I joined FACL BC in 2018 - slightly unconventionally - by running for the position of Secretary of the Board as soon as I had completed my articles! I enjoyed my first term so much that I decided to run again; I served terms as VP External in 2019-2020, President in 2020-2021 and Past President in 2021-2022.

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

    There have been so many wonderful FACL BC events - it’s hard to single out just one! However, I particularly enjoyed attending a lecture by Henry Yu about 4 years ago. I remember him describing laws - which some lawyers and politicians had defended - with racist, white supremacist objectives, such as a law banning Chinese Canadians from swimming at a local Vancouver pool until challenged by a brave university student. His talk inspired me to think critically about how FACL BC could actively engage in law reform. It’s been so exciting to watch FACL BC’s advocacy committee grow and develop over the years!

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

    Be courageous. Have the confidence to show up as your authentic self. The legal profession will benefit from what you bring to the table.


  • 5 Oct 2022 3:56 PM | FACL BC (Administrator)


    Spotlight: Shane Ching

    Our first October spotlight is Shane Ching. Shane, a former FACL BC board member, is Senior Legal Counsel at S&P Global.

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

    I was once a streamer on Twitch (and plan on making a comeback soon). "MambaShane" is my YouTube channel.

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

    My dear friend and mentor, Mark Leung, had introduced me to various FACL events a few years ago.

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

    The 2022 NCA / LLM Q&A.

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

    Meditation is a game changer; keep practicing mindfulness. Anxiety can actually be a superpower when understood.

  • 14 Sep 2022 3:48 PM | FACL BC (Administrator)


    Spotlight: Timothy Law

    Our spotlight for the month of September is Timothy Law. Timothy is an associate lawyer at Lawson Lundell LLP. 

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

    I can play the acoustic guitar. 

    2. How did you first get involved with FACL? 

    I first got involved back in 2015 when I was a new lawyer wishing to seek out mentorship.  

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

    Don't underestimate the ability to stick to a plan and not quit.

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

    The mentorship program is my favourite FACL initiative. It is incredibly rewarding to give back to young lawyers and to pass on lessons I've learned myself along the way.

  • 15 Jul 2022 2:56 PM | FACL BC (Administrator)


    Spotlight: James Hsu

    Happy Wednesday! This month’s second spotlight is James Hsu. James is a lawyer at PortaLaw, a former FACL BC board member, and a former co-chair of the Mentorship Committee. 

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

    I don’t like fruit (not even in pies!).

    2. How did you first get involved with FACL? 

    Initially by attending the Annual Gala.  A friend then encouraged me to become more involved.  This led to me serving on the Board, Co-Chairing the Membership Committee and participating as a mentor in the mentorship program.

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

    As lawyers, we are service providers.  Our role is to provide value for others, whether clients, senior lawyers within a firm, or the community at large.  This value is often “measured” in billable rates, salary, bonuses, awards, and recognition from clients, senior lawyers and our peers.

    Do not confuse these measurements, or how effectively you provide value for others, with your self-worth.  That gives others the responsibility and power to determine your worth.  You get to define that. 

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

    Those who know me will confirm I love to eat and I love to talk.  It’s no surprise then that the dim sum lunch and dumpling making class were two of my favourite events.  I am also a big fan of the FACL podcast.  I especially enjoyed the opportunity to guest host one of the early episodes (although I haven’t been asked back…).  

  • 6 Jul 2022 12:09 PM | FACL BC (Administrator)


    Spotlight: Zool Suleman

    This month’s first spotlight is Zool Suleman, Q.C. Zool is the principal of Suleman & Co., Canadian Immigration Lawyers, and a FACL BC member.

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

    In addition to my law practice, I edit and manage a national online arts and culture magazine named Rungh (www.rungh.org) which focuses on Indigenous, Black and racialized (IBPOC) artists. 

    2. How did you first get involved with FACL? 

    I joined because of the great community that FACL BC is creating.

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

    In my practice, it has been important to build communities outside the practice of law. These communities can help inform and ground your legal practice.

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

    "But I Look Like a Lawyer" documentary. The experiences of being subjected to racism, exclusion and unfairness are those which I could relate to. The profession of law, even today, embodies power relations which deny the impacts of exclusionary practices. 

  • 15 Jun 2022 12:25 PM | FACL BC (Administrator)

    Spotlight: Sonya Sabet-Rasekh

    Sonya is a staff representative and lawyer at the BC General Employees’ Union (BCGEU).

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

    Many people's first impression of me is that I am quiet. But, they would be shocked if they attend any sporting events with me. I have a piercing cheer that turns heads.

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

    I heard great things about FACL from fellow colleagues and members, so I joined as a member and spoke at one of its events, the Mentorship Roundtable and Mixer.

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

    I really enjoyed speaking to law students at the Mentorship Roundtable and Mixer. It's a fantastic way to build a supportive network in the community. I am also a huge fan of the documentary, "But I Look Like a Lawyer." Having stories of discrimination in the legal community shared in such a forum validated my own experiences. It is crucial to highlight these stories in order to start the necessary conversation on dismantling systemic discrimination in the legal community.

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

    Be your authentic self. When you stay true to yourself and your values, both professionally and personally, you will gain the confidence and fortitude to withstand the challenges that come your way.

  • 1 Jun 2022 10:27 PM | FACL BC (Administrator)

    Spotlight: Lawrence Chan 

    This month's first spotlight is Lawrence Chan. Lawrence is senior counsel at Oyen Wiggs Green & Mutala LLP. He is a current FACL BC member.

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

    I have a scar on my forehead from a childhood playground accident. It required a number of stitches to fix, but it is (hopefully) not too visible now.

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

    I volunteered as a mentor with FACL many years ago.

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

    The Mentorship Roundtable and Mixer. I enjoyed meeting and talking with law students with different interests and backgrounds.

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

    Don't beat yourself up over every little mistake. Try to always keep moving forward.

  • 18 May 2022 2:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Spotlight: Maryka Omatsu

    This month’s second spotlight is Judge Maryka Omatsu. Judge Omatsu is Canada’s first East Asian woman judge.  She has been on the Ontario bench for 29 years and is now semi-retired. She co-founded FACL and remains a FACL BC member.

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

    When I was an undergraduate student, I took a year off and backpacked aroence made me want to make a difference. So in 1972, I enrolled in law school, despite my father saying:  “Who would go to a woman lawyer?”

    2. How did you first get involved with FACL? 

    I started FACL Ontario 15 years ago, with Judge Avvy Go.  We wanted an Asian Canadian activist legal organization that would fight for justice and against racism; support our communities and one another.  Ten years ago, I helped get FACL BC off the ground.

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

    I was raised as a typical third generation Japanese Canadian girl to be quiet, polite, and unassuming.  It has taken a lifetime for me to try and overcome this socialization. Today, I would advise myself to be more assertive and bolder, aim higher and be fearless.

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

    In Ontario, it’s been the annual FACL conferences, for their energy and exchange of ideas.  In B.C., I have enjoyed the dim sum lunches, barbeques, and family suppers for the feelings of comradeship. 

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