I went to law school, to help people. I set out to learn how to use the power of the legal system to give voice to the powerless and even the playing field.
With an undergraduate degree from McGill University in psychology and humanistic studies I entered law school expecting that a good legal education would not be enough. I felt that I would need real-world experience to see firsthand how people interact with our legal system, and to understand the barriers that they faced. Throughout law school I volunteered with the Law Students’ Legal Advice Program providing free legal services to underserved communities. I also worked part time with the Community Legal Assistance Society’s Mental Health Law Program, representing psychiatric patients detained pursuant to the Mental Health Act. These experiences showed me the extent to which so many people rely on effective representation to understand and protect their rights, and to participate in the legal system.
After graduating from the Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia in 2008 I had the opportunity to gain a different perspective by articling and then practicing with the Department of Justice Canada. I developed my litigation skills while working for client agencies as diverse as the CRA, Correctional Service Canada, the RCMP and the Department of National Defence. I also worked on the government’s response to class action claims advanced by public interest organizations and gained new perspective on how social change can be accomplished through litigation.
In 2014 I settled down in beautiful Kelowna, British Columbia and joined a mid-size firm. I kept one foot in federal public service as an agent Federal Prosecutor for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada prosecuting tax and drug related criminal offences. My other foot was in private practice representing ICBC claimants, as well as victims of sexual violence. I also resumed my work representing psychiatric patients detained under the Mental Health Act in my new community.
I volunteered with three organizations, each different from the other but united by their mission of community service. I helped to establish the BC chapter of the Veterans’ Emergency Transitions Service (V.E.T.S.) Canada, a national non-profit organization that supports veterans in crisis or at risk of homelessness. I served on the Board of Directors of the Kelowna Apple Triathlon Society and for three years as its chairperson. I also served on the Board of Directors of Brain Trust Canada, a non-profit organization that supports people with acquired brain injury and works on brain injury prevention.
In May 2020, two months into Canada’s experience with the global coronavirus pandemic, I decided that it was time for me to take a step back from the full-time practice of law and focus on creating innovative ways to help people participate in the legal system. I was heavily influenced by Jack Newton, cofounder and CEO of Clio, and his forward-thinking book The Client Centered-Law Firm: How to Succeed in an Experience-Driven World, which shines a bright light on the gap between those who build and operate the legal system and those who find themselves trying to use it.
Drawing on my 12 years of experience in the private, public, and non-profit sectors, I am working on solving some of the barriers to fuller participation in the legal system.
I continue to practice law and strive to offer affordable, unbundled legal services as much as possible. I work with forward-thinking lawyers and law firms to leverage technology to reduce cost and offer the best client experience possible.
I am currently developing an online platform for virtual legal services. If you would like to receive occasional updates as the product develops, please subscribe below.