Canadian Lawyer

September 2021

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 20 of 51 19 Now in its 12th year, Canadian Lawyer starts the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers by calling for nominations to legal groups and associations representing a variety of memberships and regions, our readership and our internal panel of writers and editors. From 246 nominations this year, our editorial staff removed or added names to reflect our primary goal — finding lawyers or judges who have made a mark on the legal system over the last 18 months. This year, that "long list" included 177 names. Once we have the long list, we post it online and ask our readers for their votes. This year we received a total of 22,409 votes, along with comments on who they felt had an impact. We also added a twist to get to the final 25 — we asked for input from our newly constituted Editorial Board. Members of the board, who include legal leaders across Canada (see p. 27 for a full list), were encouraged to weigh in on candidates in their area of law who received the most votes. The last word on the final list of 25 honourees comes through input from the editorial team at Canadian Lawyer, Law Times and Canadian Lawyer InHouse. METHODOLOGY Élisabeth Brousseau, for example, is a partner at McCarthy Tétrault in Montreal, focussing mainly on civil, commercial and contract litigation, class actions, consumer protection, and professional and medical liability. The openly gay litigator is also a passionate advocate for gay rights. She is a founding member of the Quebec bar's LGBT committee, providing an expert opinion on the impacts of proposed federal and provin- cial legislation, including recent advice on family law reforms to the Quebec Civil Code and penal and criminal laws. Mindful of mental health for the legal profession Maneesha Gupta is a highly regarded intel- lectual property and technology lawyer at TD Bank in Toronto in her working hours. When she's not working at her job, she turns to her passion of finding ways to help those in the legal profession manage mental health. "Early on in my career, I saw that a lot of things were broken in the way lawyers talked about self-care and mental health," she says. "I had spent hours looking for an easy-to-access group of lawyers seeking wellness, personal development, and peer- to-peer solutions." The result was creating Mindful Lawyer Canada, a mental health-focused start- up that aims to drive innovation in the personal development space. Her goal is to create a positive peer-to-peer community meditation space for lawyers and others in the legal profession. "The pandemic has taught us that we need connection and community in our lives now more than ever," Gupta says. Advocating for protection of children, helping the needy Another example of the ability of our Top 25 Most Influential winners to follow through on their strong passions inside and outside the law office is Imran Kamal. He has been legal counsel at the Catholic Children's Aid Society of Hamilton since 2014. Kamal is the only child protection lawyer in Ontario designated as a certified specialist of indigenous legal issues by the "I was completely unprepared for how to be a lawyer. Unfortunately, neither law school nor my formal in-firm training got me to where I needed to be. The result was impostor syndrome and anxiety." Aaron Baer, Renno & Co. and 4L academy 12th annual Top 25 report 250 nominations 22,409 votes

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