21st September 2023

Developed by and for members of the Osler community, our Legal
Professional Resource Groups are made up of lawyers, law students
and paraprofessionals who, as a result of their shared experiences,
backgrounds or life histories, wish to provide support to Osler
colleagues in furtherance of Osler’s diversity initiatives and
business development activities and to support the mission of the
firm-wide Diversity Committee.

In the video below, learn about each of our five Legal
Professional Resource Groups at Osler.


DARREN GILL: My name is Darren Gill and I am an
associate at Osler’s Toronto office practicing in the Emerging
and High Growth Companies group. I am also the associate lead for
the Osler Pride Network, or OPN.

OPN is a national group committed to the recruitment, career
development and advancement of LGBTQ2S+ professionals at Osler and

It is very important to me to have a resource group for LGBTQ2S+
lawyers and paraprofessionals. A group like OPN creates a space for
members like me to connect with others with a similar background,
share our experiences and support one another, personally and

I am particularly proud of our efforts working alongside the
Student Programs to strengthen the pipeline of students joining
Osler, helping to ensure that the future of the firm includes
amazing queer lawyers.

I am also proud of our regular social events – both formal
and informal. They are so much more than a time to re-connect with
our queer colleagues; they create the foundation of our supportive
OPN community here at Osler.

In addition to OPN, I am also a member of the Osler South Asian
Network. Being part of both of these professional resource groups
matters to me because they represent attributes that are central to
my life and experience, and it is important for me to connect with
others who are in a similar position.

I also have to note the intersectional nature of being part of
both of these groups – there are so many people at the firm
who are part of more than one LPRG, and we are constantly looking
for ways to collaborate to make this an even more inclusive place
to work.

Looking forward, we are partnering with local non-profit
organizations to give back to the communities where we live and

We are also setting up some queer-focused professional
development sessions and ways to educate other members of the firm
on issues that queer professionals face in the workplace.

Finally, we are strengthening our efforts to help queer law
students learn what it’s like to work at a law firm like Osler,
such as through student-focused professional development sessions
and participating in external initiatives such as the PRISME
Conference, which is an annual conference for LGBTQ2S+ law

HANNAH KINGOM: My name is Hannah Kingdom and I
am an associate at Osler’s Toronto office practicing in the
Litigation group.

SYDNEY YOUNG: My name is Sydney Young. I am an
associate at the Toronto office practicing in the Intellectual
Property group. Hannah and I are the associate leads for Osler
Women Lawyers Network, or OWLN.

HANNAH KINGOM: Osler has a long history of
women in important leadership roles and remains focused on
advancing a greater percentage of women into its partnership. OWLN
supports that goal by putting together social and networking
events, informal mentoring and coaching, and professional and
business development opportunities for women legal professionals at
Osler. We feel very fortunate to be able to contribute to the
firm’s work on supporting women and their advancement.

SYDNEY YOUNG: In a large firm, it’s vital
to find ways to connect with other people of similar backgrounds to
remind you that of course, you do belong here! OWLN
provides an essential way for us to connect with each other and for
more junior members to lean on the senior members for support,
encouragement and insight into being a woman in this field. Through
the group, women legal professionals from across the firm have the
opportunity to connect, learn from one another and advocate on
issues that matter to them.

HANNAH KINGOM: We have focused in recent years
on ensuring OWLN representation from all of the firm’s offices,
and are proud that we now have events running year-round from
Vancouver to Montreal. Some of our recent events include our annual
client book club event, an internal learn-to-paint event in our
Vancouver office and our all-office Annual Women’s Event.

SYDNEY YOUNG: Just to give one example of our
programs, our Book Club is a hugely popular event, where we provide
advance copies of a selected book to women members of the Osler
community, both inside and outside of the firm. In 2022, our
selection was The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull, and we held
a discussion at Coffee Oysters Champagne in Toronto with the author
and our Book Club founder and chief organizer, Sandra Malcolm. The
event is not only fun and interactive, but it is also a fantastic
opportunity to network and chance to use our intellect outside of
the office!

HANNAH KINGOM: OWLN’s next focus is on
ensuring that we bring an intersectional approach to our events and
programming. We want our members to have the opportunity for
support, professional development and socializing across
Osler’s other Legal Professional Resource Groups.

MAHA ANSARI: My name is Maha Ansari and I am an
Associate at Osler’s Toronto office practicing in the Real
Estate group. I am a co-chair for the Osler South Asian Network, or

This group was formed in 2020 and is dedicated to the support
and professional development of Osler legal professionals
identifying as South Asian, Indo-Caribbean, Indo-African or from
the South Asian diaspora, and their allies.

Groups like OSAN are part of a movement to make our workplaces
more inclusive, where our differences are celebrated, rather than
hidden. A diverse profession means that lawyers actually reflect
the cultures and values of our clients, and encourages different
perspectives and ideas when working to solve problems for our
clients and communities.

With more than 45 active members in 2022, I’m proud to say
that OSAN is growing and thriving. I want to build a community
where legal professionals like me have access to every available
opportunity to achieve success.

This fall, OSAN was able to host in-person socials, where
members from Osler offices across Canada connected and a paint
night in Toronto. We’re also co-hosting a Diwali party in

OSAN also recently recruited new members to its executive
committees and welcomed some enthusiastic articling students to our
growing team.

In the future, I hope that OSAN can continue to be a source of
support and pride for the South Asian legal community, and continue
paving the way toward a more inclusive legal profession.

ERIC CHOI: My name is Eric Choi and I am an
associate at the Toronto office practicing in the Commercial Real
Estate group. I am also one of the associate leads for the Osler
Asia-Pacific Affinity Network, or APAN for short.

APAN’s mandate is to support legal professionals with ties
to the Asia Pacific region by providing professional development,
support, and networking opportunities to our members.

We often think of APAN as having a couple main pillars of
activities: first, creating and fostering an environment of support
within Osler, across all of our offices – this includes
promoting awareness regarding issues that may impact Asian legal
professionals uniquely; and second, building bridges and creating
networks outside of the firm.

Being a part of APAN is important to me for creating a sense of
community both within the firm and outside. I’ve met some of my
best friends through the group and through external events that we
were a part of. One of the main goals of APAN is to help foster an
inclusive and supportive environment where you can connect with
people with similar backgrounds and experiences, so in that sense,
APAN, together with the other Osler legal professional resource
groups, play an integral role in carrying out the firm’s
commitment to diversity and inclusion.

ABIGAIL OMALE: My name is Abigail Omale and I
am an associate at Osler’s Vancouver office practicing in
Employment and Labour. I am also one of the associate leads for the
Osler Black Lawyers’ Network, or OBLN.

OBLN was formed in 2020 to support the Black community by
fostering the recruitment, retention and career advancement of
Black employees at Osler and by committing to community outreach
and engagement with a focus on the law and legal practice.

It is important for me to belong to and participate in OBLN. The
group has provided me with a network of individuals who understand
my unique journey and can help in mentoring and supporting career

One of the things I think was really special this year is that
all of our members, from our offices across the country, had the
opportunity to meet as a group in Toronto along with summer
students and our three Avenue interns. The Avenue internship
program is a new initiative for Black undergraduate students to
experience what it’s like to work at a law firm, and one of the
ways Osler and other Canadian firms are working to increase the
pipeline of young Black lawyers entering the legal world.

My hopes and dreams for the future of OBLN is to help its
membership to grow more in the firm’s regional offices. I hope
to assist OBLN with putting together more local events for its
regional members.

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