The TLA Presents its 4th Annual Women in Law program. Steps to Success: Building the Foundation & Finding the Right Mentor(s) |

The TLA Presents its 4th Annual Women in Law program. Steps to Success: Building the Foundation and Finding the Right Mentor(s)

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Professionalism (Ethics, etc.): 1.0
1 hour
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: 0.5
30 minutes
Faye E. McWatt
Gina Nardella
Surina Sud
Donna Young
Toronto Lawyers Association (TLA)
90 minutes
$129.00 plus tax

Research shows that women lawyers face three main challenges within their profession: gender bias, lack of role models and champions, and exclusion from informal male networks. While our profession has come up with strategies, plans and programs geared to women’s advancement in the legal field, these challenges still remain. How do we, as a profession, give women the best shot at success in their legal careers?

Join us to hear panelists Associate Chief Justice Faye McWatt, Dean Donna Young and Gina Nardella, discuss their respective journeys and lessons learned along the way. Topics will include the following:

  1. Pushing through adversity and tips on overcoming challenging situations
  2. Strategies to help women advance in law firms
  3. The importance of career planning and goal setting
  4. Various forms of mentorship
  5. Developing a mentee/mentor relationship
  6. Finding the right mentor


The Honourable Faye E. McWatt Associate Chief Justice

  • Born in Guyana, S.A. and immigrated to Canada with family at age 6 years..
  • Grew up in North York in Toronto
  • Attended University of Western Ontario for English/History double major Hon. Bachelor’s Degree
  • Attended University of Ottawa for Masters in Criminology
  • Attended University of Ottawa for Law Degree and graduated in 1984.
  • Articles at Crown Law Office Criminal at 18 King St., East (as it then was).
  • Assistant Crown Attorney at Etobicoke Office – 1986 – 1989
  • Criminal Defence Bar from 1989 – 2000 ( Also worked during this time as contract Federal Prosecutor for Narcotics offences)
  • Appointed to the Superior Court in June 2000
  • Appointed ACJ in December 2020
  • Participated in Federal and Provincial Commissions of Inquiry
  • Worked as a jail guard through Bar Ads to support my self
  • Worked as classification officer in TEDC
  • Presided over Criminal and Family cases predominantly while sitting on the Superior Court. Also sat in civil court.

Gina Nardella

Gina Nardella is a partner at Kostyniuk & Greenside. She obtained her Law Degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2006 and was called to the Ontario bar in 2007.  She has practiced in both civil and criminal litigation, having appeared before the Ontario Court of Justice, Superior Court of Justice, Financial Services Commission of Ontario, the Ontario Review Board and the Licence Appeal Tribunal. Her practice is now focused on insurance defence litigation. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and baking.

Surina Sud

Surina obtained her law degree from the University of Leicester in 2015. In 2013, she received an award for achieving the highest overall mark in a course (Civil Justice System) and was named the Most Valuable Player of the Women's Varsity Basketball Team. In 2014, Surina led the University's Pro Bono Committee as its Chief Officer. While Chief Officer, she founded and implemented "The Asylum Project", which assisted individuals seeking Asylum in the United Kingdom. Surina was called to the Bar in 2017 after completing her articles with Kostyniuk & Greenside. She has assisted at a jury trial and advocates for Plaintiffs and Defendants at all levels of Ontario Courts and Tribunals. Surina is an active member of the Canadian Defence Lawyer’s Young Lawyer’s Committee and the Toronto Lawyers Association’s Education Committee.

Dean Donna Young

Donna E. Young is the inaugural dean of the Faculty of Law at Ryerson University. Prior to joining Ryerson, she was the President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy at the Albany Law School and a joint faculty member at the University at Albany's Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department. Dean Young's research focuses on law and inequality, race and gender discrimination, and academic freedom and university governance. She has taught courses in Criminal Law, Employment Law, Federal Civil Procedure, Gender and Work, and Race, Rape Culture, and Law.

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