Cheryl Reicin discusses the movement towards inclusion and customization in the legal industry

November 22, 2019

Partner Cheryl Reicin spoke with Canadian Lawyer on the changing dynamics of working in a law firm and how people’s perception of success in the industry has shifted.

Cheryl touches on a number of pertinent points in the in-depth piece with Canadian Lawyer, shedding light on how she runs her practice, mentors more junior members of the firm and what underlying principles she applies to her work.

Cheryl also touched on the opportunities she gives younger team members to play important roles on important files—making it crucial for everyone on the team to be bold and ask questions.

“I don't really believe in labels. I have associates running matters,” Cheryl said.

“If people are hiring you, they think you're smart. So, you know, just be out there. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Don't be afraid to express opinions. I often will change my mind because of something the most junior person on the team had raised. And I really value that.”

Cheryl said there is a shift toward customization around what people want to achieve in their careers where many don’t necessarily want to become a partner at a law firm.

The daughter of two lawyers herself, Cheryl touched on what it was like attending law school when women were the minority, and how the industry has adapted over the years to make it a more attractive profession.

“We [in law] can afford to diversify in terms of styles, approach and opinions, that’s how we get the best results and the best work product,” she said.

“When I went to Harvard, 20% [of students] were women. And, we actually felt quite comfortable, but we were still in the minority.

“We're in a society that's moving quite quickly. There have obviously been some very strong women at the beginning, in the women's lib movement, and I would think the last few years with #metoo movement has been a major change in terms of people being extra careful in terms of their behavior. These are very exciting times. It's not just about women, but it's about inclusion for everyone.”

Cheryl was this year named in the WXN Top 100 Women of Influence award for the fourth time, meaning she has now been inducted into the Hall of Fame. 

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