Media Mentions

COVID-19 upended the law industry. Will it ever go back to the way it was – and should it? Globe & Mail

“You can’t give someone a perk and then take it away,” says Glatter, especially when the revised rules aren’t applied equally. If you’re being asked to come into the office and you’re the only person sitting anywhere around you, you feel like the firm is the puppet master.”

For Love or Money, Globe & Mail

“A mantra that we always repeat to our young associates is: Do you know what’s keeping your client up at night? What are the business issues worrying your client? You can’t give good legal advice in a vacuum,” Ms. Glatter says.

“Law is extraordinarily competitive,” Ms. Glatter says. “We have office towers downtown filled with excellent lawyers, so how are you going to set yourself apart? One of the ways we set ourselves apart is by adding value.”

Got Stress? What to do Before the Burnout Hits, Canadian Bar Association Publications

“We all experience stress,” says Deborah Glatter… “It’s normal and it’s not anything to hide and there are things you can do about it.”

But young lawyers usually won’t come forward to talk about it unless their firm has set the stage by socializing the issue, says Glatter. “They think somehow that they are emotionally not prepared for this or don’t have what it takes to deal with the stress. I think that’s one of the reasons that we see so many young lawyers leaving the profession.”

She advises lawyers to “put coping mechanisms in place and use resources around you and know that you’re not alone.” Talk to your lawyer friends about their levels of stress. “It’s okay to put on a strong face to the client, that’s as it should be, but your colleagues are feeling just as stressed as you are, and it would probably be helpful to talk about it.”

The day-to-day stresses and & challenges of being a lawyerLAWPRO Magazine

“Young associates deal with a combination of stressors. They are at the bottom of the food chain and have to get the work done under strict time pressures. The work can come at unpredictable times and sometimes conflicts with previously scheduled family events. They end up disappointing their spouses, family and friends. If you’re isolated from your community, this can snowball into isolation and depression.”

Similarly, a Bay Street partner “must hire and fire, manage budgets, and make decisions that will affect hundreds of lawyers and staff,” says Glatter. “In doing so, the partner may have to wrestle with other partners and deal with a lot of different personalities. And it doesn’t stop at the office. A partner goes home having to potentially take care of ailing, elderly parents.”

Family life can play havoc on rest time, demanding your time and energy just as you return home and anticipate rest. Glatter says, “Let’s say you just finished an intense transaction, a three-day marathon, on very little sleep. Keen to get home, you return to a crying baby and an exhausted spouse. Your spouse hands you the baby and says, ‘your turn’. You’re dinged on both ends.”

Law Profession Faces an Articling Crisis, Globe & Mail

“I get cover letters from students who are at the top of their class with spelling errors,” Ms. Glatter said. ” … We can be choosy, because there are fewer positions than applicants. But I think sometimes the market is doing what it ought to do.”

Do’s and Don’ts of Posting Online, Lexpert Magazine

“Anything a student does out of an abundance of caution to protect his or her privacy is a mature, wise move…students have to make sure that what they’re presenting to the world at large is a good, positive reflection on them as individuals because it never goes away.”

Law, Disrupted, Precedent Magazine

“It’s not unusual to walk down a corridor at 6 p.m. and find empty offices – both associates and partners…While face time is less important, connectivity and accessibility are much more important.”

Tipping the Scale for the Mom/Work Balance, The National Post

Shortly after Deborah Glatter got married, the Toronto lawyer realized it would be a struggle to have children while working as a high-powered litigator. She was regularly away from home for lengthy trials and her husband’s job was also time-consuming. If they wanted to start a family, something had to change.

Rather than giving up on being a mother, Glatter had a son and gave up her legal practice to teach law. The hours were predictable, but the work wasn’t nearly as challenging or remunerative. As she recalls, “It was the right place for me to be at that time in my family life.” When her son was older, Glatter high-tailed it back to the office.

Today, Glatter is the director of professional development and student programs at Cassels Brock and firm representative on Canada’s first program promoting the retention and advancement of women in the legal profession.

Women at Work, Precedent Magazine

Deborah Glatter, lawyer and professional development director at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, held a seminar titled, “Sponsorship: What Powerful Male Leaders Need to Know”. Although Cassels has upwards of 25% female equity partners, “we’d like that to be higher,” she says.

Her seminar ran top men (and women) at the firm through a Harvard quiz on implicit bias; a talk from Beatrix Dart, an associate dean at the Rotman School of Management; and a roundtable discussion…… “Women are just as ambitious as men, but they’re not stupid…Why would you work as hard when your path to success is not clear…The more women become partners here, the more clear it is to female associates they will become partner. They’re not going to stick around if those opportunities aren’t given to them.”

Lessons from the CPD “Take Control of Your Career: Hard Work is Not Enough”Heather Douglas, Law and Innovation

Deborah Glatter, training and management consultant (former Director of Career Development at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP) spoke about strategically managing your own career. She pointed out that no one else will care for your career as you do. If you are not proactive, you may come to a dead end in your career. You can’t hit a target that you do not see. For example, if you want to become a partner, you need to know the criteria for entry into the partnership. Ask yourself “are you a replaceable cog in the wheel?”

Cracking the Code: Unlocking the Potential of Future Leaders in the Legal Profession, Judith Finer Freedman, 2010 Thomson Reuters

Deborah was quoted throughout this comprehensive book that looks at what drives the new generation of lawyers and how to leverage their strengths to build the competitive law firm of the future.

The Genuine Article: The First Trial

Documentary; Markham Street Productions; David Bezmozgis, Director

Deborah was featured in this documentary, a behind the scenes look at the Canadian legal professions’ competitive recruitment system. The documentary follows three law students and one law firm recruiter (Deborah) during three days in November when the firms look for the brightest and the best of the newest class of aspiring lawyers. The documentary was aired on the Documentary Channel in 2004 and is still shown at law schools across Canada today.