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TLA collaborating with the NCA Network

A new collaboration between the Toronto Lawyers Association (TLA) and the NCA Network promises to bring together a legal community of diverse backgrounds, and educational experiences, says TLA executive director Joan Rataic-Lang.

“This partnership is exciting, and we look forward to seeing the many ways we can both network and grow,” she tells AdvocateDaily.com. “It is also a way to celebrate diversity and inclusivity in law.”

Members of the organizations will gather on March 21 for at an event hosted by the TLA, Rataic-Lang says. Information about the event can be found here.

“Members of the NCA Network will get to know us, and they have a place to meet in person,” she says.

Rataic-Lang says after Kimberly (Kim) Gale, one of the founders of NCA Network, became a TLA member, she approached the professional organization about a possible collaboration.

TLA’s mission is based on providing information, education, and advocacy to its members, while the NCA Network offers information and mentorship for internationally trained students and lawyers who are based in Toronto, Rataic-Lang explains.

“It made sense for us to come together,” she says.

There are many members of the two groups interested in networking — from prospective students to those who have finished their education, and want to practise in Canada, says Rataic-Lang.

“These opportunities are invaluable. Young lawyers are realizing that the old adage — it’s not what you know, it’s who you know —  does hold true,” she says. “Sitting in an office using the phone and social media is a part of our lives, but to truly network, you have to get out there and have the in-person contact.”

Rataic-Lang says there are different pathways to licensing in Ontario, and more people are going through the NCA, which has a mandate to assess the qualifications of individuals with legal education and professional experience obtained outside of Canada.

She says both organizations have information and resources that can assist both foreign-trained lawyers who want to practise in Canada, and students going abroad for their legal education.

“We have a lot of services to support new lawyers,” she says.

The TLA runs the Courthouse Library on University Avenue, which holds one of the largest private law collections in Canada. It includes historical and current resources, says Rataic-Lang.

“Our library reflects our users’ needs. Mid-size, small firms, and sole practitioners use our library, because we have a great criminal collection, as well as collections on estates and wills, family law, labour and employment resources, and more,” she says.

TLA also offers continuing professional development for its members, with 15 to 20 programs a year, Rataic-Lang adds.

TLA membership runs the gamut of new calls up to experienced, senior lawyers, and Rataic-Lang says NCA Network members can tap into that.

“We hope this partnership will allow young lawyers at the NCA Network who don’t know about us to become aware that there are opportunities for them here with the TLA,” she says.

“I’m very passionate about what we do here. It’s very meaningful, and the feedback we get from our members is so positive that you can’t help but know you are making a difference.”

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