Lawyer Monthly - Women In Law Awards 2023

25 Seeing no limits is the ultimate evolution for women in this profession. I am honored to be their compass, showing them through my life, that the only limits are the ones we place on ourselves. Whenever another lawyer shares how I have inspired her or made her feel empowered to do great things, I am truly satisfied; it is during those times when I feel fully accomplished. I am paying it forward. When that lawyer gave me her 35 year practice, I told her that I would not let her down and I hope that if she is following my career, she would readily agree that I have not let her down but have made her very proud of her decision to give ME a chance at success. It is a tall responsibility to be seen as a trailblazer; a responsibility that I had only once upon a time been able to dream of when I was in grade 7. You’ve been practicing family law litigation for 15 years now. How have you seen the landscape change for women in this specific area of law during this period? Over the last 18 years of my practice in family law litigation, I have seen more women lawyers enter the “ring” and promote themselves as “family law lawyers”. When I started practicing, there were about 5 strong female family law litigators in Fredericton; a handful of women I would typically have on the other side of a file or be up against in the courtroom. I admired them all and credit each of them for mentoring me into the litigator I am today. The last almost two decades have seen that number increase to about 20 strong female litigators – 4 of whom are my associates, trained by me. I have had the pleasure of watching each of them grow into strong family law litigators. I have also witnessed many female litigators take their skills into the boardroom and mediate family law disputes. I too have been trained as a mediator and have increased my mediation business by close to 50% since starting to mediate in 2019. I have also trained staff to be mediators as well. In 2019, you took the decision to start your own boutique law firm, J. Donovan Law Group. How has this journey been for you, especially as a female law firm owner? What inspired you to expand into criminal law defense? Deciding to start J. Donovan Law Group was a game changer for my career and personal and professional fulfillment. I had always loved my job and received great satisfaction from being a lawyer. I enjoyed practicing with my old colleagues and have memories with my old firm that I will cherish forever. I had known for a while that I wanted to have my own firm but was never motivated to take the leap until my first child was born. I had no idea what starting J. Donovan Law Group would spark inside me. I never saw myself as an entrepreneur and there are still days where I don’t see myself like that. I never fully appreciated how creative I am. Finding myself solely responsible for marketing and promoting my new firm unleashed a part of me, the very creative side, that I did not know existed. Now I receive so much joy from creating ads, coming up with marketing strategies, designing swag and working with designers to keep my brand prominent and well known. The last 4.5 years since opening J. Donovan Law Group has been simply amazing. I have achieved remarkable goals quicker than anticipated, discovered new personal talents, reached incredible heights with social media and our EPIC giveaway contests, been featured in a number of business and professional magazines, made strong professional connections throughout Canada and expanded my business interests to officiating weddings and event planning. All of this was possible by starting J. Donovan Law Group. One “Whenever another lawyer shares how I have inspired her or made her feel empowered to do great things, I am truly satisfied; it is during those times when I feel fully accomplished.” Canada

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