Job Title: President, Canadian Bar Association, Alberta Branch
Key To Her Success: “Once you’re able to look in the mirror and embrace those things you are good at and face up to those things that maybe aren’t your strengths, then you tend to gravitate toward what you are meant to do.”
Those who think lawyers have no sense of humour have obviously never heard of the band sEx Parte, a wink-wink, nudge-nudge play on the litigation termex parte. The all-lawyer group has a running gig at the gala dinner for the annual Alberta Law Conference, playing popular songs from all over the musical spectrum and changing the lyrics to reference social and legal issues of the day. On vocals is Analea Wayne, who, in addition to having a great set of pipes, happens to be president of the Alberta branch of the Canadian Bar Association – the youngest to date.
Wayne was appointed president after serving on the directorate for four years in other positions. As president, she oversees executive and council meetings and represents the board of directors to the association’s general membership – 6,000 lawyers and members of the judiciary drawing from all corners of the province. She speaks on behalf of Alberta at the national level and advocates for issues such as universal access to justice.
“I’m proud to be one of the youngest presidents because I do think the younger generation – the law students and junior associates and young professionals – really deserve a voice,” she says. “At the same time, I’m cognizant of wanting to be representative of our entire bar.”
The unpaid position requires a time commitment of 800 to 1,000 hours over the course of the one-year term. Wayne says the reward comes from giving back to an association that provides invaluable professional development for lawyers, engages the public through legal education programs and Law Day activities and advocates for expanded legal aid and pro bono work.
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Having left private practice in 2009, Wayne is able to devote her professional energies to her work with the bar association. As of January 2011, she’ll juggle the bar presidency with a new position as a legal recruitment specialist in the Edmonton office of The Counsel Network recruiting firm.
Wayne is also a member of the St. Thomas More Lawyers Guild, a spiritual community for lawyers based in the Catholic church, known primarily for its yearly Red Mass, a faith-based celebration of the law profession. She believes it’s one more way she can chip away at some of the hurtful stereotypes that dog her profession.
“I believe in what lawyers do for people,” she says, and she wants the public to feel the same way. “We’re getting there, but we’re not quite there yet,” she says. “You still hear the lawyer jokes, right?”