Kathleen Elhatton-Lake loves to argue. During high school and university, she enthusiastically participated in mock trials and debate competitions, so the legal field was a natural next step. “Very few jobs pay you to argue on a regular basis,” she laughs.
The particular focus she chose — municipal and administrative law — was one that appealed to her precisely because it allowed her to frequently get on her feet representing clients in court, and to make a difference. “Municipal law really has tangible impacts on people’s day-to-day lives.”
She’s a fierce advocate for both her clients and the populations she serves as president of the YWCA of Edmonton’s board of directors, an organization she joined because of its female focus. An experience with online harassment during law school made Elhatton-Lake realize that, while she had contacts that could help her navigate the tough situation, not everyone does. “The YWCA does a lot of work to empower and advocate for women and I think that’s really important.”
Though she’s had numerous mentors, there’s one supporter who has been by her side since her first year of law school — a rescue dachshund named Sophie, now 16. As tribute, a pink pop-art style painting of Sophie hangs on the wall of Elhatton-Lake’s office at Shores Jardine LLP, where she made partner at the age of 30.
Why She’s Top 40
She champions marginalized people at the local level