Benchers’ Digest Editor’s Message

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By Kelly Laycock

With summer right around the corner, everyone’s mind turns to fun outdoor activities and finally taking the time to enjoy some well-earned time off. But before you go, the team at the Law Society Library would like to send you off with some engaging reading material to flip through while you are on that plane to an exotic locale, or just in your backyard enjoying a lemonade. The Summer issue of the Benchers’ Digest is just the thing. (Online edition available on our website on May 13, 2016.)

It has certainly been a busy year so far, coming up with a long-term plan and schedule for the digest and trying to fill the pages with more contributions from our Benchers and readers. One of the major changes we’ve implemented is having a theme for each issue. The Spring issue was Fresh Start, as a way to introduce the new look and feel to everyone. With an updated layout and more content, it was an exciting project for our editorial and production team to be a part of.

The Summer issue is even more exciting! Now that we have an idea of our direction and themes for the next few issues, we’ve been able to contact more potential contributors to add real value to our planning. And we’ve been pleased with the response so far! The theme for the Summer issue is Mentoring, as many of you already know, and for our first feature article, we are thrilled to bring you a thorough Q&A with our friends at CLASSIC in Saskatoon. Who better to talk to about Mentoring than those on the front lines of the Access to Justice issue, those bringing the best of student-led legal clinics to the public who most need their help, all while under the generous tutelage of experienced lawyers and staff? See “Inner City Asset” on page 4 of the upcoming Benchers’ Digest.

We received some great answers to our Call-Out Questions from the students of CLASSIC about the invaluable experience they gained with the program and how it has affected their view of the legal profession. We also heard from some of our Benchers who are or have been principals for articling students, and they have some wonderful advice for anyone considering taking on that important role.

One surprise article this issue came to us from Ronnie Nordal, who wanted to share with the legal community her personal experiences with mental health and addictions. She asks readers to open their minds and hearts to those dealing with mental health concerns or who have experienced addiction, and to see the issue not as a private, shameful secret but rather as an illness that affects our whole community. She candidly takes us through her personal journey and hopes to challenge the stigma against those suffering with mental illness or addictions. See “Let It Begin With Me” on page 20.

And finally, I’d like to highlight a new addition to the Benchers’ Digest that we are pleased to announce. Mr. Greg Walen, QC, has graciously agreed to keep us apprised of any interesting or exciting news coming from the Federation of Law Societies. As the Saskatchewan member of the Council of the Federation, Greg will write a “Federation Update” for each of our quarterly issues. Find the first installment on page 18 of the Summer issue.

We’ve had some great feedback on our January issue, and we hope to keep up the dialogue as we go forward. The theme for our Fall 2016 issue will be Innovation. If you have something you’d like to contribute or have an event you’d like the community to hear about, please contact us at  Happy Summer Reading!

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