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Established by Bencher consensus September 27, 2019 as Practice Foundations Advisory Committee in response to the articling survey results. Benchers agreed to disband Practice Foundations Task Force and replace with more targeted Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Lawyer Competence Committees December 5, 2019.
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Agnes Bielecki is Legal Counsel practicing in-house and since 2020 serves as a member of the Lawyer Competence Advisory Committee. Agnes is an internationally trained lawyer graduated from the University of Toronto Internationally Trained Lawyers Program and was called to the Bar in Alberta in 2015. In her previous role, Agnes was developing her legal practice as an associate at Dentons Canada LLP. In 2014, Agnes participated in the internationally trained lawyers articling program created by Imperial Oil Ltd. and Dentons’ management teams.
Agnes has been committed to and actively involved in making a positive difference in the legal community in Alberta by encouraging workplace diversity and inclusion and promoting effective integration of internationally trained lawyers. In 2015, Agnes co-founded and developed a non-profit organization called Global Lawyers of Canada, which mission and vision is to support and advocate on behalf of internationally trained lawyers. Since 2017, Agnes serves on the board of directors of the Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council, which supports disadvantageous members of society and legal community, including immigrants and internationally trained professionals. Agnes has been actively mentoring articling students and junior lawyers who have been through the National Committee on Accreditation process and the articling programs.
Andy Hayher is a Partner at Vogel LLP and practises in the area of family law as a lawyer, mediator and arbitrator. He has appeared before the Provincial Court of Alberta, the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta and the Alberta Court of Appeal on a number of occasions. He has been involved in multiple leave to appeal applications before the Supreme Court of Canada as well. Andy has been faculty at LESA seminars and acted as faculty at the National Judicial Institute.
Shetal Jas is a lawyer at Miller Thomson LLP, in the Real Estate group. She was called to the Alberta Bar in 2019. Prior to being called to the Alberta Bar, Shetal was a lawyer in Sydney, Australia (where she was born and raised). She completed her LLB at the University of Technology, Sydney and became a member of the Law Society of New South Wales in 2016.
Shetal is passionate about giving back to the community. She has volunteered for numerous charitable and non-profit organizations in Calgary and Sydney. Becoming a member of the Advisory Committee has continued her passion in this regard.
Dan McPherson is a rural Alberta lawyer based in Olds, AB. Called to the Bar in 2014, his solicitor practice focuses on real estate, wills and estates. He is a student member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and the STEP Canada Diploma program.
Beverly Mendoza is an internationally trained lawyer. Prior to moving to Canada, she practiced corporate and tax law for seven years in the Philippines. She was a Senior Tax Consultant at one of the ‘Big Four’ global accounting firms. She also worked as a Court Attorney and Chief of Staff in the Philippine Court of Tax Appeals. As a practicing lawyer in the Philippines, Beverly was involved in the incorporation of many Philippine companies, corporate mergers and acquisitions, and transfers of land and other assets for individuals and corporations.
While Beverly was taking her Certificate of Qualification to practice law in Canada, she worked as Paralegal in the Foreclosure Group of McLeod Law.
Beverly is presently an Associate in the Wills & Estate Group at McLeod Law. She provides estate planning advice and takes clients through the process of establishing their personal planning documents. She also gives advice to personal representatives and beneficiaries in estate administration, application for grants, trust fund management, passing of accounts, administration of mines and minerals and resealing applications.
Terri-Lee Oleniuk is a partner in the Calgary office of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. Her practice focuses on project-related issues concerning natural-resource development with a specialization in regulatory, environmental and Aboriginal law issues. Terri-Lee acts for a variety of companies in environmental assessments and regulatory proceedings to obtain approvals for major developments in the oil and gas, pipeline, mining (including metal, potash and diamond), natural-gas processing, petrochemical, electricity transmission, hydro, solar and wind sectors. She is the chair of the Firm’s Women’s Initiative and is a member-at-large of the Canadian Bar Association’s National Environmental, Energy and Resources Law (NEERLS) section and co-chair of the NEERLS 2020 Summit. Terri-Lee is the current president and board chair of the Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta and is a member of the board of directors of Alberta Theatre Projects. She holds a Bachelor of Science and Juris Doctorate from the University of Saskatchewan.
Adam Pasichnyk graduated from the University of Alberta’s School of Business with a Bachelor of Commerce in 2012, with distinction and a major in accounting. He then graduated from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Law in 2015, with distinction, and received numerous awards, including the Felesky Flynn Scholarship in Taxation Law, the Honourable JJ Stratton QC Scholarship in corporate and commercial law, the Anthony (Tony) Cairo Memorial Prize in Professional Responsibility and the Canadian Energy Law Foundation Prize. After articling with the Department of Justice Canada and the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, Adam was called to the Bar in 2016. Since then, Adam has carried on a general litigation practice with the Department of Justice Canada, with a focus on tax litigation. In his spare time, Adam volunteers with the Edmonton Community Legal Centre.
Ivanna Perozak is currently the Director of Education for the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service (ACPS). As part of that role, she serves as one of the coordinators for the Justice and Solicitor General’s Articling Program, a position she has held since 2016. She graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1993 and was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1995 after articling with the Crown’s Office in Peel Region. Ivanna remained with the Peel Crown’s office until 2001 when I moved to Calgary. From 2001 to 2011, she was a federal prosecutor with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. In 2011, Ivanna moved to the ACPS as a Crown prosecutor in Specialized Prosecutions (ACPS) (2011-2016) in the Tech Crime Unit.
Charlene Scheffelmair started as a student-at-law with Davidson & Williams LLP in June 2019 after completing her law degree in Kamloops, B.C. Prior to law school, Charlene completed her Bachelor of Education in 2016 as a member of the joint Medicine Hat College/Mount Royal University collaboration program. While completing her studies in Medicine Hat she was also a corporate legal assistant. Charlene is actively involved in the legal community both nationally and provincially, and is currently the Chair of the Canadian Bar Association National Law Students section. She also volunteers her time with the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce on the convenor and catalyst committees.
Alena Storton obtained a Juris Doctor from the University of Calgary Faculty of Law in 2017. Throughout law school, Alena volunteered with Pro Bono Students Canada and the Public Interest Law Clinic. She also spent her summers working with a large, international, oil and gas corporation. After law school, she articled with the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre, and two personal injury firms. She completed her articles at Pefanis Horvath, and then joined the firm as an associate. Alena has brought her long-standing passion for working with individuals to preserve their rights and promote their interests to representing those who have experienced life-changing or fatal injuries.
Alena was recently selected to join the Lawyer Competence Advisory Committee. She is excited to bring her experience in a variety of practice areas and settings to the important conversation around how to help prepare students to be successful throughout their articles and early years of practice.
Ashley Taunton was called to the Alberta Bar in 2013. She obtained her Bachelor of Commerce and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Alberta. She is the Senior Family Law Staff Lawyer at the Edmonton Community Legal Centre, a legal clinic that provides pro bono legal services to people living with low to moderate income. She is also a sessional instructor at the University of Alberta Faculty of Law. Ashley has acted as a principal to six articling students since 2017 and serves as a mentor to law students and junior lawyers.