Bencher Profile Series: Corie Flett, QC
For many younger lawyers, managing the commitments of a full practice with a balanced and fulfilling life outside the office can be an overwhelming challenge. Corie Flett, QC is no stranger to those kinds of challenges, and she brings that necessary perspective to the Bencher table.
“I was the newest lawyer elected in 2017, and I wanted to bring a different perspective to the Bencher table,” says Corie. “The efficiencies that technology like social media has brought increases the pressure on newer lawyers to maintain a work-life balance, but at the same time appear totally accessible 100 per cent of the time.”
Corie was called to the bar in 2011 in Fort McMurray, where she started her own practice (Muessle Flett Law LLP, or MF Law) in May of 2019. Throughout 2020, Corie has had the pandemic to contend with atop the pressures associated with owning your own business.
“We’re in the middle of an access to justice crisis, where clients expect us to do more or the same for less in the midst of new and alternative ways of providing those services. Couple that with the changes that technology is bringing to the legal profession and maintaining a more traditional, conventional practice is more difficult than ever for new lawyers.”
Despite the hard work of maintaining her own practice, Corie maintains a strong connection to her family and her community. Corie is a member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, where she also volunteers. She maintains this commitment through a combination of rigorous time management and a large support network.
“When I was first elected to the Bencher table, I was shocked, not only because there were six candidates in the North but because I had had my youngest son Lane only a month and a half before the election,” says Flett. “My first thought was: ‘how am I ever going to juggle all of this?’
“In the end, I just did it – I brought Layne to the Bencher meetings and built my schedule around him and the work of the Benchers.”
Throughout her challenging first term, Corie found ways to contribute to that work through her service on the Credentials and Education Committee, as well as her recent appointment to the Lawyer Competence Committee.
“Being a lawyer is a privilege – and we owe it to give back to the community. While I have served as a Bencher, I have been trying to give back by helping to shape the profession while it undergoes all of this change.”
Corie is excited for the opportunity to work with the youngest and most diverse Bencher table in the Law Society’s history.
“The roster of candidates in 2020 was extremely optimistic, and I was surprised and delighted that so many accomplished and capable new Benchers were elected. It’s a testament to the direction the Law Society is headed.”