Bencher Profile Series: Salimah Walji-Shivji
From the very start of her legal career, Salimah Walji-Shivji has combined a strong emphasis on high performance with a commitment to public service. The results speak for themselves, with multiple awards and appointments to senior positions. Now serving her first term, Salimah brings a wealth of experience in both education and volunteerism to the Bencher table.
Salimah received her Bachelor of Social Work degree in 1999 and Masters in Clinical Social Work degree in 2000, both from the University of Calgary. She completed her Bachelor of Laws Degree at the University of Manitoba in 2003 and was admitted to the Alberta Bar in 2004.
Salimah held several positions within the former Calgary Health Region and Alberta Health Services including articling student, legal counsel, senior legal counsel, associate general counsel and general counsel.
In November 2015, Salimah joined AgeCare, Communities of Care and Wellness, and is currently Senior Vice President, Operations, Support Services & General Counsel.
For Salimah, the desire to run in the Bencher Election was born out of a desire to give back to her profession while bringing her specific experience and voice to the table.
“I had considered running for Bencher for many years,” says Salimah. “I have always tried to give back to the community as part of my work and my volunteering, but I’d basically contributed to every sector but my own.”
“It’s a huge honour to be elected by the profession, but it’s also a huge responsibility to represent my community as an Ismaili Muslim woman of colour. I am here to bring humility and a different perspective to the Bencher table.”
Salimah is a recipient of the Women in Law Leadership Award, Tomorrow’s Leader (2013) and the Canadian Corporate Counsel Community Builder Award (2018). Salimah is an active member of the Canadian Bar Association where she continues to serve as Past Chair of the Canadian Bar Association National Health Law Section.
Salimah is an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary, holds two Ministerial Appointments to the Family Violence Death Review Committee and the Law Enforcement Review Panel with the province, and was recently appointed to the Mount Royal University Board of Governors.
For Salimah, these individual contributions are about more than her personal call to service; she believes that this way of thinking is critical to ensure that the legal profession remains both viable and relevant.
“I believe that the practice of law is, at its core, a privilege – and that privilege doesn’t come without responsibility. As Benchers, as the Law Society and as the collective profession, it is fundamental that with we give back to our profession and the larger community. Finding ways to do that –continuously contributing is essential for us shape the future and ensure that we support and enable outcomes for the greater good.”