Looking back on her career as a lawyer and now entrepreneur, Bay Ryley said,
"I would never want to miss any of the stages. It takes a long time to develop expertise and master something."
I had an interesting conversation with human rights and employment lawyer Bay Ryley, who practised at large law firms and the Ontario government before starting her own legal practice. Now she's added digital products to her business, and who knows what's next. It's very clear that Bay loves her work in the law, as well as her entrepreneurial pursuits!
Watch and listen to the conversation here.
HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR CONVERSATION:
Bay advises young people to "avoid trying to make sense of any early steps in your journey, because you don't know where it's leading."
For law hopefuls, it's her opinion that it doesn't matter what you take in an undergraduate program, before law school. If you like reading, ideas, people, big picture thinking, analyzing things, helping people solve problems - these are all good backgrounds for the law. Sciences, engineering, arts degrees. It doesn't matter where you start.
Whether you work at a firm, in-house for a company, government, or legal clinics, the long hours are the same everywhere. "You're always going to do your best job. You're representing someone in a legal proceeding. As a lawyer it's your duty to your client no matter what firm you're at."
if you "go out on your own" at an early point in your career, make sure you have mentors. Make sure you know what you're talking about. Working in larger law offices gives young lawyers the opportunity to make connections with more experienced colleagues, professionals who they can add to their network.
skills needed for the law: good writing skills, ability to analyze and synthesize, skill to deal with the details but also see the big picture, passion for reading fiction and non-fiction, and interest in current events.
"try not to worry about seeing a path (for your career). There will be a thread that ties it all together."
if you're not with people who see the best in you, then move on.
don't be afraid to move to somewhere you're going to thrive.
whatever you're doing, do it well.
always choose excellence.
"every job you take in your life is a 'real job'. You don't know where it's going to take you."
Here's a brief bio about Bay, copied from her LinkedIn profile:
RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award 2019 Nominee. I am a Toronto-based employment and human rights lawyer, and Founder and President of Ryley Learning, a workplace training and compliance company. I designed our animated, engaging sexual harassment course after litigating sexual harassment cases and designing company diversity and inclusion policies. My expertise is rooted in many years of advocacy and policy work in human rights and employment law, professional regulation, and public inquiries, at law firms and in government legal practice.
Employment & Human Rights Lawyer Ryley Law Strategic advice and litigation support to employers: • COVID-19 restructuring and workplace strategy; • wrongful dismissals, termination and severance packages; • employment agreements & contracts; • discrimination and harassment claims; • employment standards legislation; • hearings and mediations before administrative law tribunals; • eLearning compliance and training (www.ryleylearning.com) I advise regulatory bodies, regulated professionals and industries, on: • complaints, investigations, and discipline proceedings;
For more information about Ryley Learning digital learning courses, check out this link.
This conversation was interesting and I could feel the passion Bay has for her work, and lifestyle (even over Zoom!)
Thank you Bay for sharing your stories and ideas with our audience!
This interview was taped during the COVID19 pandemic, June 2020.