How to become an award-winning employment lawyer

'You're nothing without your team'

How to become an award-winning employment lawyer

As a successful lawyer, Natalie MacDonald has worked with many HR professionals.

And she knows they have a very difficult job.

“We expect our HR professionals to go out and know all about the law, not having been to law school, and to be able to do everything from being chief cook and bottle washer to career coach, to the analyst of what is happening with the policies and procedures to understanding what needs to be done in respect of either onboarding an employee or offboarding an employee and ensuring that all management and employees understand that they liaise between the two,” says MacDonald.

“With the cases are coming out fast and furious about the contractual issues about extraordinary damage issues and what you think is one thing or one way that happened sort of last year, by the time you get to the next year, it’s changed again and HR professionals are expected to know all of that.”

Making a difference in employment law

MacDonald, owner and founder of MacDonald & Associates, recently sat down with Canadian HR Reporter to chat about her recent win of the CHRA Excellence Award.

“We practice employment law in order to make a difference in people’s lives. Whether we’re acting for our employer clients, or we’re acting for our employee clients, we want to make a positive difference in order to be able to push the boundaries of employment law in Canada and make employment law better for both employers and employees.”

She also talked about her successful career in employment law, along with notable legal cases she has worked on, and why it’s important for HR professionals to be up to date with employment law.

Reliance on a strong team

Despite her success, MacDonald is quick to point out that she hasn’t done this work alone.

“I can tell you that as a lawyer, you’re nothing without your team and you need to ensure that you have a well working team to be able to practice the way we do. I would say to anyone embarking upon one’s career, these are absolute traits that must come out for someone who is seeking to achieve success,” says MacDonald.

Jane Fedoretz, executive vice president of people talent and transformation at Transalta Corp., recently spoke about her company’s innovative efforts around corporate culture, DEI, women and scholarships, and employee rewards and recognition.

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