GTA Construction Report special feature
Janice Quigg knew from childhood that she wanted to be a lawyer and has been practicing now for 20 years. For the past 15 years, she has worked exclusively in construction law and recently joined Glaholt LLP as an associate. She has also received recognition as an author.
Quigg is also a past chair of the Ontario Bar Association’s Construction Law Section. “I understand that I am the first female chair of the section. I am also currently a council member of the Ontario and Canadian Bar Associations and a Trustee of the OBA Foundation.”
She says she has never felt gender has been an issue. On the contrary, she says she believes it has made the practice of law much more enjoyable on a number of levels. Understanding that construction law is an interesting and complex field, she says she would expect that males and females would have some similar experiences/challenges.
“As a construction lawyer, you are required at times to understand some very complex technical, engineering and other issues. This is why I remind my clients that they are the experts in their respective fields and must educate me about the technicalities so that I can properly advance the file in terms of the legalities.”
“I love that each file is different,” she said. “I love working with people and clients that I really like, I love preparing legal arguments and presenting them in court and, of course, obtaining great results for them.”
She says her biggest challenge was opening her own practice, which she maintained for two years. “It was challenging but also helped me develop my skills on an accelerated basis.”
Among her career success, Quigg cites achieving good results for clients, mentoring junior lawyers and students and contributing to the profession by teaching at the Law Society, the OBA and George Brown College.
She has also just co-authored Jack Canfield’s book “Soul of Success,” earning the Editor’s Choice Award. “I will be attending Hollywood in September to receive my award. My chapter talks about how women can “have it all” in terms of becoming successful in their professional lives and their personal lives.”
She adds: “I will be interviewed by Jack Canfield himself in September and the interview will be televised on Bravo. I am also co-authoring a book with Sir Richard Branson entitled ‘Performance 360’ this fall.”
Quigg says she finds construction law is challenging, rewarding and ‘collegial.’ She hopes to see the numbers of women in the profession continue to steadily grow.
Her advice to women considering the law as a career: “Talk to some lawyers who have achieved success in the field to see if it is a good fit. I know of some lawyers who spent years in school becoming a lawyer only to find that it was nothing like what they expected and was not a good fit.”