Outstanding CBA volunteer: Jennifer MacPherson

By CBA/ABC National April 19, 201819 April 2018

Outstanding CBA volunteer: Jennifer MacPherson


CBA National: What is your main motivation for giving back as a CBA volunteer?

Jennifer MacPherson: Volunteerism was instilled in me at a very young age while I was watching my parents and other members of my community give back. I am very fortunate to be able to practice law and carve out time to work on programming for non-profits, whether community organizations or professional organizations like the CBA. It has been very rewarding to work as a team with other members of the PEI Bar to identify programming needs for the Women Lawyers’ Forum and Continuing Legal Education Committee, to come up with ways to put some fun into those learning opportunities, and to then see those ideas come to life.  I have always been motivated by the supportive response we receive from members of the bar who come out in such large numbers to attend the events, and especially those members of the bar and the judiciary who donate their time to participate in the programming for the events. Whatever the topic, a big part of the success of any CBA event is providing the opportunity for members to come together to communicate with each other and get to know each other better.   

N: We’ve all heard the saying, “Be the change you wish to see.” What is it that you want to achieve by giving your time to the CBA?

JM: I began chairing the joint CBA/Law Society of PEI Continuing Legal Education Committee during a real time of transition. The former chair had done tremendous work merging the CBA CLE Committee with that of the Law Society of PEI and when I took over the joint Committee we were undergoing some staffing changes. I got to oversee the creation of the new format for rolling out CLEs in PEI and the establishment of systems and processes that will hopefully make the work of the CLE Committee more streamlined and efficient for many years to come.

During that time I was also working with a very dedicated member of the CBA to bring female CBA PEI members in, what we thought were, unique upbeat ways to share time and learn together in a relaxed, fun atmosphere. The energy in the room at these events was palpable and the supportive response drove us forward with new ideas. These annual events took off and we realized there was a real opportunity in PEI to start a PEI WLF. I was fortunate to work on the creation of the new PEI WLF and act as its first chair. I hope that like the CLE committee, the PEI WLF is around to provide women lawyers on PEI opportunities to support one another and learn and have fun together for many years to come.

N: Has anything surprised you in what you've taken away from the experience?

JM: It is certainly no surprise to me but what I have taken away from the experience is a real appreciation for the way members of the bar and judiciary in PEI give so much of their time to organizations like the CBA. People like Daphne Dumont, Past-President of the CBA, whose dedication to the CBA serves as a true inspiration to so many of us.

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