Outstanding CBA volunteer: Sabrina Bandali

By CBA/ABC National April 20, 201820 April 2018

Outstanding CBA volunteer: Sabrina Bandali


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

Sabrina Bandali: I’ve mainly been involved in the CBA through the Women Lawyers Forum. It’s given me a special opportunity to connect with and learn from other women lawyers across the country. It’s easy to lose sight of the many different aspects of diversity in our profession – not just gender and cultural background, but life experiences, geography, and practice setting influence how each of us experience the unique challenges that women face in the profession. The Women Lawyers Forum is active in every province and territory, and having the perspective of women lawyers of all ages who practice in different communities and with different backgrounds sharpens our lens to understand what women lawyers across the country are grappling with, professionally and personally.

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?

SB: Participating in the CBA offers a meaningful opportunity to contribute to the national conversations taking place in our profession and in the public sphere. We have an obligation to help members of the public learn about the contours of the law and how it affects them.  As lawyers, our role doesn’t begin and end with participating on behalf of clients. Our profession, and the privileges that come with it, require us to engage with public debate and hopefully make a positive contribution to those discussions. The Women Lawyers Forum's ongoing work on sexual harassment in the workplace and the Not Just a Bystander podcast are examples of CBA activities that are responding to difficult questions ripped from the headlines, and that seek to equip lawyers and non-lawyers with information and perspective to help them create better, more inclusive and more just workplaces.

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

SB: The energy and time that so many volunteers put into the CBA is fantastic. In my experience, people who volunteer through the CBA seem to have a genuine interest in making membership in our profession feel like belonging to a community. Thoughtful contributions are everywhere, whether related to substantive policy and public affairs issues, or in planning programs to help lawyers build skills and engage with cutting-edge issues.

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