Hilary Goodman, Associate, Family Law.

Professionals, including lawyers, usually choose their profession with a goal in mind. Some want to serve others, some want to make lots of money, some just love the profession and want to join it. Once a profession calls you to it, it can become an obsession.

Law, like many professions, is not easy. It takes a lot of schooling (and corresponding student debt), to obtain the required qualifications. Then it takes a period of internship (in law called ‘articling’). Then finally you can call yourself a lawyer, some 7 years after graduating high school. Then the real work begins: hours of client work, analyzing and problem solving. Many lawyers find themselves working 50 to 60 hours per week all year round. The managing partner of the law firm has to often remind them to record their time as many forget so often to do just that.

Many lawyers though, still have time to devote to their other passions in life – like the opera or hockey – or both even !

The hockey player in me loves the sport so much that I would play it year ‘round if I could. Our firm has a ball hockey team so I am able to play that for a great part of the year. Our team sometimes struggles to win. Being competitive in nature, ball hockey has taught me that I have to learn the art of patience, forgetting the loss and moving on to the next game. The friendship and camaraderie of the team environment is very close to the office environment in which I work day in and day out. But it is entirely different as well – as our focus is on the game and the bounce of the ball – sometimes lucky, sometimes not so lucky.

Opera is also a secret passion of mine. There is nothing like the aria and the performance of those who devote their lives to this wonderful art. It also gives me the chance to get lost in a beautiful story, whether tragic or otherwise – in the timelessness of the plot, which gets re-performed by so many different players, yet remains firm in its message of humanity.

As much as I love working in the family law environment at Barriston, I also know that I need these outside activities to maintain balance and perspective. As Stephen Covey says, “we have to sharpen the saw” by taking time out, by seeing the world outside the practice of law and becoming part of the wonderful world of arts and sports helps me do that. So if you see me in my hockey uniform, please remember that I also am part of a wonderful profession, one which I believe is devoted to serving the public by protecting and advocating for those who need the help.