First Filipina lawyer in Ontario heads new law group
The first Filipina to be admitted to the Ontario Bar, Alicia Natividad, is heading the newly-formed Filipino lawyers in Canada – Filipino Canadian Lawyers Network – Réseau d’avocats philippinos canadiens (FCLN).
FCLN will be officially launched (virtually) on June 1, 2021 to usher in Filipino Heritage Month in Canada with Federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Marco Mendicino as keynote speaker.
The not -for-profit organization will advocate for Filipino Canadian lawyers and the Filipino Canadian communities across Canada.
Other speakers during the free-access Zoom launch include Chief Justice of Ontario George Strathy, Law Society of Ontario Treasurer Teresa Donnelly, Brad Regehr, President of the Canadian Bar Association, Charlene Theodore, president of the Ontario Bar Association and Gerald Chan, president of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers.
FCLN’s executive includes Alicia Natividad- President, Rachel Sachs- vice-president, Treasurer – Barbara De Dios, Secretary – Richel Castaneda, and Membership & Outreach-Lou Janssen Dangzalan.
Natividad, who passed the Ontario Bar in 1983, has been in private practice in Ottawa under her firm, ASN Law Professional Corporation for over 16 years. Her areas of practice include Business Law, Real Estate, Estates, Trusts and Wills.
She lectures at continuing legal education courses for The Law Society of Upper Canada, Bar Admission Course (Ottawa), Ontario Bar Association; tutors lawyers taking The Law Society of Upper Canada Licensing Process; tutors individuals taking the Certificate in Estate and Trust Administration examinations with the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners; gives presentations and seminars to business and not-for-profit organizations on numerous legal topics; and writes legal articles for newspapers, magazines, and newsletters.
The Philippine-born lawyer obtained her Bachelor of Arts (B.A. ) in Law and Political Science from Carlton University in 1978 and her Doctor of Law (JD) , University of Ottawa in 1981.
She is an active volunteer in community and civic organizations including the Canada Philippines Business Council, Municipal Law Section (Ottawa) and Employment Assistance Society of North America among others.
She currently chairs the National Women’s Liberal Commission to encourage and support women candidates in the Liberal Party of Canada.
According to Sachs, FCLN had held some events over the course of the pandemic mostly directed at lawyers, in addition to a public program on immigration and employment law basics.
While initially composed of Ontario lawyers, Sachs told Philippine Canadian News.com(PCN.Com) that other lawyers in Montreal and B.C. have expressed interest in joining the new network. They are continuing to reach out to other lawyers in Canada in order to expand the organization.