June 18, 2020

MEET OUR CERTIFIED WBE SPOTLIGHT OF THE MONTH, TANYA WALKER

How long have you been in business and why did you start?

Walker Law has been in business since 2010. This year we celebrated our tenth-year anniversary. When I first started to practice law, I started working at two Bay Street firms and opened Walker Law on Bay Street when I was in my fourth year of practice. We eventually moved from Bay Street to Yonge Street in downtown Toronto when we ran out of space.

I started Walker Law because I wanted to open a law firm that would focus on helping clients by providing strategies to help them solve disputes. Although I enjoy trial work and going to court, I believe it is more cost-effective for clients to let them know about all of their options regarding a lawsuit so that they can make an informed decision on how they would like to proceed.

What’s your go-to Elevator Pitch?

At Walker Law, we focus on keeping costs down by delegating tasks based on complexity. Meaning, that certain matters or aspects of a matter can be dealt with by a paralegal, junior associate or an articling student, who has a much lower billable rate than a lawyer who has been practicing law for a long time. So, we keep clients happy and bring costs down by delegating tasks to those that are capable of completing them and then by supervising their work to ensure it meets the client’s standard.

Which geographical areas do you service?

We service Canada, with the exception of Quebec.

How long has your organization been certified with WEConnect International?

Walker Law has been certified with WEConnect International since 2017.

What are the benefits of this network and of certification?

There are many benefits of being certified with WEConnect, but I will name three:

  • Access to mentoring programs: Because we are certified with WEConnect International, we were accepted into a business training program called VV Grow. The program involved an intense study throughout the course of a year on business development. The program included an all-expense paid trip to Dublin, Ireland, for a week to complete our training and to provide us with a basic [set of business skills]. We were also accepted into the TAP Program (Trade Accelerator Program), which is organized by the Toronto Board of Trade. We were notified about the program through WEConnect International. Finally, we are a member of the Accenture Mentorship Program, where I was assigned a mentor that has mentored me for a number of years. We also received this opportunity through WeConnect International.
  • Access to Fortune 500 Companies: Because of WEConnect International, we have been given the opportunity to meet with many persons involved in the role of procurement. As a result, we have met lawyers who work for these organizations and are able to represent the companies as outside counsel, this includes several Fortune 500 companies such as PayPal. Without the certification, we would not have been given the opportunity to meet and build relationships with the persons at these [corporations].
  • Networking, Access to other Certified Companies: Finally, WEConnect International has provided us with the opportunity to meet with other fellow WEConnect certified businesses so that we may build relationships and learn from them.

What three tips do you have for women entrepreneurs?

  • Use your time wisely: especially now as business is slowing down and there is so much negativity in the news. Try to turn that negative into a positive by taking this time to think about what you can do to improve or adjust your [strategy].
  • Have a good support system: It’s important as a business owner to recognize that it takes a lot of time to run a successful [business]. So, you need to have a good support system, especially if you want to have a good work-life balance. I have had several peers stop running their own business because the work put such a strain on their family life and relationships. It’s really almost impossible to have a good balance between the two without a good support system in place because both take up so much time and you need to spend the time on your business to be successful.
  • Build relationships with others not based on what you can get, but on what you can give to them: I genuinely believe there is a reciprocal law that exists and that the more you give to those that need help, the more you will get along the line in return. I can attribute much of my success to my mentors who helped me grow into the business women and lawyer that I am today and I am very fortunate that they decided to spend the time teaching me because I would not be where I am today without them.

Any big plans or announcements you’d like to share?

We are happy to announce that our Articling Student, Rishi Nagashar, will return back to our firm as an Associate this spring, and a female Articling Student will join our team in July. We are very fortunate that despite the current climate, our team continues to grow.