June 28, 2023 – A wave of hope and determination filled the virtual air as participants logged into the “Career Paths Virtual Mentor Chat: Lawyers” sponsored by the Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia (ISSofBC) and Mosaic. This gathering served as an online hub for international lawyers seeking advice on integrating into Canada’s legal field.
The event featured Melissa Briones of Northam Law Corporation, an immigrant and a foreign-trained lawyer, providing insights into the legal profession in Canada.
Briones opened the session by commending the fortitude of those brave enough to migrate and adapt to an unfamiliar country and legal system. “Change is a necessary part of this journey,” she stated. “It’s natural to feel lost initially, but the key is to find your bearings and not stay lost.”
Her honest admission of initial struggles with job searching resonated deeply with the participants, who found solace and inspiration in her narrative.
“Reinvention is key,” Briones shared, emphasizing the importance of flexibility, adaptability, and embracing unexpected opportunities. Her journey serves as a testament to the rewards of facing challenges head-on in a new legal environment.
In her earnest address, Briones highlighted the importance of learning from mistakes, stating, “Mistakes engrave lessons into your DNA and remind you that you’re still capable of learning. Don’t fear them, embrace them.”
Equally important, according to Briones, is proactivity. “Show up and take action,” she urged. “Sometimes, that’s all you need to set your trajectory in the right direction.”
A key focus of the session was the significance of continuing education in successfully integrating into the professional sphere in Canada. Briones underscored that understanding the value of advanced education early on can pave the way to success.
She concluded the session by reminding participants to always remember the reasons that brought them to Canada.
The event, part of the ISSofBC Career Paths Virtual Mentor Chat series, provided a supportive platform for immigrant professionals. The wisdom and guidance shared by Melissa Briones offered a beacon of light for international lawyers, better equipping them to navigate their professional journey in their new home.
Programs like these are testament to the invaluable work done by ISSofBC and Mosaic, who tirelessly assist immigrants and refugees in empowering themselves and creating a promising future in Canada.