Coffee in Times of COVID with Public Sector Lawyers 

Mar. 25 - May 20, 2022

Coffee in the Times of COVID

Coffee in the Times of COVID is a virtual gathering of small groups of young lawyers and/or law students around a topic of common interest, designed to facilitate social connection among the legal profession and give participants a chance to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on their personal and professional lives, as well as the areas of law that matter most to them.

Cohort Stream

Coffee in the Times of COVID is about building your legal network, knowledge, and community. The cohort stream will engage a group of up to 20 young lawyers and law students in regular bi-weekly sessions hosted by a team of lawyer-facilitators from a partner Section of the Canadian Bar Association.  Registration is free for CBA members and participants must be available to participate in all five sessions in the cohort.

March 25, 2022 - May 20, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm ET

Coffee in Times of COVID with Public Sector Lawyers

What have you heard about practicing law in the public sector? Attend these sessions to separate fact from fiction as we discuss the diverse legal careers available in the public sector, as well as the benefits and challenges of lawyering in the public interest during the times of COVID.

In collaboration with:
The CBA Public Sector Lawyers Section

Melissa Burkett, Alberta Justice, Calgary, AB   
Melissa Burkett
Alberta Justice
(Calgary, AB)
Heather Hettiarachchi, Worksafe BC, Richmond, BC   
Heather Hettiarachchi
(Richmond, BC)
Me-Hae Hur, Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario, Toronto, ON   
Me-Hae Hur
Ministry of the AG of Ontario
(Toronto, ON)
Stephan Luciw, Office of the Integrity Commissioner, Toronto, ON   
Stephan Luciw
Office of the Integrity Commissioner
(Toronto, ON)
Melanie Bueckert, MB Court of Appeal, Winnipeg, MB   
Melanie Bueckert
Manitoba Court of Appeal
(Winnipeg, MB)


How to Become a Public Sector Lawyer & Our Career Trajectories

Friday, Mar. 25, 2022 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm ET
A legal career in the broader public sector can be vastly diverse. Join us in this session to hear from public sector lawyers about how they succeeded in landing a public sector job, their career trajectories, and tips on how you can too!   

Facilitators: Me-Hae Hur (Lead), Melanie Bueckert, Melissa Burkett

Advancement within the Public Sector

Thursday, Apr. 7, 2022 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm ET
So you landed a job in the public sector. Where do you go from here? Please join us for a frank discussion about reputation building and career advancement strategies in the public sector.

Facilitators: Melanie Bueckert (Lead), Me-Hae Hur

Practical Skills & Practice Tips

Thursday, Apr. 21, 2022 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm ET
Does practicing law in the public sector require any special or different skills? Come and hear from public sector lawyers as they share their tips and tricks for building a successful practice. We will also discuss some of the benefits and challenges of lawyering in the public interest.

Facilitators: Melanie Bueckert (Lead), Stephan Luciw, Heather Hettiarachchi

Private Sector vs. Public Sector

Friday, May 6, 2022 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm ET
In this session we will discuss key differences between practicing in the private sector vs. the public sector and some tips for transitioning to the public sector. Topics will include billable hours and targets, clients, and marketing.  

Facilitators: Heather Hettiarachchi and Stephan Luciw (Leads), Melanie Bueckert

Impact of COVID on the Public Sector Practice / Working in the Public Sector during the COVID Pandemic

Friday, May 20, 2022 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm ET
The COVID pandemic has affected all areas of our lives, including our work. In this session, public sector lawyers will share their stories and answer your questions about how COVID has impacted the practice of law in the public sector.  

Facilitators: Melissa Burkett (TBC) and Melanie Bueckert (Leads), Stephan Luciw, Me-Hae Hur (TBD)


Melanie R. Bueckert
Melanie Bueckert is a lifelong resident of Winnipeg, MB. She graduated as the gold medalist from the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Law in 2003 and received her call to the Manitoba Bar in 2004. After working at a large downtown firm, Melanie became Legal Research Counsel with the Manitoba Court of Appeal in 2006. She earned her LL.M. from the University of Manitoba in 2008 and has written several books and articles. She has taught at the law school and is actively involved with the Bar Association. She is the Chair of the Manitoba Public Sector Lawyers’ section.

Melissa Burkett
Melissa is a barrister & solicitor in the Litigation branch at Alberta Justice.

Heather Hettiarachchi
Heather is a lawyer, mediator, investigator and adjudicator. She is currently a Legal Adjudicative Officer with WorkSafeBC. She adjudicates Prohibited Action Complaints under the Workers Compensation Act of BC. This involves assessing evidence and submissions from workers, employers and unions and determining whether an employer/union has taken, or threatened to take, Prohibited Action against a worker in retaliation for the worker raising occupational health and safety concerns, and ordering appropriate remedies when a prohibited action is established on the facts. Heather is also involved in private practice on a part-time basis, providing services through her company, Integritas Workplace Law Corp. Her private practice is focused on advising federal and provincial employers on all labour & employment issues arising in the modern workplace, and strategies for proactively managing their human resources. She also mediates workplace disputes and conducts workplace investigations. Heather attended law school at the University of BC. In addition to an LL.B, Heather has a MSc in Training and HR Management. She is also a certified human resources professional and holds CHPR and SHRM-SCP designations in Canada and the US.

Me-Hae Hur
Me-Hae is Crown Counsel with the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario, Ministry of Government and Consumer Services and the Ministry of Infrastructure. In her current role, Me-Hae provides legal advice and litigation management services to the Risk Management and Insurance Services Branch, the Realty Management Branch and the Consumer Protection Branch. Me-Hae has a breadth of experience within the Ministry of the Attorney General, including with the Office of the Children’s Lawyer where she protected the property rights of minors through civil litigation, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (now Financial Services Regulatory Authority) conducting regulatory enforcement proceedings and prosecutions relating to financial services sectors, and the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee where she protected the rights of mentally incapable adults in myriad areas of the law. Additionally, Me-Hae worked with Indigenous communities as Legal Counsel with the Government of Nunavut, as well as in her role as a Judicial Law Clerk with the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Outside of work, Me-Hae is completing her Master of Laws, LLM, with the Osgoode Hall Law School. She enjoys volunteering her time to improve the larger community, including as Vice-Chair with the Ontario Bar Association’s Public Sector Lawyers Section, a Board Member with the Korean Legal Clinic, a member of the Anti-Racism Council with the Association of Law Officers of the Crown and various equity, diversity and inclusion affinity groups. Me-Hae is also an Articling Principal who makes the time to mentor law students and junior lawyers.

Stephan Luciw
Stephan is a lawyer by training having earned a law degree, a Masters in Law degree from Osgoode Hall and a Masters in Public Administration from Schulich School of Business. During his career, Stephan has worked in both the private and public sectors. Currently, Stephan is the General Counsel at the Office of the Integrity Commissioner for Ontario. The Office of the Integrity Commissioner for Ontario is an independent ethics leader, serving the public interest by encouraging and supporting high ethical standards that strengthen trust and confidence in the Ontario government. As Counsel for the Office of the Integrity Commissioner (Ontario), Stephan advises the Integrity Commissioner on all aspects of his mandate including the Members’ Integrity Act, 1994, the code of conduct for MPPs in Ontario; the Lobbyist Registration Act, 1998, which establishes the Ontario Lobbyist Registry; the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006, which sets out the code of conduct of Ministers’ Staff and establishes a “whistle-blowing” or the disclosure of wrongdoing framework in the Ontario Public Service.


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    5 Sessions
    12:00 pm - 1:00 pm ET
    Friday, March 25, 2022
    Thursday, April 7, 2022
    Thursday, April 21, 2022
    Friday, May 6, 2022
    Friday, May 20, 2022 

    Virtual Gathering

    Sessions will be offered in the language in which they appear


613-237-2925 | 1-800-267-8860