As our second feature volunteer this week, I’d like to introduce you to Krista Frohlich of Frohlich Rollins Frolich. Krista was called to the bar in 1998 and has been practicing family law exclusively since that time. We chatted with Krista to share with you a little bit about her and some of her favourite memories of volunteering for LESA.
Please share with us a little bit about your background; your education, family, work?
I graduated with a BA and LLB from the University of Alberta, but spent a semester in second year law school at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia (and taught tennis while I was there, which was fun!). After articling with Field Law and then practicing for a year with Balbi & Company in Calgary, I became an associate with Frohlich Rand Kiss, and then partner in 2004 with Frohlich Rollins Frohich. I am actively involved in the legal community and have volunteered as a Child Support Resolutions Officer/Meditator with Alberta Justice in addition to my long list of activities involving CPLED and live seminars put on by LESA.
You have been a loyal supporter of LESA. What makes you want to volunteer?
I enjoy the camaraderie with other lawyers and getting to know some follow organizers/panellists through the volunteer process. I would not have the chance to get to know some other fellow lawyers in other Alberta centers without having volunteered with LESA. Volunteering also sharpens my research skills and always results in me learning more about some area of the law which I can then put to practical use. Plus it is a great resource in developing a “go to” database of people you can contact to ask questions when you are not sure of an area or issue. I also think it is important as lawyers gain experience in their chosen area of practice to give back to the legal community by volunteering at law or non-related events, and mentoring less experienced or younger lawyers. It is also a valuable experience to the lawyer to do so.
What motivates you?
Learning new skills and approaches to solving problems motivates me. Learning motivates me. The one thing about Family Law is there are so many areas of the law you have to have some knowledge of – corporate matters, criminal law, immigration law, creditor/debtor matters, landlord/tenant, etc. The learning never stops. Just when you’ve think you’ve seen something entirely unusual and strange, then something else comes along! What motivates me and what I enjoy the most are the people I’ve met and relationships I’ve gained because of my involvement in the legal field. A few of my fellow lawyers have become good friends after hotly contested files with them. I’ve also developed friendships with some of the Courthouse staff and LESA staff as well. When you’ve assisted a client through a difficult time and the matter has been resolved or concluded, that is also a satisfying moment.
What led you to a career in the legal profession?
Some days I’m not sure that I have yet figured out what I want to be when I grow up! However I knew coming out of high school that I wanted to help people. In law school I also knew that I wanted a practice area that would give me contact with people My impression in law school was that the practice areas where one could have an immediate effect of assisting people who needed help would be in family or criminal law. I was drawn to those areas and proceeded to practice family law. (I was exposed to it before law school from time to time as my father practices in family law).
What advice would you pass on to a newly called lawyer?
If you have the ability to, try as many different practice areas early on that you believe may interest you. It gives you a good experience base even if you decide to focus on one area exclusively later in your practice. It also results in a lawyer developing a variety of different skills, and hopefully you find an practice area you enjoy. Take advantage of different LESA, CBA other practice development courses/activities as much as you can. It is helpful to volunteer at a variety of events to network, meet people, and development friendships and relationships.
It is also important to know when you don’t know or understand something. Don’t fake it. There is always someone who knows more than you do so ask them!
Do you have a LESA volunteer experience that is particularly memorable for you?
I really enjoyed being a section chair at the Lake Louise Refresher Course in 2009. It was the first LESA seminar I was involved in and I was the youngest chair out of our group of volunteers that year, so I was a bit nervous at having my rookie premiere at the biggest seminar for Family Law practitioners in a four year period. But it was enjoyable to work with the panellists and organizing staff. And it was all to be in beautiful Lake Louise!
Another experience was the 2 trips to the Edmonton International Airport trying to get to Calgary in January 2010 to present at the Family Law for Legal Support Staff seminar. After two trips to the airport, horrible winter roads, and being fogged in twice while spending more time at the airport than the seminar would last, I never did make it to Calgary!