Jonathan Rossall Q.C. is a partner with McLennan Ross LLP, currently practicing in the areas of general litigation and health law. This year will mark his 30th year at the bar. We chatted with Jonathan to find out what led him to a career in the legal profession as well as what keeps him coming back as a LESA volunteer.
Please share with us a little bit about your background; your education, family, work?
I have a B.A. from the U of A (1977); an LLB from the U of A (1980); and an LLM focusing on Constitutional Issues from McGill University (1986). I’m married (27 years) with two boys, aged 20 and 23.
You have been a loyal supporter of LESA. What makes you want to volunteer?
I learned a lot from senior lawyers when I was first at the bar and I believe in providing that same benefit to young lawyers who may not have the resources or benefits at their disposal that I enjoy. All of us have a duty to give back to our profession and to ensure that lawyers are given the tools to be competent and capable.
What motivates you?
I truly love what I do and I enjoy working with younger lawyers and sharing my experiences and learnings.
What led you to a career in the legal profession?
My work experience and background focused largely on writing and creating, and law seemed a logical next step in the progression.
What advice would you pass on to a newly called lawyer?
Put your reputation before anything else. You can always improve your skills, and your abilities, but once you lose or damage your reputation, there is no comeback.
Do you have an experience while volunteering for LESA that is particularly memorable for you?
My most memorable LESA experience was actually this year, when I was asked to be a lunch-time keynote speaker at a Health Law program. Rather than talk about a case study or a legal topic, I was asked to speak for an hour or so on the human side of a significant file I’d been involved in – Hanke v. Resurfice, Inc. et al. We very seldom get a chance to share that side of a file with such a knowledgable audience, and I found myself getting a bit teary eyed at times, remembering a truly remarkable journey undertaken on behalf of such a truly remarkable person.