Indigenous Leaders in the Alberta Legal Community Series | Corie Flett KC

The LESA blog is publishing a series of articles highlighting Indigenous leaders in the Alberta legal community. Today’s post spotlights Corie Flett KC, partner and founder of Muessle Flett Law LLP, and member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation.

Corie grew up in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories— a small town where most of her extended family lived. In 1995, she moved to Fort McMurray with her family before relocating to Edmonton to complete her post-secondary at MacEwan University, and her law degree at the University of Alberta. After completing law school, Corie moved back to Fort McMurray to complete her articles and is now a wife and mother to three children. In May 2019, Corie started Muessle Flett Law LLP with her partner Waverly Muessle.

When Corie first began her career in law, she worked with indigenous communities within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB). She would donate her time to RMWB to travel and provide free legal support to the community. During her career, she continued to be involved in various community and law-related not-for-profit initiatives. In 2020, her contributions to the legal profession were recognized and she received the honour of a King’s Counsel (KC) appointment. She is currently serving her second term as Bencher for the Law Society of Alberta and continues to be a proud and active member within her First Nation.

Given Corie’s extensive accolades within the legal profession, it may be surprising to learn that she initially aspired to practice medicine. However, after completing her first semester in the science program, she knew it wasn’t the right fit for her. Over Christmas break, she visited her grandmother at Fort Smith to plan her path forward. During this trip, her father and grandmother’s position as Residential School survivors made her realize that she wanted to do something that was impactful and would make them proud. Soon after, Corie switched her major to the arts and began pursuing a career in law.

Corie is thankful to her family and First Nation for their support of her aspirations to attend post-secondary and establish her own business. She is also grateful for the support of the Alberta legal community throughout her career. For Corie, Justice Gates remains one of her most notable supporters, and his position as her Supervisor for the RMWB legal community has pushed her to become a better lawyer and person.

When asked if she had any words of wisdom to pass along to newly called lawyers, Corie notes:

“Establishing appropriate boundaries between work and personal life is so important.”

Early on in practice, it may feel like there is a lot of pressure. She goes on to highlight that in this day and age, where smartphones can set up the expectation that someone is available at all times, it’s important to set clear boundaries for yourself around work hours and personal time.  Though it takes courage to establish boundaries, she cautions that ineffectively separating work from personal life may lead to burnout.

Many thanks to Corie for taking the time to do this interview, and for sharing her experiences in law as a member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. If you would like to learn more about Corie’s work at Muessle Flett Law LLP, visit her firm’s website here.

If you, or someone you know, is an Indigenous member of the Alberta legal profession, we’d love to hear from you. Please send us a note at [email protected].

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