LESA Diversity Series: Kelly Osaka, Partner at Dentons LLP

The LESA blog highlights the achievements of diverse legal professionals throughout the Alberta legal community. In this article, we are spotlighting Kelly Osaka, a partner at Dentons LLP in Calgary and co-presenter at LESA’s September Rules of Court 2022: Year in Review webinar. Kelly has kindly joined us for an interview highlighting her career in law, views on mentorship, and advice to law students and newly called lawyers.

Kelly began her career in Halifax at Dalhousie law school. After graduating, she articled at a securities litigation boutique firm in Toronto. Upon being called to the Bar in Ontario, she moved to Calgary and began practicing commercial litigation at a national firm. In her role as partner at Dentons, she is a member of both the Litigation and Dispute Resolution group and Privacy and Cybersecurity group. Kelly aspires to build her practice and continue appearing in courts and administrative bodies across Canada.

Kelly is motivated by the diverse people she interacts with throughout her practice, and particularly by women in law. Her passion for the law and interest in learning new and evolving areas also keeps her dedicated to her practice. Kelly believes that informal and formal mentorship can foster motivation. Throughout her career, she has looked up to and respected lawyers that she has practiced with and appeared against. For Kelly, mentorship can be found in any type of relationship and is based on something that connects two people together. Kelly has appreciated the formal mentorship opportunities that her role as partner has presented. Currently a principal for an articling student, Kelly notes that she enjoys working with students at such an important point in their career.

When she was called to the Alberta Bar, she was strongly encouraged by the presiding Justice to volunteer with Calgary Legal Guidance. After taking him up on his suggestion, she began volunteering through Law Society Committees and instructing at the University of Calgary and presenting for LESA. These volunteer experiences have broadened her horizons and allowed her to meet new people and make connections within the Alberta legal community. Kelly encourages law students and newly called lawyers to volunteer within the legal community and to continue engaging in diversity and inclusion discourse. She advises those at the beginning of their career to ask questions and to look for work opportunities where strong and diverse leadership is valued.

 

Many thanks to Kelly for her time, expertise, and for sharing her experiences in law, views on mentorship, and advice to those who are at the beginning stages of their legal career.

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If you are interested in LESA’s September Rules of Court 2022: Year in Review, sign up for the webinar here.

Topics will include:

  • Dismissal for delay
  • Summary judgment post-Hannam
  • Limitation periods
  • Record disclosure obligations remote questioning
  • Costs
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