18 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 80 PART 1 JANUARY 2022
vacation time, and the firm provided her another paid three weeks. Lisa’s personal
experiences balancing being an exceptional lawyer and an outstanding
mother have led her to be an outspoken advocate for parents in the profession.
At Baker Newby, one person took particular notice of Lisa’s spark and
drive: Stephanie Fabbro. Stephanie arrived in 1995 as a summer student and
continued as an articled student. Lisa was Stephanie’s mentor, helping her
navigate another “first day” experience.
The two hit it off as Lisa showed Stephanie the ropes. Lisa shared her love
of family law with Stephanie, but Lisa was also her hardest critic. Lisa
returned Stephanie’s work with so much red ink on the page that it looked
like the paper was bleeding. Lisa’s sons and her assistant, Carol Kummer, all
know Lisa’s “marvelous way” of revising to perfection, “with hand-written
paragraphs snaking up and down the page in the margins and creating a ribbon
that wraps the entire document”. Lisa’s standard of excellence remains
In 2000, Lisa and her family left Chilliwack for Vancouver. Lisa began working
at Karen Nordlinger and Associates and was reunited with Stephanie
there. Stephanie had called Lisa to ask if she knew an associate who might
make a move to Karen’s firm, where Stephanie had begun working. Lisa volunteered
Always popular with law firm staff, Lisa and Stephanie were referred to
by legal assistant Carol Schebek as her “Angels”. Carol stamped “Angels” on
the envelopes containing Lisa and Stephanie’s paycheques.
Karen, a former Law Society president, encouraged Lisa to be involved in
the profession. Lisa volunteered with the pro bono program at the Surrey
Women’s Centre, the Canadian Bar Association, the Trial Lawyers Association
of BC and the Continuing Legal Education Society.
In 2008, Lisa and Stephanie discussed opening their own firm. It was a difficult
decision to leave Karen, as she had been a great mentor. One day at
lunch, they made a list of every lawyer they could call to provide work if
they were not able to get any themselves.
It turned out that was not an issue because Karen was incredibly gracious.
Unlike many lawyers leaving a firm, Stephanie and Lisa argued with
Karen over who would keep files, not who would take them. Karen wanted
her mentees to succeed.
In co-founding Hamilton Fabbro, Lisa and Stephanie planned on being
the only lawyers. They recruited Anita Kelln, their former assistant, and