758 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 80 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2022
Michelle was supportive of the TRU Black Students’ Association and the
Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers. She would host women in the law
events in Kamloops and invite all the women from the law school to join
and meet local lawyers. The Kamloops Women Lawyers Forum had its genesis
at her kitchen table.
In 2018, Michelle was appointed Queen’s Counsel, which occasioned
another, less racy advertisement for “Is It Legal?”
Michelle’s marriage ended not long after moving to Kamloops. Those
early years were filled with further tragedy, when her beloved brother Jeff
died tragically in a car accident in September 1997. Her mother passed
away five months later. It is a sign of Michelle’s resilience that she somehow
found the strength to move forward and flourish.
Michelle gave birth to her two children, Moira and Kieran, during the
early years of her practice. Michelle embraced her role as a mother. Her
sense of duty to her clients and her love for her family meant that Moira
and Kieran had her full attention during the day, and her law practice had
her full attention during the night.
Michelle met her partner Stephen Faraday in 2010 when her children
were still in elementary school. He describes being stunned by her “electric”
presence and effervescent personality. After weeks of admiring her
from afar, Steve finally mustered up the courage to ask Michelle out on a
date. As it turns out, the only day they were both free was Valentine’s Day.
The rest, as they say, is history.
According to Stephen, “Stanford made it clear that her kids and career
came first. I was permitted to come along for the ride.” Her number one
focus was and is Kieran and Moira. Everything else was organized, sometimes
with difficulty and even willful blindness, around them. She would
never let them down.
When the clash between her children’s needs and work could not be
avoided, the family would adjust. While Michelle would peruse law books
in the library, the kids would do their homework and be entertained by the
law librarian, who always made sure to have a few treats on hand for them.
No doubt Moira and Kieran’s love of learning was shaped in those early
years. It was also not unusual to find Moira and Kieran sitting in on the odd
board meeting while Michelle attended to one of her many volunteer activities.
Rumour has it that to make up for the boring board meetings, Michelle
would sometimes dust off her pom poms and reward the kids with a good
old BC Lions cheer.
Just as her mother had done for her, Michelle instilled a sense of community
responsibility in her children. One example is the “Spirit Tree”.
Michelle would collect soaps and toiletries from hotel rooms all year long