660 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 80 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2022
oured Perry with a Community Service Award, “the highest honour provided
by the CBABC in recognition of community involvement and contributions
outside of the practise of law”.
Perry’s ability to mentor young people extends to his mentoring of other
lawyers. Inevitably, through word of mouth, Perry gets asked to mentor articling
students and young lawyers who may need direction in what they are
doing. His mentees are referred to him by the Law Society and by other
lawyers. “These are kids who are trying to find themselves,” he tells me:
Every single lawyer says they’re working too hard, they’re taken for
granted, they don’t know when they have to work late or on weekends,
they have no life. So many of them are sucked into the downtown mentality.
What I tell them is what people of my generation say: sometimes
the best thing that can happen is you take a risk. You’re attractive, you’re
bright, you’re personable. Let’s assume you have brains and know how to
do the work. The most important thing you have to do is care about what
you do. We’ve got to get back to a place where it is less about the money
we make and the documents we produce, and more about values, morals
Perry often recommends taking on a practice outside of the downtown core
in a place where young lawyers can be more involved in their communities.
He also notes that we are very lucky in the legal profession. Unlike doctors
looking to change direction, if we want to do environmental law, estate law,
employment law or indeed any area of legal practice, we do not need to formally
retrain and get certificates. We have opportunities. We can seize them.
Just as he encourages young kids, Perry encourages young lawyers.
Perry was special counsel to RBC for many years and was once invited to
a huge reception in Toronto. In the corner of the room was a young woman
playing the harp. Perry stopped to listen to her for a while. At an appropriate
moment, he approached her and said: “I feel really sorry for you. I’m listening
to you and you are terrific! I wish the people here would shut up and
listen to you.” The woman looked at him and paused before speaking:
“Thanks so much, Uncle Perry. I knew you were listening. I was in Gotta
Sing! Gotta Dance! year two.” Alas, her name was neither Lola nor Lulu, but
she was a showgirl!
means two kids from Yorkton, Saskatchewan have
been on our covers in the past four months. The Honourable
1. Howard Ehrlich was a highly regarded labour and
employment lawyer at Davis & Co. and Bull Housser
& Tupper who tragically died at age 57 from lung
cancer. His life was celebrated in the Nos Disparus
section of this magazine at (2016) 74 Advocate 180.
2. While we strive for diversity in the Advocate, this
Nancy Morrison features on our May 2022
3. Jake Ehrlich was a lawyer from Brooklyn who was
bor n in 1900. He was known as “The Master” and
coined the phrase “Never plead guilty.” He is said to
be the inspiration for Erle Stanley Gardner’s fictional
defence lawyer, Perry Mason.
4. Musical theatre people love exclamation marks!