Friday, November 2, 2012

Duty to Serve

Swearing-in Ceremony of Mr. Justice Antonio Skarica and Madam Justice E. Ria Tzimas
I like attending speeches and conferences. They keep both my mind open and my ears to the ground. I attended a swearing-in ceremony earlier this week for two new judicial appointments to the Brampton Superior Court of Justice. The speeches I heard were touching and inspiring, but the theme that resonated most with me was the duty to serve.

It was nice to be reminded that as a public servant, my true employer is the people of Ontario.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Employee vs. Entrepreneur

I have the privilege of being able to draw from public and private pools for income. My 9-5 is a lawyer for Legal Aid Ontario. During my free time, I operate a translation company.

The past week presented numerous challenges, which I overcame gracefully, but not without a fair amount of mental and physical hardship. I assisted a new record high of clients during a court assignment: 21. That is a lot of stories to process in an 8-hour shift! I also accepted a translation project in area outside my specializations (financial accounting) and ended up having to cancel on the client. Unfortunately, I may have lost that client for future projects.

Which brings me to my pro-con breakdown of being an employee and entrepreneur... 

1. Steady, predictable income.

2. No overhead expenses: all marketing, insurance, office supplies, membership, licensing fees etc. covered.

3. Recognition that comes with being part of an established name.
1. Unparalleled flexibility: I can work in my sweats and drink tea all day long.

2. Sense of ownership and fulfillment. 
1. Lack of flexibility: I have to be available for work at prescribed hours and must dress the part.

2. Heavy workload: I am responsible for meeting quotas and processing a high volume of clients.
1. Responsible for "rainmaking" i.e. finding and retaining clients, including following up on collection of unpaid accounts.

2. Responsible for all overhead expenses.

Both are great in their own ways yet present drawbacks. Luckily, I enjoy what I do, so the days pass quickly and I feel like my time and skills are used wisely. The learning curve has been tremendous and I'm gaining a deeper sense of what being professional really means.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Opening of the Courts 2012

Ontario Court of Appeal - Toronto, Ontario
I attended this year's Opening of the Courts ceremony in Toronto, Ontario. It was a good opportunity to network and expand my understanding of issues in the Canadian legal system.

Some sound bites:
  • collective responsibility to uphold the rule of law
  • a call for increased access to justice
  • simplify court procedures
  • area of greatest need
  • timely manner
  • front end services
  • supporting families in crisis
  • informed choices
  • facilitating resolutions in family matters 
  • renewed focus on child protection and high conflict matters
  • systemic problems beyond our control
  • tighter timelines
  • continued and enhanced collaboration
  • accessible justice in the North
  • roots of needless violence among youth
  • funding for coordinated intervention system
  • meaningful sustainable change
  • power flows from the people
  • due process and equality before the law
  • framework for peacefully and fairly settling disputes
  • respect for the rule of law
  • promote integrity and efficiency
  • responsive to needs

Monday, August 27, 2012

7 Steps to a Quality Translation

My basic recipe for a high-quality translation.

1. Read the source text in its entirety. 
2. Translate. 
3. Ensure the target text reads as if it were the original.
4. Review formatting. 
5. Perform line-by-line checking between source and target text.
6. Proofread target text.
7. Provide translator's notes, if appropriate.

- Inspired by my own experiences and The Checklist by Atul Gawande

Sunday, August 26, 2012

About Me

  • Canadian and American law degrees 
  • Current provincial government lawyer with experience in administrative, civil, criminal, family and immigration law
  • Past volunteer legal experience in animal, international and refugee law

  • French and Spanish translation degree 
  • Current Quality Assurance Representative for a provincial government contract
  • Past federal government translator and bilingual reviser 
  • Certified translator 

Disclaimer – Limitation of Liability: The translator shall not be held responsible for any errors or omissions or liable for losses or damages incurred through the use of the translator's services. Any error drawn to the translator's attention will be corrected immediately, but the client shall hold the translator harmless. Liability shall be limited to a reasonable portion of the fee for translation services.

Disclaimer – Not a Substitute for Legal Advice: The information contained in this blog is intended for educational and informational purposes only. No blog entry shall be construed as a substitute for legal advice.