BARE BONES BRIEFS: More lawyers Down Under, especially women, than koalas | 1.46 ABA members suffer data breach in strange hack | Bennett Jones opens Montreal office | SCC Justice Moldaver joins Arbitration Place | Lawyer turned Yale psychologist publishes The Thriving Lawyer

By Julius Melnitzer | September 5, 2023

Australian lawyers faring better than koalas

Koalas are now officially an endangered species in Australia. Some reports list the remaining population in the wild to be as low as 43,000. Lawyers, by contrast, are thriving, with the 2022 National Profile of Solicitors reporting 90,329 practising lawyers in the country of about 26 million, representing 57 percent growth since 2011. Female lawyers now outnumber males, having increased their numbers during that period by 67%, compared to 26% for males.

Related Article: Bare Bones Briefs: Woman lawyers working 100 more hours than men


Hackers accessed 1.466 million legacy members’ usernames and passwords at the American Bar Association in March. The attack, however, was a strange one: Practice Source reports that this was not a ransomware attack nor was corporate or personal data stolen. In fact, the hackers “hashed and salted” the information, converting it from plain text into a more secure format. But the ABA said the hackers could still dehash the passwords. Worse still, many of the passwords were defaults assigned when the accounts were registered.

Related Article: Cybersecurity: Nine Tips to mitigate legal and regulatory liability


By opening a Montreal office in May, Bennett Jones because the first national law to expand from west to east in Canada. Pascale Dionne Bourassa, a veteran litigator, became the first local partner, while Monique Mercier, formerly a senior telecommunications executive, joined her as a senior advisor. Lawyer and MBA holder Jacinthe Landry will be director of administration.

“There is a perfect fit between Bennett Jones’ expertise and our Québec, Canadian and international
clients interested in the energy and energy transition, capital projects, construction, agribusiness,
and technology sectors,” Mercier said in a press release. “The launch of our firm in Québec is a testament to the strength of the Québec economy and the interest of Canadian and foreign investors in it.”

In August, Yannick Beaudoin, with 25 years’ experience in infrastructure and project development and finance, joined the Montreal office as a partner.

Related Article: Bare Bones Briefs: Bennett Jones provides scholarships for Indigenous, Black and first-generation law students


Recently retired Supreme Court of Canada Justice Michael Moldaver has joined Arbitration Place’s roster of neutrals in Toronto. He will focus on mediations and mock appeals, with some arbitrations in the mix. Moldaver, on the court for over a decade, authored over 100 judgments. On his retirement in 2022, Chief Justice Richard Wagner described him as “one of the best justices” in the court’s 147-year history.

Related Article: Bare Bones Briefs: Former CJO Strathy joins Arbitration Place


Dr. Tracy Cipriano, formerly a practising lawyer and now a psychologist who is an assistant clinical professor in the Yale School of Medicine’s psychiatry department, has published The Thriving Lawyer: A Multidimensional Model of Well-Being for a Sustainable Legal Profession. The book addresses the challenges of practising law and offers strategies to promote well-being and healthy work environments.

“We are not going to eliminate stress in the legal profession, nor do we want to, but we can do more to foster mental and physical health, and healthy work environments,” Cipriano said in a press release.

In May, the Ontario Bar Association featured Cipriano on its webcast called Kicking COVID: A Wellness Program to Reintegrate, Reinvigorate and Restore Yourself. She addressed burnout, stress and uncertainty, how they impact health, and how lawyers can manage each to ensure their well-being and stay focused and productive.

Related Article: Bare Bones Briefs: Remote lawyering, longer hours: CLIO survey

Julius Melnitzer is a Toronto-based legal affairs writer, ghostwriter, writing coach and media trainer. Readers can reach him at [email protected] or

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