“You really need a big plant in that corner, or something — it’s just so empty,” Melissa Miller told her colleague, fellow personal injury associate Joel Dick, looking at his rather bare office at Howie, Sacks & Henry LLP. “You know what? Screw that. I’m going to make a sculpture.”
And so she did — a floor-to-ceiling, 12-foot wire sculpture that looks like a pencil drawing come to life. It gave Miller a chance to use her artist’s skill set, something she had developed in high school as both a sculptor and a painter.
Her colleague loved the sculpture. Now, a founding partner at the firm wants Miller to make a series of pieces for his home.
“I hope I live up to his expectations,” she says. “It’s nerve-wracking!”
But Miller has no problem exceeding expectations. Only four years into her practice, she’s got six trials under her belt, including two she led herself. Last year, the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association recognized her with its Outstanding Young Lawyer Award.
And though she works hard, she carves out time for herself when she can. “If I’ve got a trial, my life is on hold for those six weeks,” she says. “But when I have a lull, I take advantage of it. I’ll leave at a reasonable hour. I’ll go to yoga, I’ll come home and paint or sculpt. I won’t just work for the sake of working.”
Howie Sacks & Henry LLP
This story is from our Summer 2015 issue.
Photography by Daniel Ehrenworth