The 4th Annual Young Women in Law Charity Gala

Jeanne Beker tells young lawyers to set themselves apart from the pack

Young Women in Law Charity Gala 2014

What: 4th Annual Young Women in Law Charity Gala
Where: Bloke and 4th, 401 King St. W
When: February 27, 2014

“No matter what you do, you’ve got to have a brand,” Jeanne Beker, host of Fashion Television, told an audience of 300 lawyers at last night’s Young Women in Law Charity Gala.

Hosted this year at Toronto’s downtown dining lounge Bloke & 4th, the annual gala invites speakers outside the legal profession to address — and inspire — women in their early years of practice.

“This isn’t a world that rewards followers,” Beker continued, in her characteristically pithy style. “Success comes to those with unique voices who colour outside the lines.”

Beker may not be a lawyer, but lawyers can learn a lot from her career, said Adrian Walrath, co-director of events at Young Women in Law. “Jeanne has shown an ability to brand herself and create a business — she has a clothing line, books and a television show — and I think lawyers are also, in a sense, small business owners who need to market themselves to clients.”

Indeed, lawyers need to do more than “sit at their desk and work really hard,” said Erica Young, president of Young Women in Law.

“You need to know what kind of lawyer you are and what your niche is,” said Carrie Heller, president of the legal recruiting firm The Heller Group, the gala’s title sponsor. “You need to know what distinguishes you from other lawyers.”

Beyond the thought-provoking conversation, the event has another worthy purpose: all proceeds from the gala were donated to Dress for Success, a charity that provides professional attire and career support to disadvantaged women.

This is the third year Precedent has covered the Young Women in Law Charity Gala! Check out our pictures from the 2011 and 2012. Invite us to your party!