March 27, 2019

New book shares 114 real stories by women in the law

Anthology reminds readers there’s still work to be done to reach equality in law profession


Shuna Williams, Faculty of Law

Truth Be Told: An Anthology of Inspirational Stories by Women in the Law contains 114 personal stories from women in the legal profession.

Truth Be Told: An Anthology of Inspirational Stories by Women in the Law contains 114 stories.

Faculty of Law

On March 21, Truth Be Told: An Anthology of Inspirational Stories by Women in the Law, was launched in Calgary at the Faculty of Law. Created by three Edmonton lawyers, Teresa Haykowsky, Jeananne Kirwin and Sarah Eadie, the book contains 114 personal stories by women in law, with a focus on three themes — overcoming obstacles, mentorship, and lessons learned — the book focuses on female lawyers and judges in Alberta with the goal of inspiring young women to join the profession.

MCs Jan Cherniak and Michele Stanners introduced a wide range of speakers at the event whose remarks consistently touched on the value of stories. UCalgary Law’s Associate Dean Nickie Nikolaou spoke to the importance of not only sharing stories but also listening to them. Aritha van Herk, a professor in the Department of English, advocated the power of stories to change social norms and attitudes.

Stories written in several languages

Loraine Champion, a contributor to the book, discussed its history and development. One of the unique features of Truth Be Told is its accessibility. It contains stories in several languages, including Inuktitut, Cree, French, Italian, and Japanese, allowing a diverse group of women to engage with these stories.

At the event, four contributors — Judge Karen Crowshoe, and lawyers Cynthia Aoki, Tara Cassidy, and Maia Tomljanovic — shared their personal stories with the attendees.

Includes story from first Blackfoot woman called to the bar

Judge Crowshoe spoke to her experience of being the first Blackfoot woman called to the Alberta bar and the first Indigenous woman appointed to the Provincial Court of Alberta. She shared the story of how she received her Blackfoot name and the important role oral history plays in her culture.

“There are many lessons to learn from this anthology,” says UCalgary Law professor Jennifer Koshan. “These inspirational stories display how far women have come in the legal profession, but at the same time remind readers of the work that still needs to be done to ensure equality in the profession on the basis of gender, race, ability, family status, and other grounds.”

This is the perfect addition to your library if you are considering a career in law, are dealing with obstacles in your life or are looking for a different perspective on professional careers. This book will motivate you to persevere through adversity, contribute to your community, and listen to the stories around you.

If you are interested in purchasing your own copy of this wonderful book, please contact Tara Cassidy at