Above: Lawyer Gord Putnam, Samantha Olson, The Honourable Judge V.H. Myers, Jessy Inkpen — Associate Putnam & Lawson, and Lawyer Andrew Lawson at the Morinville Provincial Courthouse Friday afternoon.
– Lucie Roy Photos
by Stephen Dafoe and Lucie Roy
A small ceremony at the Morinville Court House Friday afternoon marked the start of a career for a local lawyer, but the gathering also marked the continuation of a tradition that began in 2013. Samantha Olson, who has spent the past year articling under Andrew Lawson at Putnam and Lawson, was the second lawyer to be called to the Bar in Morinville. Judge Vaughn Myers conducted the ceremony, as he did with Olson’s colleague, Jessy Inkpen, in July 0f 2013.
Olson took her oath Friday, signed the necessary papers and received her robe in the courtroom after Myers accepted the application to the Alberta Law Society submitted by lawyer Andrew Lawson on Olson’s behalf.
Olson has been working for the past eight years to receive her robe, but the 25-year-old lawyer said she knew at the age of 10 that she wanted to practice law. “I come from a divorced family. I was six years old when my parents split. I suppose that I just felt like I wanted to help other people that were dealing with what I was dealing with,” she said. “I grew up feeling that I wanted to be that person that could help others that are going through a similar situation to what I went through.”
The lawyer said the path from elementary school to the bar was one of study. Though she never had a problem achieving solid grades in her education, university provided a first-semester wake-up call. “I realized that I needed to put my nose into the books and get the grades that I wanted to. Not only was I young to be entering into law school, but I had virtually no work experience. It was an uphill battle for me.”
Olson said the bulk of her work at Putnam and Lawson would be matrimonial law. “That’s definitely the route that I want to go, but I’ve also been doing some solicitor’s work with the girls in real estate and also in the wills department,” she said. “I’m kind of all over the place getting general experience.”
The lawyer said she had enjoyed working with Andrew Lawson, Gord Putnam, and Jessy Inkpen. “It’s been a really amazing experience,” she said. “Putnam and Lawson is so much more than just a law firm. They’re like family to me, and we are all such a strong team. I love that I can come to work and know that people have my back, not only in work but also outside.”