New blood for an established Ottawa East law firm

Welcoming sign outside 34 Hawthorne Ave. Photo by Ron Rose.

One-time Old Ottawa East resident Leslie Kirk has taken over the reigns at the venerable law firm of Michael J. Farrell and Associate, located at 34 Hawthorne Ave.

The firm is renamed Kirk Law Office and Professional Corp.

Originally from Ottawa, Kirk lived in Old Ottawa East while pursuing her law degree at the U of O. Although she has since moved across the canal, she has remained active in the community, serving on the board of the Old Ottawa East Community Association, and participating in the annual membership drive.

Kirk is happy to keep the law practice here. She likes the friendly atmosphere, where people recognize each other.

The walk from her house only takes 15 minutes. Her office overlooks Ballantyne Park.

She has some definite ideas on how the park should be developed. She would like to see features added that would promote activities, such as a skateboarding. She would also like to see a water feature added to provide some serenity. In other words, she wants the park developed to attract all ages and interests.

Her law practice currently deals mainly with real-estate transactions, wills and estate planning. Kirk hopes to eventually expand into commercial law as well.

In addition to attending to her practice, Kirk also teaches at the University of Ottawa Law School two nights a week. She teaches estate planning to second and third-year law students.

Kirk is an avid user of social media. She finds she gains exposure by occasionally contributing articles to blogs and websites. She has also found social media useful in recruitment and advertising for her work.

The process of acquiring Farrell’s established practice last summer was an eye-opener for Kirk. It involved obtaining financing, securing commercial contracts and dealing with personnel issues, not exactly elements of running a practice for which a law degree prepared her.

She is thankful for Farrell’s support and guidance during the process. He is confident Kirk will succeed.

In today’s private practice legal world, succession planning for a sole practicing lawyer is surprisingly a challenging proposition as few young lawyers are either inclined to or capable of establishing sole practices,” Farrell said. “This is especially true when the areas of practice are restricted to real estate and wills and estates as was my case.

“I was fortunate to have had Leslie work with me as a student starting in high school and continuing right through law school and eventually joining me as an associate lawyer,” Farrell added. “This gave me the opportunity to fully expose her to all areas of my practice and determine that she not only enjoyed this practice model but also excelled at it both with respect to her performance and ability to maintain positive client relations which as we well know is a key to continued success. I have no doubt that Leslie will succeed.

Kirk is focused on maintaining and eventually building her practice, and also has other longer-term plans. She is interested in municipal government, particularly urban planning.

She articled at the city’s Legal Services department, and would like to run for city council someday. Following her political career, she said she would retire to the country and raise alpacas.

Kirk invites readers to check out her services on the web at mjfandassociate.com.

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