Mentoring relationship teaches Osler Litigation Associate some valuable legal lessons

W. David Rankin

Oct 7, 2015

Osler Litigation Associate, David Rankin, believes that lawyers always benefit when they seek the advice of their colleagues. When he sat down recently over lunch with his senior litigator and mentor, Mahmud Jamal, the Canadian Bar Association came along too. The resulting article by Ann Macaulay appears in the fall 2015 issue of National Magazine.

David firmly believes that his time with Mahmud will help develop critical technical legal skills as well as the intangibles that make for successful lawyers. Mahmud, in turn, emphasizes the importance of apprenticeship when learning your craft. He explains the power of visualization to David, and describes how all litigators are storytellers, “organizing the shape of the narrative” and creating clarity from confusion.

Mahmud remembers the valuable lessons he learned from his own mentor, Edgar Sexton. Suggestions that focused on courtesy, respect and fairness.

As they are about to leave the restaurant, Mahmud offers David one last piece of advice, “Try and enjoy the journey and don’t worry so much about the outcome. The outcome will take care of itself.”

For more lessons from lunch, Read Ann Macaulay’s article Lunch with Mahmud Jamal and W. David Rankin: Lessons in advocacy – with a side of sushi. CBA National Magazine | The Power of Perspectives (Fall 2015)

Osler Litigation Partner, Mahmud Jamal, has argued 32 appeals before the Supreme Court of Canada. He is pro bono counsel for the CBA in the case of AG Canada v. Chambre des notaires du Québec, scheduled to be heard by the top court in November

Osler Litigation Associate, W. David Rankin, joined the firm in 2012 after serving as a law clerk to Mr. Justice Morris J. Fish of the Supreme Court of Canada. He carries on a general commercial litigation practice.