Brittany Whalen

Brittany WhalenAssociate Lawyer

I am an associate lawyer at Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers. I empower clients by making sure they are well-informed about their rights and have a clear understanding of the options available to them. I use my innovative problem-solving and conflict management skills to ensure my clients feel comfortable and supported as I help them navigate and resolve family law issues.

In 2016, I was called to the Ontario Bar and in 2017, I was called to the Newfoundland and Labrador Bar. I worked as an associate lawyer at a full-service law firm in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, where I established a successful family law practice and had the opportunity to work on several high-profile criminal and civil litigation matters.

I am an experienced legal and policy consultant with extensive knowledge of human rights-related matters. I am known for my minority rights advocacy. I received national attention for my role as lead counsel in a landmark transgender rights case which led to my client receiving the first gender-neutral birth certificate in Canada. This case acted as a catalyst for country-wide policy and legislative reform aimed at promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion.

I am passionate about social justice issues and I have undertaken specialized training to provide trauma-informed legal services to harm survivors. I previously worked in collaboration with the Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Assault and Crisis Prevention Centre (NLSACPC) and the Public Legal Education Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (PLIAN) to offer free legal services to individuals who have experienced sex and gender-based violence, harassment, and discrimination. I currently serve on the Board of Directors for a community healing and support group called the “Pathways Foundation”.

I believe in the power of education and spent time volunteering in Arusha, Tanzania, to help build schoolhouses and teach English to primary students. I am also involved with a charity known as “Cambodian Legal Education for Women” (CLEW), which helps support disadvantaged women living in Cambodia through a four (4) year university law degree.

I was born and raised in Durham Region and I enjoy reading, yoga, travelling, and exploring my creative side.

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (B.A.H.) and earned a Certificate in Sexual and Gender Diversity (S.X.G.D.) from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
  • Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the University of Ottawa and received a notation in International Law.
  • Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) training at the University of the West Indies in Bridgetown, Barbados, through Canada’s Centre for Trade Policy and Law (CTPL)

Awards

  • Won the Kathleen A. Herman Prize for “best feminist scholarship”