Janice Payne joined Nelligan O'Brien Payne LLP as an articling student in 1975 and hasn't left since.
Then called Nelligan Power, Payne was the first female lawyer hired among six men at the firm.
"This was at a time when women were just beginning to make inroads into private practice," Payne
"So, it was a very different time.
It was exciting to be at the forefront of that wave of women moving into the practice of law.
In October 2000, Payne
made further progress for women in the field when she
became a name partner at the firm.
"It was a time when very few women had their name in the firm name, and so again I felt like I was making inroads that were supportive both of women in our practice in the firm-because we have a much larger proportion of women now-and more broadly in the profession," she
Focusing on employment and labour law, Payne
has been widely recognized for her
commitment to the practice and to her
was selected by her
legal colleagues for the 2006 and 2008-2015 editions of The Best Lawyers in Canada in Labour and Employment Law.
was also named one of the Leading 500 Lawyers
in Canada in the 2008-2011 and 2014-2015 Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide and in the 2013-2015 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory for employment law.
Add on the honour of "Lawyer of the Year" in the 2014 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada for Ottawa employment and labour law to the list of accolades.
is a recipient of the Diamond Jubilee medal and was inducted into the Wall of Honour, by the University of Ottawa Common Law Society
said one of her
proudest achievements has been her
role in helping women succeed in the practice of law and she
has acted a mentor to both men and women in the field.
Outside of her
work at the firm, Payne
is also very involved in the community.
She is a former member of the Board of Directors and past President of the Ottawa Chamber Music Society, a former member of the Board of the National Youth Orchestra and is currently a member of the Board of Governors for the Community Foundation of Ottawa and the Board of Directors for the GCTC.