Nigerian-born lawyer Angela Princewill was called to the Ontario bar just hours before giving birth to twins, she tells AdvocateDaily.com.
“It was the only jackpot I’ve ever won,” says Princewill, a family and immigration lawyer and principal of A. Princewill Law Firm in Pickering, who remembers the moment she crossed the stage, heavily pregnant with her son and daughter as she officially became a lawyer.
Now, eight years later, Princewill works to make a positive impact for aspiring Canadians and divorcing couples at her own firm, which was recently named Top Family Law Firm in Durham Region.
“I feel like I’m making a positive contribution in an environment that has enriched my life and the lives of my children,” says Princewill, who immigrated to Canada 15 years ago as a family lawyer but had to go back to law school to become licensed in Ontario. The experience inspired her to branch out to immigration law.
“It’s nice to see people coming here to make a contribution to society — seeing business people investing in the economy and creating jobs, or people with wives or husbands overseas trying to become a family here and raise children. For me it’s a passion, and I just can never imagine not doing it.”
When it comes to her family law practice, Princewill says she understands that people often come to her during the most difficult moments of their lives.
“Clients are often hurting because they know their family unit is no longer together,” she says. “At the same time, they are also confused because there are all these legal ramifications. There is the hurt of the broken relationship, but there are also properties that need to be equalized.”
Separating spouses are filled with questions.
“Where are the children going to live? Who are they going to live with? How often are they going to see the other parent? Do I even want that terrible other parent seeing them?”
Princewill says she offers a voice of reason during a highly emotional time, when irrational decisions can be easy to make.
“It feels good to be able to ground the clients and, if they are having unreasonable expectations, bring everything back,” she says. “I can take that burden away — at least the legal part of it. I tell them to leave it with us and ‘we can guide you through that part. But right now just focus on healing and getting yourself back together emotionally.’ That is extremely gratifying.”
Princewill says what sets her law firm apart is the ability to truly listen.
“We are very empathetic. We listen to our clients, we listen fully,” she says. “People may feel like they know your story and they know you. But for us listening is one of the things that we do best.”
Listening helps Princewill and her associates to fully understand how best to approach individual cases. She says each case is different and it’s important not to take a “one-size fits all approach.”
We are there for you, we are friendly and we will work with your matter in a very cost-effective way,” she says. “We always try to communicate that we are in your corner, we care and we will persist in getting you the best results.”