Asian Heritage Month: Menka Sull

Asian Heritage Month Lawyer Menka Sull

May is Canadian Jewish Heritage Month and Asian Heritage Month. Throughout the month, we sat down with a few firm members to hear more about the stories that influenced who they are as professionals today.

Menka Sull articled at Alexander Holburn in 2014-2015 and re-joined as an Associate in 2017. She is a member of the firm’s Construction + Engineering, Insurance, Administrative Law and Environmental Practices. Before starting her legal career, Menka was a research consultant for the federal government.

Strong Family Ties

“My grandfather’s brother immigrated from the Punjab region of India in the 1950s,” Menka shared. “He started working at a sawmill which was very common for Indian immigrants at that time.”

In the early to mid-1900s, the timber industry was at the peak of British Columbia’s economy. During that time, the arrival of South Asian immigrants across the province helped power the forestry sector.[1]

“He then helped a number of his family members, including my parents, immigrate to Canada in the 1970s,” Menka continued.

Born and raised in North Vancouver, BC, Menka recalls her earliest memories in a home her grandfather purchased.

“I lived in that house with my parents and nine other relatives until I was about four years old,” said Menka. “My parents had then saved up enough money to buy their own house in Lynn Valley.”

Through hard work and a strong network, her family rooted themselves in Canada within one generation. “Growing up, my parents emphasized education and put a lot of pressure on me to do well in school so that I could have more opportunities than they did,” said Menka.

With an M.A. in Political Science and a J.D., Menka is paving the way for others to follow her path.

The Value of Supporting and Learning from Others

Menka is a member of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (FACL) and the South Asian Bar Association – British Columbia (SABABC). FACL is committed to promoting equity, justice and opportunity for Canadian legal professionals of Asian descent and broader communities. SABABC focuses on removing barriers for South Asian legal professionals and students in BC and as part of an international network.

Connecting with lawyers of diverse backgrounds through these organizations has been a rewarding experience for Menka.

“[These organizations] also provide mentorship opportunities, which are important to me, as I believe that listening to and learning from others is invaluable,” said Menka, who hopes to become more involved in mentoring other young lawyers.

Menka’s Advice for Young Professionals

Menka’s integrity as a professional is rooted in an inspiring heritage of steadfastness, courage, and breaking barriers.

“Never let anyone tell you or make you feel like you can’t do something because of your background and always prove them wrong,” said Menka.

“The person I am today, including my work ethic and the values I have, are a direct consequence of my upbringing and family background.”

[1] A Social History of South Asians in British Columbia, p. 66

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