Christy Lovig made a significant career shift six years ago when she moved back to Kelowna from Edmonton.
Lovig had been practicing law at a large Edmonton firm that dealt with multi billion-dollar oil and gas companies, and is now a partner at Doak Shirreff LLP Lawyers, where her clients are her friends, neighbours, developers and small business owners.
“They’re completely different styles of practice,” she said. “In Edmonton, my practice with the larger firm had a very narrow focus, and didn’t allow for much direct client interaction. I worked 18 hour days seven days a week. When I interviewed with them I thought it was a selling feature that they had a hot meal service every night and cots in the lawyers lounge.
“Now I’m realizing that was not a good thing. It was just nice to come back to my hometown and engage directly with my clients and feel as though I could make a greater impact.”
Lovig specializes in corporate -commercial business law, wills and estates and real estate law which derives from her background in business. Before attending law school she graduated from Simon Fraser University with an MBA in marketing, and coming from a long line of entrepreneurs, she ran several businesses after graduating. As Lovig continued to work as an entrepreneur, she found the legal process was something she could do on her own and was the next logical step in her career.
“I think that every entrepreneur has a bit of what I term ‘business ADHD’ in terms of needing different projects to keep them interested,” Lovig said of her interest in business and law.
“The practice of law is very much like that. I get to work with a variety of clients on a daily basis, acting as a deal-maker and a problem-solver in relation to a diverse range of legal issues.
“It’s my job to provide solid legal solutions and support so as to allow my clients the freedom to focus on the varied business at hand.”
In addition to practicing law for a career, Lovig is very involved in Kelowna’s running community. She has been running competitively for more than 30 years, and has coached on a volunteer basis for almost 20. She coaches year-round running clinics where the largest have upwards of 80 participants. She loves teaching people that they can run and helps them achieve their goals. She helps her clinic participants realize their limits are far beyond where they thought them to be and gives them the confidence that they can do anything on a day-to-day basis. Lovig said that is her way of making a difference in her community. She is very passionate about her running career, and believes it is the perfect complement to her profession as a lawyer.
“There are so many parallels between running, business and the law,” she noted. “You need to think strategically, you need to work hard, you need to be determined, confident and you have to persevere. It takes immense dedication.
“As an example, I just did the Berlin Marathon in Germany, and in my training leading up to that I was running up to 95 miles a week, which meant I was getting up at 4:30 a.m., 4 on many days, just to get my training in before my regular work day.
“It’s not easy, but you have a set goal and you do what you have to do to achieve it.”
Lovig just returned from Berlin on Tuesday, which was one of the top highlights of her running career. In a race of 50,000 people she finished as the top Canadian woman, and set a new personal best of two hours and 52 minutes, nearly an Olympic qualifying time. Lovig loves being a part of Kelowna’s running community, not only through racing but also providing people with a supportive, non-intimidating and fully inclusive coaching environment.
“It feels great to be standing at the finish line and cheering my participants across the line, and getting to share that achievement and seeing that rush when they cross the line.
“There are often tears of joy and being a part of that is simply amazing.”
From helping her clients grow their passion through her work as a lawyer and her personal achievements and drive to help others in running, Lovig is A Woman to Watch.