Last fall, the CCLA conducted a survey designed to elicit responses from the Ottawa legal community on how we’re doing.  There was a question relating to the renovation, and changes that people would like to see.  Hold back, you did not: the barristers lounge needs an update.  To that we say: Oh boy, do we know!  We hear you!  The lounge is one of the areas most obviously showing in terms of the age of some of the construction materials (wallpaper, I’m looking at you).  The furnishings are looking a bit drab, too, and why is it so dark in there?

There’s also a storage issue of which we’re keenly aware.  Any given weekday during the colder months (which is a considerable length of time here in Ottawa), there’s not a free hanger in sight.  Coats are everywhere: they’re on hangers, hanging over closet doors, on chairs – everywhere but the floor!  That needs to be addressed, and our designer is certainly working on ways to make more coat storage space, that also looks significantly cleaner and tidier than the current wardrobes.

We’re also really keen to shape the lounge to have more functional space.  This will be one of the most dramatic changes during the renovation.  I am unable to explain the technical details with enough clarity in this post, but creating space within the lounge that will allow for meetings or small training sessions is something we’re very much hoping can happen.  We’re also working on the configuration of furniture to allow for better conversation space, and finally, a much sought-after feature: the space and ability to hold a more private phone call.  Once we’re further along in the process, I’ll be very excited to share more details on all of these plans with you.

Overall, we’re hoping to create an inviting and professional space for our legal community to use while in the Courthouse.  We’ve heard of great lounges from other courthouses in the province, and we’re feeling a little bit of lounge envy.  We suspect some members of our community might be, too.  Perhaps you’ve been in them and can speak to the experience  – which courthouse lounges have you been in, and what did they do that you liked?

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