YEDaily: Fabrice Vil

Fabrice Vil is a lawyer practicing in the areas of both civil and commercial litigation and public and administrative law, primarily in complex files involving industries such as banking, healthcare, information technology and transportation. In 2012, Fabrice was recipient of four awards for social engagement, primarily as co-founder and CEO of Pour 3 Points, an organization that promotes school success in underprivileged neighbourhoods…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I am a lawyer practicing in the fields of civil and commercial litigation and administrative law at Langlois Kronström Desjardins, an independent law firm based in the province of Quebec. I am also co-founder and CEO of Pour 3 Points (Aim For 3), a non-profit organization that ensures the academic success and personal development of students-athletes in underprivileged neighbourhoods by leveraging the positive influence of sports coaches.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
After obtaining my CEGEP diploma from Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf in 2003, I immediately started law school, knowing that law combined my interest in both literature analysis and social sciences. In 2005, a lawyer who was then at LKD suggested that I apply for an intern position that was open there, which I did. I never regretted that choice because I have since worked at LKD during two summers as a student-at-law, was seconded during part of my internship to one of our clients and worked closely, early in my practice, with some of the best litigators in Canada. 

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of what I do on a day-to-day basis is working on simplifying a complex legal issue to the point where I’m able to explain the rationale behind it as if it was any other story. This is what makes the best pleadings in court. Ironically, this process that I find motivating is also the most challenging:  researching, reading, analyzing, thinking, asking questions, drafting, erasing, researching again.


Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself as a lawyer at LKD, hopefully as a partner, who will have enough experience and notoriety to lead a team of lawyers working on some of our firm’s most challenging litigation cases. By then, the first Pour 3 Points student-athletes will have graduated and hundreds more will be on their way.

What does success look like to you?
I adopt late legendary basketball coach John Wooden’s definition of success: “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.”  

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
I do not have any specific moment to highlight, as I am still early on in my career. The journey of growing from a 22-year-old intern who was just happy to be hired to someone who now better understands the role and challenges of being a lawyer and responsible citizen is what makes every day memorable.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
I do not have any particular advice to give to other young professionals because I am myself at an early stage of my career, and still have much to discover. However, I feel important to stress that regardless of our age, we all have a duty to work on improving our communities. The business community is a strong leverage to solve our most pressing local and international social problems, and we must all realize it. Some people can launch their own social enterprise if they have access to sufficient resources, but people can also volunteer within existing organizations or act as social intrapreneurs by changing some practices and policies within their workplace for the benefit of our world.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I don’t really like the notion of  “charity.” I would rather talk about investing in the solution of social problems. This being said, Haiti is dear to my heart because of my origins. I therefore act as secretary of the Kanpe Foundation, an organization which goal is to put an end to the cycle of poverty by encouraging financial independence in Haiti. However, I am most active as CEO of Pour 3 Points, which, in my view, is a powerful tool to unleash the potential of youth in underprivileged neighbourhoods. In the St. Michel area of Montreal, where we are located, recent statistics have shown that 38,8% of individuals over 15 do not have a high school or other qualifying diploma, compared to 21,5% of individuals over 15 in the general Montreal population. There are only 6,700 elementary and high school students in that area, which means that we can improve the city of Montreal if we collectively and effectively address the drop out problem in that specific area. And then build from there. 

What to you is notable?
Any act accomplished to improve someone else’s condition is notable.

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
Blackberry. I need to press on real buttons. Although I wish to have an iPad.