Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Advice for My Younger Self | Karla McGrath | TEDxQueensU

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Karla McGrath offers up a lifetime of professional wisdom brought together in a handful of engaging true stories. Taking us from her life’s greatest failure at the age of fifteen to the exciting success of her dual career as a lawyer and a law professor, Karla teaches us the secret she wishes she had always known (spoiler alert): “Be Wrong, Fail More and Dumb it Down a Little”

Originally from Newfoundland and raised in Nunavut and Labrador, Karla McGrath is a graduate of Carleton University in Ottawa (BA, 1988), the University of Kentucky College of Law in Lexington, Kentucky (JD, 1996) and Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario (, 2013). Karla was called to the bar in both Ontario and New York and her law practice in the Kingston area has included private practice with a focus on Family Law and seven years litigating as in-house legal counsel for a local children’s aid society. Currently, Karla is the founding Director of the Faculty of Law’s newly minted Queen’s Family Law Clinic, a sessional instructor at Queen’s Law teaching Children’s Law to second and third year law students and the coach of the Queen’s Walsh Family Law Moot team. Karla lives in Kingston with her two children and their larger than average collection of pets.


This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at
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