In the early 1980s, Hélène Guay decided to become a lawyer to advocate for human rights and the rights of health care system users. She earned a Bachelor of Law from McGill University and, in 1988, was admitted to the Québec Bar. The following year, she received a Master of Health Law from the Université de Sherbrooke.
After practising with a private firm in Montréal for three years, she set up her own office in 1992. Since then, she has been working as a litigator in health law, human rights advocacy and civil liability cases. She has also been acting as legal counsel for ethics committees set up by health care institutes in Montréal and as legal advisor for rights advocacy associations.
Hélène Guay has been training emerging lawyers and health care professionals since 1992, lecturing in the health law masters program at the Université de Sherbrooke, in the faculty of medicine at Sherbrooke University Hospital Centre, in the continuing education departments of the Université de Montréal and McGill University, and in the professional training program of the Québec Bar in Montréal.
Throughout her career, she has sought to disseminate legal information by playing a role in associations like the Montréal Bar, publishing articles, and taking part in conferences of the Québec Bar and the Canadian Institute on current legal issues in health care and human rights.
Today, Maître Guay is an active legal counsellor, teacher and conference speaker, who focuses on advocacy by representing individuals before the courts and in negotiations of out-of-court settlements.