Ms. Young serves as in-house counsel to Jazz Aviation, one of Canada’s largest airlines. She joined Jazz in 2016 after working in the litigation department at Bell Canada and as a flight attendant for Air Canada. She is based at Jazz’s corporate headquarters in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
In her role, Olga offers advice to all levels of the organization on a broad range of issues and transactions. With a Jazz fleet of over 100 regional aircraft, Olga routinely handles the purchase, sale or leasing of aircraft, engines and parts. And with over 4,500 employees spread across the country, she is frequently consulted on employment and labour-related matters. Olga is also a member of Jazz’s Female Leadership Advisory Group (FLAG), whose focus is to attract girls and women to the aviation industry and to support its female employees by providing developmental and networking opportunities.
When her nose isn’t buried in legal documents, she spends her time with her husband and two kids. She also enjoys playing volleyball, snowboarding and traveling the world in search of fine foods and a good cup of coffee.
Olga is a graduate of Dalhousie University’s Bachelor of Law Program and a graduate of the University of Ottawa holding a degree in criminology. She is a member of both the Nova Scotia and Ontario bar associations. She is also fluent in English, French, Greek, and airline lingo.
Why did you decide to become an In-House Counsel?
" I attended law school with the intention of using that education and experience to – one day – run a business or a charitable organization. With that mindset, private practice never felt like the right path for me. Instead, I secured an articling opportunity with a telecommunications company and I was instantly hooked! The in-house role ticked all the checkboxes for me: to work in a corporate environment, to collaborate with other types of non-legal professionals, and to contribute toward a strategic business goal that didn’t relate to billable hours. "
Is the role of In-House Counsel changing? And if yes, how so?
"Traditionally, in-house legal departments were viewed exclusively as cost centers and their value was tied to managing external counsel costs and employing preventative measures to ensure compliance with applicable laws. However, this perception is evolving and many companies now position their legal departments as centers for additional revenue. Whether it’s pursuing litigation or implementing IP licensing programs, corporate lawyers are now expected to impact the bottom line in a positive way."
What is one of your favourite moments in your legal career?
"I received a handwritten card from a company employee in which she thanked me for taking the time to resolve a workplace-related matter that had impacted her and her colleagues for several years. As a lawyer, it is satisfying to know that you’ve provided sound advice and resolved issues effectively but it is especially rewarding when you witness the positive outcomes in the workplace that are the direct result of your work. "
How are you leveraging legal technology?
"In our company, the legal department relies on an online risk database service to vet and monitor third parties that we do business with. This subscription service has proven to be a valuable tool for minimizing risk and ensuring compliance with anti-bribery legislation and international sanction regimes.
We also subscribe to LexisNexis QuickLaw and LexisPractice Advisor (LPA) Canada. QuickLaw provides us with a reliable search tool for Canadian and international case law while LPA is our go-to tool for practical guidance on certain topics and quick access to contract precedents and clause libraries."
If you had a magic wand and you could change one thing about the legal industry, what would it be?
"I would increase diversity in the profession to ensure that female and racialized lawyers are appropriately represented in senior positions at firms, in corporations, and in academia. While I’m at it, POOF, equal salaries and opportunities for advancement! "
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