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Five Questions with In-House Counsel: Julie Chapman

Julie ChapmanJulie has worked in the legal industry for 12 years, gaining experience predominantly as in-house counsel, but also on Bay Street in private practice. As a seasoned general counsel, she is passionate about advancing the rule of law and the upward mobility of women in the profession. In addition to practicing law, she volunteers in various ways including as an Executive Committee member of the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association (of the CBA), providing pro bono legal work for Pro Bono Ontario, and as a mentor for the Law Practice Program at Ryerson University. Outside of the office, Julie enjoys marathon running, reading, and especially spending time with her three young children.

  1. Why did you decide to become an In-House Counsel?

    "Before law school, I received my Bachelor of Commerce and had worked in a sales capacity both during and after university. After working in private practice (corporate/commercial law) for a few years, I was offered an opportunity in-house and jumped at it. The idea of dedicating my practice to one corporate client, who I could be deeply involved with, in terms of the people, the business and the industry, was the primary driver for me. I’ve never looked back."
  2. Is the role of In-House Counsel changing? And if yes, how so?

    "In-house lawyers used to be transaction focused in many ways, similar to private practitioners. They were reactive, meaning they dealt with legal matters as they came in the door and didn't worry much about strategic priorities or creating efficiencies for the business. Now, in-house legal departments are ..."

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