How this banking lawyer thrived in the middle of the recession

Amira Abouali enrolled in the Osgoode Professional LLM, where she became a master of modern caselaw
Amira Abouali
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on print
Portrait of Amira Abouali

Amira Abouali

Director of Legal Services at Meridian Credit Union
Osgoode LLM: Business Law, 2013
Year of call: 2008

In 2010, Amira Abouali was a third-year associate in the securities group at Fasken, and her career wasn’t going as planned. As the profession continued to reel in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, the number of corporate deals on Bay Street had plummeted. Companies were more focused on survival than mergers and acquisitions. “I didn’t have enough variety in my day-to-day practice,” says Abouali. And if she couldn’t stay busy with a wide range of files, she would never cut her teeth in the practice area.

So she decided to enroll in the business-law specialization of the Osgoode Professional LLM, a rigorous graduate program that she could complete on a part-time basis. The coursework outlined the basics of corporate law, but it also turned Abouali into a master of modern cases — such as Sino-Forest — that are fundamental to practising law in today’s complicated business landscape. “The teaching was at an extremely high level,” she says. “Many of the instructors were practitioners, and they spoke to the class as if we were colleagues.”

Armed with this newfound knowledge, Abouali was prepared to take her career to new heights. Over the past decade, she has worked in-house at a mining company and at the corporate headquarters of Tim Hortons. Today, she is the legal director of Meridian Credit Union. “I work on different types of financing and do plenty of transactional work in mergers and acquisitions,” she says. “I attribute a lot of my success to the LLM program. I constantly recommend it to people.”

Fast facts about the Osgoode Professional LLM

1. Flexible: The program is designed for professionals. Evening and weekend classes let you earn a degree while working.

2. Specialized: Dive deep into one of 14 areas of specialization, including tax, securities, criminal, constitutional, business, and dispute resolution.

3. Rigorous: Throughout the program, you’ll complete detailed papers on a complex area of law, honing your legal writing and analytical skills.

Osgoode’s Professional LLM is designed with the working lawyer in mind. To learn more, visit the program’s website or call (416) 673-4670.

This story is from our Summer 2019 Issue.