How this in-house counsel mastered the basics of business law

It’s not complicated: she took the Osgoode Professional LLM
Sara Diament feature image
Portrait of Sara Diament

Sara Diament

Legal director at PepsiCo Canada ULC
Osgoode LLM: Business law, 2014
Year of call: 2007

As legal director at PepsiCo Canada, and one of only three in-house lawyers on staff, Sara Diament’s legal skill set needs to run the gamut. “On one day, I might be advising on employee-pension matters,” she says. “On another, I could be drafting commercial contracts, guiding management on litigation or handling risk-management questions.”

Welcome to the world of an elite in-house counsel. The legal questions come at you, like a flood, all day long. And you’d better have the answers. Diament’s initiation into this world took place in 2010, when she left private practice as a commercial litigator and moved in-house to Tim Hortons. In short order, she realized that in-house lawyers need a wide range of legal knowledge at their fingertips.

So she enrolled in the business law specialization of the Osgoode Professional LLM, a rigorous two-year graduate program that she could complete on a part-time basis. In 2014, Diament finished the program and, in February 2015, moved to PepsiCo — ready to take on any legal challenge. “The program gave me a really well-rounded scope of business law,” she says. “It helped me feel more confident in providing legal advice as it relates to the organization. It definitely makes me unique.”

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, constitutional, criminal, labour, 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 2018 Issue.