Josée I. Virgo
PERSPECTIVES ON THE PRACTICE
Q: You started your practice life at Dust Evans and then spent several years working in a larger downtown firm? What brought you back?
A: It's really tough to give you a short answer to that question! I loved my time in the larger firm. I learned a lot that will help me going forward but it was time for a change. Having worked at Dust Evans for two years when I was just starting out, I knew that the firm shared so many of my values — excellent client service, a commitment to professionalism and our profession, community involvement, and so on — that it was easy to make the decision to return. The opportunity also addressed work-life balance concerns that were much on my mind as a mother and wife.
Q: How does your experience as an entrepreneur help you as a lawyer?
A: My sister and I started a small business together less than two years ago. We own Kenlan's Closet, a designer dress rental boutique which we now operate out of my home in Navan. Getting the business started from scratch and dealing with landlords, banks, suppliers, the CRA and others as an owner, and not just an advisor, has really given me the ability to put myself in my business client's shoes. Been there, done that, can empathize.
Q: How does being female, married and the mother of two young children affect you in delivering legal services to your clientele?
A: I have first-hand knowledge of the challenges faced by business women trying to achieve success while maintaining a manageable work-life balance. I also understand the dynamics of family life where parents juggle business and family demands. It gives me a perspective that really helps me in dealing with all my business clients, male or female. You can never see a business issue, or any issue, for that matter, on a standalone basis. You really add value for the client when you can put it in context, see the bigger picture.
Q: You said that the firm's commitment to service excellence was one of the things that lead you to return to Dust Evans Grandmaitre. What's your personal perspective on service excellence?
A: A lot of elements come into play in delivering excellent service. First and foremost, you have to be an active listener. You need to hear the client's message on all levels — business, personal and so on. Only then can you develop the efficient and pragmatic solutions to their issues which are part of service excellence. Communicate effectively, stay on top of legal and business issues, be accessible, be proactive, be responsive, all these things are part of excellent client service.
Undergraduate – McGill University
Law Degree – University of Western Ontario
Called to the Bar in 2002
Orléans Chamber of Commerce
Member of the Canadian Bar Association and the Law Society of Upper Canada
Member of the County of Carleton Law Association