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Matthew Yap, LLM

February 4, 2022

Roz Bahrami

As part of the alumni spotlight series, we’re highlighting an alumnus of Osgoode’s Professional LLM in General Law – Matthew Yap. Matthew is the Director of Legal Registries at the Government of Northwest Territories, as well as the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) Chair for the Northwest Territories. Matthew’s professional journey has taken him along exciting pathways which include working in policy for the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, teaching with the Toronto District School Board, and serving in the Canadian Armed Forces and British Army. We asked Matthew to tell us more about his journey:

Can you tell us about your current role and the positions you held before you got to it?

I am a lawyer and director of the Northwest Territories Department of Justice. In this role, I oversee a division responsible for a wide range of practice areas that include corporate/commercial, securities, real estate, secured transactions, societies/not-for-profits, condominiums, and more. As the Northwest Territories Superintendent of Securities, I am also a Chair of the CSA, the body of the 13 provincial and territorial securities regulators that work together to oversee Canada’s securities industry and the capital markets.

I started articling at the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, working in litigation. Following articles, I moved to the Northwest Territories where my work varied from labour and employment, leading a policy unit, and a lawyer management position practicing in real and personal property law, before assuming my current position. Concurrently, I have served as an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces assigned to the Canadian Rangers.

How has the LLM in General Law benefited you?

As my background and current role suggests, my position is a bit of a ‘jack of all trades’ practicing in many diverse areas of law. The LLM in General Law allowed me to focus my degree in several areas relevant to my current position with a mix of courses from the Securities Law and Business Law LLM programs. As a result, the program provided me the foundation to develop the expertise necessary to be successful.

What was your distance learning experience like?

I travelled to Toronto to attend some of the intensive courses required. While I would have preferred to have attended the program entirely in person, the distance learning option allowed me to complete the degree from the Northwest Territories while maintaining my employment. I was particularly grateful for the Osgoode team’s incredible technical support to make sure the system would work and always being on call to provide help.

Looking back, what piece of advice would you give yourself at the beginning of the LLM journey?

I considered an LLM for several years before taking the leap and enrolling in the program. Looking back, I would have recommended exploring courses and enrolling earlier in my career, as one never knows what the future may hold.

Want to learn more about the Professional LLM in General Law? Sign up for an Information Session!