1) Tell us about yourself! (Current occupation, family, pets, where you reside, etc.)
My name is Avechi Chimara and I am a Corporate and Securities Associate Lawyer at Ormston List Frawley LLP. I live and work in downtown Toronto. I graduated from the University of Ottawa in 2020 and was called to the bar in Ontario in 2021. Prior to my legal career, I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, where I earned an Honours Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Political Science and Sociology.
I have always held an interest in the intersections of business, law, and governance. In high school, I completed a Specialist High Skills Major in Business and I was an Accounting Co-Op student for the Brampton Board of Trade. Prior to law school, I worked for a Canadian Chartered Bank. During law school, I summered for two years with an Ottawa business law firm where I was able to learn and practice corporate law.
After completing an MBA Project Management course in law school, I was inspired to learn more about entrepreneurship and start-up culture. I was privileged to be accepted to two international exchange programs that exposed me to captivating legal subject matter. The first was a program in Israel that focused on start-up culture and the second was a program in Puerto Rico that concentrated on intellectual property law.
Currently, my practice focuses on advising on debt and equity financings for private and public companies, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, securities compliance, and other transformational corporate events. I am also regularly involved in providing legal advice on corporate and commercial agreements.
2) How long have you been involved with the OBA? Why did you join?
I joined the OBA in 2017 as a student member. I became more actively involved in the OBA because one of my law school classmates was the previous Student Representative for Ottawa. She raved at how great the OBA was throughout her term. I had joined the OBA as a general member in my first year of law school and had always received e-mail notifications, but I did not know much about the OBA until she told me about all the mentorship and networking opportunities. I was intrigued and inspired. The following year, I ran for a position as the student representative for Ottawa and was elected. During my articling term, I was elected to be the Chair of the Student Division Executive. Being the Chair of the Student Section was a rewarding experience and taught me a lot more about the governance and advocacy efforts behind the OBA. This year, I am a Member at Large of the Business Law Section and the Young Lawyers Division – Central. I’m so glad that I joined the OBA, as I have been able to meet so many amazing lawyers, and friends through my OBA membership.
3) What has been your most valuable experience as part of the OBA Business Law Section?
My most valuable experience as part of the OBA Business Law Section has been meeting so many skilled business lawyers. As a junior lawyer, mentorship is fundamental for professional growth and development. I have gained a wide variety of insight as to government changes impacting Business lawyers and have received remarkable mentorship through the OBA.
I am also looking forward to Co-Chairing the Corporate Law Basics Program in May 2022 which is being run in parallel with the Young Lawyers Division.
4) What is the best career advice that you’ve been given?
The best career advice that I have been given is not to be so hard on yourself. As lawyers, we are under constant pressure to always perform precisely 110% of the time. It is okay not to be perfect. What is important is to consistently learn and grow. It becomes a problem if you are repeating the same mistakes, or if you are never challenged because then you are not growing.
5) What are your interests outside of the law? (Hobbies, passions, etc.)
I am passionate about fitness. I enjoy home workout programs; my favourite workout program is the Insanity program by Shaun T. I recently completed his Insanity Asylum Vol 1. and 2. Programs. Nothing is more motivating than completing a challenging workout program. Recently, I have begun creating new recipes and experimenting with food with my family and friends. I also tried Virtual Reality videogames for the first time, and I am also looking into exploring my creative side by painting.
6) What’s one thing - either industry-related or not - you learned in the last month?
I always try to learn something new. I love to read non-fiction, psychology, business, and personal finance books when I am not working. I have learned skills that have helped me in my everyday life, from cooking new recipes, and learning more about financial systems. I think it is very important for lawyers to read things for pleasure, and not just for work.
7) If you could have dinner with anyone on earth, who would it be?
If I could have dinner with anyone on earth it would be Oprah Winfrey. Oprah is a self-made Black female billionaire, who overcame many challenges and was incredibly successful in her career. I think she would make for an inspiring dinner date.
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