Canadian Lawyer InHouse

Oct/Nov 2008

Legal news and trends for Canadian in-house counsel and c-suite executives

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PROFESSIONAL PROFILE 3M COUNSEL wears many hats As director of legal affairs at 3M Canada, Shauna MacDougall's days are as varied as the multitude of products her company manufactures. As someone whose ultimate goal was to be in-house counsel, she finds her professional life to be intellectually stimulating. By Maria Tzavaras W hoever said too much television is bad for chil- dren didn't know Shauna MacDougall. The Halifax native grew up watching one of the most popular shows of the 1980s, and says it planted the seed in her mind to one day have a career in law. "I was one of those kids back in early high school who kind of thought I wanted to be a lawyer, and it came from my favourite TV show, L.A. Law," says MacDougall. "At the time I thought, 'What a great job — great cars, great hair, great clothes. . . .' I thought, 'That would be cool.'" MacDougall is director of legal affairs at 3M Canada, an in- ternational company that manufactures everything from Post-it notes to Scotch Tape to Thinsulate and thousands of products in between. However, MacDougall's journey to become an in- house counsel wasn't straightforward, and she cites a solid vi- sion and her competitive nature as helping her get to where she is today. "I'm definitely a competitive person and I hate when someone tells me I can't do something," she says. MacDougall did her undergrad at Saint Mary's University, receiving a bachelor of commerce as an accounting major just in case her law ambitions didn't pan out. But, she says, it soon became clear that accounting wasn't her calling. "In the fourth year I was taking the history of accounting and I thought, 'Oh God, I cannot be an accountant. Let's try the law school thing,'" she recalls. She enrolled into law school at Dalhousie and completed her MBA and LLB simultaneously. She articled at Stewart McKelvey 26 OC T OBER 2008 C ANADIAN Lawyer INHOUSE in Halifax. Aſter she was called to the bar in 1997, MacDougall was hired on as a corporate lawyer. "We did half of our year in litigation, half of our year in corporate, and, with my busi- ness background, my MBA, and the way my mind works, I was definitely geared towards corporate lawyer and not a litigator" she says. During the three years she worked there, MacDougall says the experience she gained was not only invaluable but also reinforced her decision about where she eventually wanted to be. "I wanted to be more involved in the business instead of just coming in, doing a project, and then removing yourself," she says. "Actually being more involved on the business team." But there weren't a lot of opportunities like that in Halifax. "Not that there weren't any jobs in Halifax, but I'm not a huge risk-taker, so I needed to go to a company that was not just a start-up. It had to have some security, and there wasn't that much out East, so I knew I had to go out West." In 2000, MacDougall leſt her cozy East Coast life behind to pursue a law career in Toronto. Any apprehensions she may have had melted away aſter landing her first job as an associate, which she recalls as a "fabulous experience," at Goodmans LLP. Three years later, MacDougall decided to move on because, she says, "I came here for a reason, to be in-house counsel." By then, she felt she'd banked enough experience. In the fall of 2003, MacDougall landed an in-house job in the corporate head office at 3M Canada, located in London, Ont. She currently heads the six-member legal department that covers all

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