Julia founded Sealy Cornish Coulthard with Doug Sealy, Q.C. in 1999, eight years after they began practicing as a family law team.
Julia practices primarily in the areas of family law and adoption. She is a member of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society (1984) and was awarded Queen’s Counsel in December 2006.
Julia graduated from Mount Allison University (B.A. Hons. 1979) in her native New Brunswick before attending law school at Dalhousie University (LL.B., 1983).
Julia is a member of the Canadian Bar Association and the American Bar Association. She served as the President of the Canadian Bar Association Nova Scotia (CBA NS) and national Chair of the CBA Family Law section. She is the 2011 recipient of the CBA NS Distinguished Service Award. Julia is also a member of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society Family Law Standards Committee. She serves on the federal Advisory Committee on Family Law Issues, which assisted in the development of the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines.
As well as her CBA involvement, Julia instructs courses on legal status of women at Mount Saint Vincent University and she served as President of the Dalhousie Law Alumni Association and President of YWCA Halifax.
Julia has given numerous presentations in Canada and the US on issues in family law. She has also assisted in the organization of many conferences. She is a frequent media commentator.
Julia is certified in Collaborative Family Law (2002) and was listed in both the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (Family Law) and the Best Lawyers in Canada (Family Law) in 2011. She is a member of the invitation-only International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers as well as the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and the Collaborative Family Law Association of Nova Scotia.
Julia’s volunteering has allowed her to explore many diverse parts of Canada and beyond, contributing to her love of travel. Whether in a new city or home in Halifax, Julia seeks out theatre, galleries, concerts and interesting places to walk.
After a quarter century of practice, I continue to find family law constantly compelling. It’s a privilege to be allowed into the lives of our clients as they cope with changes which run the gamut from the deeply distressing (an unexpected separation) to the joyful (adoption). Knowing I am helping people move through these transitions is what makes what I do so rewarding.