Julia founded Sealy Cornish Coulthard with Doug Sealy, Q.C. in 1999, eight years after they began practicing as a family law team.
Julia is a family law partner in Sealy Cornish Coulthard, which she opened with Doug Sealy, Q.C. in January, 1999, eight years after they first began practicing as a family law team. She practices primarily in the areas of family law and adoption. She is President of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. (NSBS). Julia was awarded Queen’s Counsel in December 2006, the Canadian Bar Association (Nova Scotia branch) distinguished service award in 2010 and, in November 2017, the CBANS Constance Glube Spirit Award.
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 served as the President of Canadian Bar Association NS and national Chair of the CBA Family Law section. She served on the federal Advisory Committee on Family Law Issues, which assisted in the development of the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines. In addition, she has served on a number of committees with both CBA and NSBS.
Julia has taught courses on family law at Mount Saint Vincent University and Dalhousie’s Schulich School of Law as well as Legal Status of Women at MSVU. 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 and law practice. 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 2017. She is a member of the invitation-only International Academy of Family Lawyers as well as 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.