Julie Khamissa

Julie Khamissa

jkhamissa @ ilercampbell.com
416-598-0103 ext. 119

I grew up in South Africa and have always worked in the law. My first job was in a law office in Johannesburg when I was fifteen years old. It was a small office so I had many roles. By eighteen I’d taught myself to use a computer and my duties kept on growing. At one point I was even doing accounting.

After apartheid ended I worked for an NGO called The Legal Resources Centre. I was assigned to the Constitutional Litigation Unit for senior counsel, George Bizos. This was the first time that South Africa had a constitutional court. These were exciting times. George was counsel in some of the high profile Truth and Reconciliation hearings. I also assisted him with his book called "No one to Blame?" which chronicles the inquests into the deaths in detention of Ahmed Timol in 1971, of Steve Biko in 1977 and Dr. Neil Agget in 1982.

Working on this book for George was a real eye opener. Although I grew up in a "coloured" township, I had the feeling that I’d been asleep through this period of our history – I just never knew the "whole truth".

I married a Canadian and moved to Canada. With no Canadian work experience, I found looking for a job in Toronto quite challenging. Luck would have it that a former employee of Iler Campbell suggested I fax my CV to Brian. It landed me an interview and soon after, a position as a secretary.

Needless to say, I was scared – working in a First World country! I quickly learnt to be a "First World" secretary. Brian, seeing my eagerness to be more than just a secretary, gave me the opportunity to sink my teeth into just about everything. Just like in my first job, I was again a "Jane of all trades". I’m now the office manager, the human resources department, and a law clerk for co-op and corporate work. That list doesn’t quite sum it up though – I don’t know how else to describe my job but as the ‘go-to person’.