Adjunct Profile: Erika Tse

Erika Tse holds a law degree from Dalhousie University, a Bachelor of Commerce degree from UBC, and her ICD.D (directors education program) from the Institute of Corporate Directors, Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. Erika has also completed the Financial Literacy Program and Strategic Human Resources Management Program from Rotman School of Management at U of T, and the Executive Development Program from Wharton, University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Tse has been practicing law for 24 years and has extensive in-house counsel experience in various industries including forest products (Weyerhaeuser) and grocery retail (Overwaitea Food Group, a Jim Pattison company). Currently, she is Chief Legal Officer, Corporate Secretary, and Vice-President of Human Resources for GLENTEL Inc., a large independent multi-carrier mobile phone retailer in Canada, owned equally by Bell and Rogers, and operating under the banners “WirelessWave”, “TBooth” and “Wireless Etc.” (Costco).

What inspired you to go to law school?

While studying commerce at UBC, I landed an admin job one summer at Ladner Downs (now Borden Ladner Gervais) where I worked on a very interesting file involving Indigenous land claims.  The law firm environment was dynamic and intellectually challenging and I loved that lawyers grapple with very complex issues.  I decided then that this is the right path for me.

What do you enjoy most about your position as Chief Legal Officer at GLENTEL Inc.? 

I wake up every day and cannot wait to get to the office.  I love my job.  No two days are the same and I love having the ability to influence business decisions.

How is the role of an in-house lawyer different from a lawyer practicing in a law firm?

The in-house practice is unlike private practice at a law firm.  In-house counsel are more than just legal advisors to their organization.  In-house counsel perform a complex dual role which means we practice law but are also required to assess risks, make trade-offs and exercise business judgment. 

Why did you decide to get involved with teaching and overseeing students in the Corporate Counsel Externship?

The legal profession has rewarded me thus far with a rich and fulfilling career.I feel it’s time to give back to the legal and business community by helping students to build skills (legal and otherwise) so that they can learn to exercise good business judgment and be effective problem solvers.I hope to be able to foster student learning and curiosity.

What advice would you give to students from the Allard School of Law entering the legal profession?

(a) under promise and over deliver;
(b) treat everyone with respect;
(c) don’t burn bridges,
(d) have a service attitude, and
(e) constantly ask yourself how you are adding value to your organization.