Josh McDougall always dreamt of being a lawyer, and never gave up even when life threw him challenges. Today, he’s a licensed legal practitioner, and the managing and founding partner of YOUR Legal Services. Founded in 2018, it began as a paralegal firm. In less than five years it’s blossomed into a full-service law firm with six licensees providing a full spectrum of legal services to any client. They’ve worked with civil, family, and criminal cases; immigration, corporate and business law, and more.
The firm’s exponential growth stems from the team’s willingness to do it all. Their lawyers and paralegals have diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise. “We encompass all matters of law under one roof,” Josh says. “Clients don’t have to go anywhere else; we’re a one-stop shop.” And it’s not just the types of cases. Wanting to avoid the hassle and cost of outsourcing, Josh opened a series of subsidiary businesses between 2020 and 2022 and serves in leadership roles, so everything can be handled in-house.
Due to the range of the cases they handle, Josh is dedicated to always treating every case and every client with individualized attention. “No dynamic or situation ever calls for the same response. Every one that we touch takes a unique tactic,” Josh says. To this end, he and his team take the time to craft a strategy for each client and truly consider the ramifications of every choice made. Josh cares about his community, too. That’s why he developed the Underprivileged Youth Development Foundation (UYDF), a non-profit providing kids with financial and mental health support.
We sat down with Josh to learn more about his journey, his companies, and what drives him to make lives better every day.
How did your background bring you to where you are today?
I dropped out my final year in high school at 17 to raise my daughter. I forfeited university, but I always wanted to be a lawyer. When she turned 10, I was in sales and marketing and had been for roughly 10 years with one of the companies I still have today, Alphatel Direct. In Ontario, paralegals are licensed the same way lawyers are, and can have their own offices and clients. So I got my license and opened up my own shop. I noticed areas where paralegals couldn’t assist, so I started hiring lawyers, which is controversial, but it’s a loophole. I hired two lawyers as partners, and we kept expanding to where we are today.
You have a number of subsidiaries. Tell us about those.
These are peripheral services a law firm might use in the course of dealing with a file. I opened these to be a fully functional, one-stop shop. Platinum & Gold Holding holds shares and injects capital into companies requiring assistance. MAK Arbitrations, Inc. provides arbitration and mediation alternatives to court. Alpha Investigations & Serving handles investigative services, evidence building, and court documents. Haven Property Management assists small and mid-sized landlords with tenant management, and finally, Alphatel Direct, my oldest company, provides sales and marketing services to clients across all industries.
Will you share some of the community work you’re doing through your non-profit?
UYDF was designed for kids who were raised similar to me, and gives them the opportunity to succeed regardless of the fight in front of them. One of our programs is sports subsidies and funding, so if a kid shows aptitude for a sport but their family can’t afford cost of participation, we’ll pay. We’re partnered with local semi-pro basketball team, CCBL, and with mental health nonprofit Chrysalis Institute to handle mental health issues they might be facing.
Our other main program is Kids With Kids. I’m the poster child. There’s an idea that once you have a child, regardless of your age, you have to have everything together, including a two-bedroom house. But it’s impossible for a teenager to manage those costs. They’re set up for failure. So as long as the parent is still in school or working, we subsidize their rent, and work with schools on scholarships.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Legacy. I was raised with next to nothing. Sometimes, enough to get by isn’t enough to build a future on. So it’s all about building something large enough that my kids and grandkids will be taken care of. I’m now working with my oldest kids to look into career paths that allow them to participate in what I built.
Licensed Legal Practitioner & Managing Partner — YOUR Legal Services