Ashley Butts’ career shows that success in-house and private practice are not always intertwined

Ashley Butts’ career focus revolves around skill sets learned in criminology and sociology studies

By Julius Melnitzer | August 8, 2023

The career of Ashley Butts, senior legal counsel in BASF Canada Inc.’s Toronto office, provides strong support for the emerging proposition that success in-house and private law firm experience are not necessarily intertwined.

“Law was my second career and I’ve been in-house almost the entire time since my call in 2013,” Butts says. “What attracted me was the diverse business environment that legal departments offer and the opportunity to focus on the importance of people in that setting.”

Butts’ first career emerged after she completed a masters in criminology at the University of Toronto. That led to a “dream job” with the Ontario government, where she worked from 2007 to 2009.

“My responsibilities extended to the plight of Indigenous people in conflict with the law,” she says. “The work involved research, policy development and a great deal of consultation with the Indigenous community.”

Over time, Butts came to realize the significant interactions between her work and . . . MORE

Julius Melnitzer is a Toronto-based legal affairs writer, ghostwriter, writing coach and media trainer. Readers can reach him at [email protected] or


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