Natalya Hanna, an entrepreneurial spirit with problem-solving abilities and the desire to help, practices as a Notary Public after completing SFU’s MA in Applied Legal Studies.

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Entrepreneur to the core: The natural choice to become a Notary

January 31, 2022
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By Kristin Ignacz

Natalya Hanna had long been exposed to the legal field before becoming a Notary. Following in the footsteps of her mother and grandfather, both of whom were prominent lawyers, Hanna became a lawyer in Russia in 2003.

Hanna practiced civil and municipal law before leaving Russia to travel internationally with her husband. Prior to settling in Canada in 2013, Hanna had lived in several countries, started a family, learned French (her third language), and had successfully pursued her creative passion of professional ballroom dancing. 

Once established in Canada, Hanna says her decision to become a Notary was a natural choice. “I was absolutely sure that this was for me,” she says. Hanna considered becoming a lawyer in Canada but felt the process was too lengthy. “I loved that becoming a notary only takes two years, and the ability to have your own business right away was really tempting,” says Hanna.

Hanna applied to the Master of Arts in Applied Legal Studies program (MA ALS) at Simon Fraser University and eagerly jumped into the full-time program. She balanced her time between her studies, raising a family, and working. “Fortunately, the program is designed in a way that you can still work and study because the courses are in the evening,” says Hanna. “Yes, it is hard, but if a person has a goal, all is possible.” 

Hanna certainly achieved her goal. She excelled in her studies and received a BDO Canada Award presented by the Society of Notaries Public of BC for her overall achievement in the BC Notaries Practical Training Program. 

Only two months after becoming a Notary, Hanna took on her next challenge and acquired a well-established practice from a retiring Notary. “I can’t imagine myself working for somebody else because I have that business entrepreneurial spirit that drives me,” says Hanna. Independently taking over a busy practice was challenging, but with support from her husband and family, she pushed through and has not looked back.

Hanna’s business is located in Burnaby B.C. and continues to grow. Last year, she opened a satellite office in Langley B.C. and hired a staff Notary. Hanna offers a variety of services typical to most Notary practices such as estate planning, drafting legal documents, and real estate conveyancing. In addition, Hanna saw an opportunity to serve her community by offering less frequently provided Notary services including builders liens, business sales, and manufactured homes transactions. Hanna’s office also accommodates remote signings with clients. 

In each unique situation, Hanna establishes trust with her clients by approaching each case with patience, keen problem-solving abilities, and the desire to help. “That is another reason I went into this profession. I love helping people,” says Hanna, “I love explaining the legal side and guiding them through the process.” 

Want to be a BC Notary Public? 

Earn your Master of Arts in Applied Legal Studies.