The art of creating a big city notary practice with a small-town feel

December 23, 2022

If you ask Judy Yip Armitage, notary public, how she measures the success of her notary practice, her unconventional answer is likely to include egg tarts and garden seedlings.

Prior to becoming a notary, Yip Armitage job-shadowed a practicing notary in Lake Cowichan B.C., (population 3,200). Yip Armitage found inspiration in the highly personal small-town practice where clients stopped by the office to share garden tomatoes and freshly baked pie with the notary. She was enamoured by the strength of the relationships the notary had built with her clients while managing a busy practice. Yip Armitage was determined to build a similar practice of her own.

After completing a master of arts in applied legal studies at Simon Fraser University, the prerequisite program to becoming a notary in B.C., Yip Armitage opened her notary practice in the Victoria Drive area of Vancouver B.C.—the same neighborhood where she grew up and currently resides. Since opening her practice in 2019, Yip Armitage has become a trusted figure in her community by taking the time to build personal, yet professional relationships with each of her clients. 

“Even though I am in a big city, I feel like I have a small-town practice,” says Yip Armitage proudly. When Yip Armitage’s clients stop by her office with thoughtful offerings such as baked goods, seedlings to plant in her garden, or hand-picked autumn fruit, she sees this as a testament to the type of connections she has built and knows she has succeeded in her goals. 

“I don’t measure how successful I am based on how many conveyancing files am I doing or how many estate planning files. That is not really what I am interested in,” says Yip Armitage. “How many people did I meet today or this week? I think that question is more important.”  

Similar to a lone notary in a small town, Yip Armitage intentionally offers a diverse set of services to meet her clients’ needs. She is a self-proclaimed Jack of all trades and offers wills, powers of attorney, representation agreements, notarizations, and real estate conveyancing. Yip Armitage also draws on more than 20 years of experience in corporate law to offer less commonly provided services including commercial leases, covenants, liens, and stratifications.

As Yip Armitage reflects on her journey of leaving corporate law to become a notary, she has only positive recollections. In addition to feeling supported by her professors and student cohort at SFU who were “like family,” Yip Armitage says, “I found the whole Notary Foundation to be quite supportive.” 

Yip Armitage’s only regret is not learning about the notary profession sooner. “This is exactly what I wanted to do, and I should have discovered it earlier,” laughs Yip Armitage. “It is everything I thought it would be. I love what I do.” 

For anyone seeking notary services in the Victoria Drive area, Yip Armitage’s big city practice with a small-town feel is open, and the coffee is on. 

Like you would with any good neighbor, make sure to stop by and say hello.