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Professor Mary Jane Mossman receives 2022 President's Award

Another fabulous Annual Awards Gala! On June 16th WLAO members and guests enjoyed the first "in-person" event since the March 2020 International Women's Day event - a long break from seeing friends and colleagues! The Sassafraz in Yorkville was a beautiful venue to step back out into life beyond Zoom.

Our congratulations to this year's President's Award recipient, Professor Mary Jane Mossman, pictured here with outgoing WLAO President, Jennifer Gold.

And we would like to acknowledge the other amazing women who received awards at the Gala:

Alexa Abiscott, General Counsel and Secretary, ApplyBoard Inc. 2022 General Counsel Award


The Honourable Sandra Chapnik Women-In-Law Award 2022 winner Chiedza Mitchel Mutize, University of Windsor Law


2022 Aird & Berlis LLP Equality Award winner Chantelle Hospedales, Osgoode Hall Law School


Laurie Pawlitza with 2022 Torkin Manes LLP Trailblazer Award winner Naomi Stuleanu, Osgoode Hall Law School


Women’s Law Association of Ontario would like to recognize all who have contributed to and helped support our 2022 Annual Awards Gala

Our sincere appreciation to our event sponsor, the LLP (Law Practice Program).

Thank you to the law firms and individuals who generously partnered with WLAO to provide the student and lawyer awards presented, including: Aird & Berlis LLP, the Honourable Sandra Chapnik, Torkin Manes LLP, and the WLAO General Counsel Chapter.

We would like to acknowledge the law firms and organizations that purchased tables for the Gala including Aird & Berlis LLP, Blakes LLP, Hagel Estate Lawyers, Lerners LLP, McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Torkin Manes LLP and Wood Gold LLP.

And to the Law Society of Ontario who provided funding for the closed captioning.

To our committed Board of Directors, members, event coordinating team and volunteers, our heartfelt thanks - without you our events and programs could not take place.

More pictures of this fabulous night are available in our gallery:


Mary Jane Mossman to receive 2022 President’s Award - June 16, 2022

The Women’s Law Association of Ontario is honoured to announce that Professor Mary Jane Mossman is the recipient of the 2022 President’s Award.  As a professor and trailblazer, she has positively influenced many in the legal profession.  Her research on the first women lawyers in Ontario is important and culminates in her upcoming publication, “Quiet Rebels: A History of Ontario Women Lawyers”.

WLAO invites you to celebrate Professor Mossman at our Annual Awards Gala on Thursday, June 16th, 2022.

We will also be presenting are our General Counsel Award, the Aird & Berlis LLP Equality Award, the Honourable Sandra Chapnik Women-In-Law Award, and the Torkin Manes LLP Trailblazer Award - winners of which will be announced very shortly!

And we will take a few moments to acknowledge two of our recent President's Award winners, Dr. Signa Daum Shanks (2020) and Joanna Birenbaum (2021), with whom we were unable to celebrate in person due to the pandemic.

2022 Annual Awards Gala
Thursday, June 16, 2022 (Tickets are limited so please register early)
6:00pm reception; 6:45pm dinner (cash bar)
Sassafraz Restaurant, 100 Cumberland Street, Toronto (Yorkville)

Our event will also be available through streaming but we hope you are able to attend in person.

The WLAO President's Award recognizes a woman, firm or organization who has made a substantial contribution to the legal community and as a recognized leader, demonstrates a commitment to the promotion of women in the law: engaged, aware and connected to issues, substantive and personal, facing women in the legal profession today.

This event will be Closed Captioned.

Purchase a ticket here.

Sponsorship Opportunities are available for this program - show your support! Click here.

We hope you are joining us at our celebration honouring fantastic women and their remarkable accomplishments!

Thank you to our Award Partners:



Law Society announces 2022 award recipients

Congratulations to Lorin MacDonald, a long-time member of the WLAO, on being awarded the Law Society Medal.Each year, the Law Society of Ontario awards the Law Society Medal to selected lawyers who have made a significant contribution to the profession.

The award is given for outstanding service within the profession, whether in the area of practice, in the academic sphere, or in some other professional capacity where the service is in accordance with the highest ideals of the legal profession. It may be awarded for devotion to professional duties over a long term or for a single outstanding act of service.

Law Society announces 2022 award recipients

March 21, 2022 

TORONTO, ON — Members of Ontario's legal professions will be recognized for their outstanding career achievements and contributions to their communities at the annual Law Society Awards ceremony, which will be held on May 25, 2022.

An in-person ceremony hosted by Treasurer Teresa Donnelly will be attended by the recipients and their invited guests. The webcast will be available for all others to view at:

“The Law Society awards recognize excellence” said Law Society Treasurer Teresa Donnelly. “The work, commitment and dedication of this year’s outstanding recipients enhance the public perception of the legal professions, promote the public interest and inspire all of us.”

The awards presented in May will include: The William J. Simpson Distinguished Paralegal Award, The Lincoln Alexander Award, The Laura Legge Award, The J. Shirley Denison Award and The Law Society Medal.

The following highlights the achievements of the 2022 recipients:

William J. Simpson Distinguished Paralegal Award
Paula Callaghan Licensed in 2011, Paula Callaghan has demonstrated professionalism and outstanding achievement in her private practice, as well as a devotion to her duties in the field. Ms. Callaghan is the former Chair of the Paralegal Committee of the County of Carleton Law Association (CCLA) and the newly elected Paralegal Trustee to the Board of Directors. She is the 2021 recipient of the CCLA Paralegal Award and has helped to make paralegals valued members of the association.

Lincoln Alexander Award
Lawrence Greenspon Called to the Bar in 1980, Lawrence Greenspon is highly respected in the Ottawa legal community. Described as “a champion of the underdog” — he works tirelessly to advocate for his clients. Despite his busy legal practice, Mr. Greenspon is one of the most well-known philanthropists in Ottawa. He is involved in countless charities and community programs that range from local initiatives to global ones.

Laura Legge Award
Marian Jacko Called to the Bar in 1998, Marian Jacko has made significant contributions to the legal professions by advancing access to justice for children, youth, Indigenous communities, victims of crime, and survivors of human trafficking. As the first Indigenous person appointed as the Children’s Lawyer for Ontario, Ms. Jacko is a trailblazer, leaving important footprints for Indigenous youth and younger lawyers to follow.

J. Shirley Denison Award
Professor François Larocque Called to the Bar in 2002, François Larocque is a lawyer (Power Law) and professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law. As the Research Chair on Language Rights, Professor Larocque undertakes research, testifies and presents reports to provincial and federal parliamentary committees and engages directly with community organizations to develop and improve Canadian jurisprudence and legislation that protect language rights.

Law Society Medal
Beth Beattie Called to the Bar in 1994, Beth Beattie has become an agent of change in the mental health space within the legal professions. She has helped thousands by sharing her lived mental health experience and continues to lead discussions about how to make a cultural change in the legal community when it comes to conversations about mental health. Through her advocacy, Ms. Beattie has made an immeasurable impact by promoting awareness, compassion and inclusion in the legal community and beyond.

Christopher Bredt Called to the Bar in 1984, Christopher Bredt has made exceptional contributions to the legal profession in Ontario through his work with the Law Society, government, legal education, his pro bono and charitable work, and as a practicing lawyer and mentor. He is known as a skilled and fearless advocate, who exemplifies the profession’s values of integrity, collegiality and civility.

Brian Gover Called to the Bar in 1983, Brian Gover is widely recognized as one of Canada’s top advocates. He started his career in public service and moved to private practice in 1994. Mr. Gover is committed to education and mentorship, and has a deep appreciation of how the law works — his healthy curiosity keeps him at the forefront of change.

Lorin MacDonald (She/Her) Called to the Bar in 2010, Lorin MacDonald is a renowned human rights lawyer, disability expert and accessibility inclusion changemaker. Her notable accomplishments include introducing captioning to Western University, various courts and tribunals, and the Law Society of Ontario. A dedicated volunteer, Ms. MacDonald has lent her expertise to the Ontario Courts Accessibility Committee for People with Disabilities and the Law Society’s Equity Advisory Group, among many others.

Deepa Mattoo Called to the Bar of Ontario in 2011 and India in 1998, Deepa Mattoo is described as a “feminist lawyer” — a leader in women's issues. She is currently the Executive Director of the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic, a multi-service agency in Toronto that provides trauma-informed legal, counselling and interpretation services to racialized and marginalized populations of women.

Professor Albert Oosterhoff Called to the Bar in 1966, Professor Albert Oosterhoff (Professor Emeritus, University of Western Ontario) is renowned as a leading legal scholar and author in the area of trusts and estates in Canada. His publication record spans 50 years and his work is regularly cited by the courts, academics, lawyers, students and policy-makers both nationally and internationally.

Stuart Wuttke Called to the Bar of Manitoba in 1996 and Ontario in 2006, Stuart Wuttke is a leader in Indigenous rights and policy reform. He is a fierce yet humble advocate, dedicated to public service. Mr. Wuttke’s expertise and involvement on the national stage in First Nations law has lent itself to the significant progress for First Nations and the advancement of reconciliation in Canada.

The Law Society regulates lawyers and paralegals in Ontario in the public interest. The Law Society has a mandate to protect the public interest, to maintain and advance the cause of justice and the rule of law, to facilitate access to justice for the people of Ontario and to act in a timely, open and efficient manner.


Media contact: Jennifer Wing, Senior Communications Advisor, External Relations and Communications, Follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


Career Opportunity: Counsel, Claims Litigation

Counsel, Claims Litigation

Category : Strategy and Legal
Brand : Definity
Regular/Temporary : Regular
Fulltime/Parttime : Full Time
Role Location: Hybrid

Economical is part of Definity, which includes some of Canada’s most long-standing and innovative insurance brands, including Economical Insurance, Sonnet Insurance, Family Insurance Solutions, and Petline Insurance. With strong roots that date back to 1871, Definity has grown to become a digital leader in the insurance industry. We’re proud to help our clients and communities adapt and thrive in a world of constant change.

Our promise to you: It’s better here. Why? Because we CARE, and we provide an employee experience that’s collaborative, ambitious, rewarding, and empowering.

Our ambition is to be one of Canada’s leading and most innovative P&C insurers. Come be a part of our journey, and love what you do.


Do you know a high-calibre Canadian who could serve in the Senate of Canada?

The Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments (Advisory Board) has requested WLAO's assistance in identifying high-calibre Canadians who could serve in the Senate of Canada.

What is the Senate’s role? 

The Senate is the Upper House in Canada’s parliamentary democracy. It unites a diverse group of accomplished Canadians in service to their country. Created to counterbalance representation by population in the House of Commons, the Senate has evolved from defending regional interests to also playing an essential role in representing historically excluded groups, official language minority communities and identities that may be underrepresented in the Lower House.


What does a senator’s work involve? 

Parliament’s Senators shape Canada’s future. They participate in debates in the Senate Chamber, review legislation or propose their own bills, manage their office and stay in touch with the issues affecting the province or territory they represent. As members of Senate committees, they play an investigative role and undertake studies on challenges facing the country. These are important positions that provide a platform to speak out about the issues affecting everyone in Canada.


New application review cycle

The Advisory Board is launching a call for new applicants to fill current and upcoming Senate vacancies through 2022 for the following provinces: British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. Applications will also be accepted from residents of other provinces and territories, which will be retained for future consideration once the Government of Canada establishes Advisory Boards for those jurisdictions.


The Advisory Board encourages Canadians to apply by April 20, 2022 to ensure the Advisory Board considers their documentation for this cycle. Please note that applications are accepted at any time and are retained for two years.

Nominate, support and inform a potential candidate

Share this information with your networks and with any high-quality individuals you consider to be potential candidates for appointment to the Senate and who you feel meet the assessment criteria. You may also wish to nominate or support them by writing a reference letter. Note that reference letters must be submitted by the candidate. Finally, you can share information about the Senate appointments process with potential applicants quickly and easily by email or through social media by using the “Share this page” button at the bottom of each page of the Advisory Board website.

Posted upon request from:


Huguette Labelle

Chair, Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments

Snowden Law PC Job Posting

Are you interested in reviewing, opining on and sometimes litigating or arbitrating the scope of commercial contracts? Do you enjoy drilling down on the background details to assist clients in managing their risks? Are you looking for flexible part-time or full-time work hours, whether located in-office, home office or hybrid, and with a chance to contribute to a leading looseleaf publication?

If you have these interests, a demonstrated skill for commercial contract interpretation and related advocacy (insurance law background an asset but not required – see below for who we are, what we do and when we write), maybe we should chat. If you’re interested, we invite you to contact Marcus Snowden at, including your cover letter, current c.v., at least one privilege-redacted writing sample and anything else you believe would assist in our evaluation. Marcus will review your submission confidentially and contact the candidates most qualified to schedule an interview.

Who are we? Snowden Law Professional Corporation is a boutique firm focusing on providing coverage counsel to the insurance and risk management community. What do we do? Our work includes opining to and assisting clients with disputes over insurance coverage, and when needed, representing those same clients in the dispute resolution process, whether at court or privately. When do we write? Annually, we update a leading insurance law looseleaf service published by Thomson Reuters.

Pension and Retirement Assets Upon Relationship Breakdown - April 5, 2022

Pension and Retirement Assets Upon Relationship Breakdown (April 5, 2022, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm ET)

WLAO members can use code WLAO-10 to save 10%.

Program Chairs:

Georgina L. Carson, MacDonald & Partners LLP

Anne Slivinskas, Senior Counsel, Legal and Enforcement, Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario

Designed for those who practice in family law or work in pensions, this must-attend program will provide them with the key knowledge and practical strategies needed to tackle the most challenging issues in pension and retirement assets that arise upon separation.

Pension and Retirement Assets Upon Relationship Breakdown


The Roger Fisher Negotiation Training Scholarship

The Roger Fisher Negotiation Training Scholarship was created as part of the lasting legacy of The Roger Fisher Tribute held in Toronto in 2007. One Scholarship, donated by the Stitt Feld Handy Group, is awarded annually to a qualified Ontario recipient who otherwise would not be able to receive negotiation training.

The Tribute honoured the late Roger Fisher. He was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award to acknowledge his tremendous and far-reaching contributions in the field of dispute resolution. Twenty-six organizations from around the world, under the leadership of the ADR Institute of Canada, The Advocates’ Society, the Ontario Bar Association and The Law Society of Upper Canada, now The Law Society of Ontario (“Lead Organizations”), joined together to pay tribute to Roger Fisher.

Allan J. Stitt, President of the Stitt Feld Handy Group, describes Professor Fisher and the Become a Powerful Negotiator Workshop as follows:

“Roger Fisher was an inspiring man. Not only did he make major contributions  over many years to the resolution of some of the most intractable disputes in  the world, his teachings and the teachings of those who worked with him have  changed the approach to negotiation, and to mediation, of people around the world.

Our Become a Powerful Negotiator Workshop is based on Roger's theories. Course participants are encouraged to read Getting To Yes, the famous book on  negotiation outlining the approach to negotiation developed by Roger Fisher  and William Ury, before the course starts. The course is Canadianized but is true to Roger’s ideas and concepts about effective negotiating. It includes  three days of in-person training and one day of online learning. It's  skills-building, practical and hands-on.”

The Scholarship entitles the recipient a place in the Become a Powerful Negotiator Workshop held in Toronto, valued at $1,995.00 + tax. Scholarship recipients are responsible for their own travel, accommodation and other expenses. The course must be taken within 12 months of the award of the Scholarship. For further information about the Workshop and the Stitt Feld Handy Group see:


The Scholarship is available to a resident of Ontario who:

  1. would not otherwise be able to obtain negotiation training;
  2. has demonstrated an interest in negotiation skills and dispute resolution;
  3. would benefit the community at-large, and/or public interest, community, or pro bono organization(s) or company(ies) with which the person is involved, by the person strengthening his or her negotiation and dispute resolution skills, thereby leveraging the value of the training beyond the Scholarship recipient, and
  4. would benefit personally from negotiation training.

Selection of Scholarship Recipient

The Roger Fisher Negotiation Training Scholarship is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion. We encourage applicants from equity seeking groups including women, Indigenous peoples, francophones, persons with disabilities, racialized peoples and members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, irrespective of their age, in Ontario.

The Roger Fisher Negotiation Training Scholarship Committee (“Scholarship Committee”) solicits applications for the Scholarship each year, and selects the recipient, applying the four Eligibility criteria outlined above, in its sole discretion. The Scholarship is administered by the Lead Organizations. The Committee is comprised of representatives of the Lead Organizations, the Ontario Community Mediation Coalition, and other leaders in the ADR field.


In completing the attached Application Form, applicants should include an outline of their background and experience in Section A and explain the ways in which they satisfy each of the four Eligibility criteria, outlined above, in Section B. Previous applicants, who were not selected, are encouraged to reapply, with updated materials.

Applicants should include one or more supporting letters, if possible, from (a) the organization(s) or company(ies) with which the applicant is involved (as referred to in the third Eligibility criteria) and (b) others who are in a position to support the applicant’s statement about how he or she satisfies each of the four Eligibility criteria. The letters supporting the Application should be listed in Section C of the Application Form.

Applications (together with all supporting letters) must be received by 5:00 p.m. (Toronto time) on May 31, 2022. They can be e-mailed, faxed, delivered or mailed.

Please include in the Subject line:
“Application for The Roger Fisher Negotiation Training Scholarship”
(Remember to attach the Application Form and supporting letters, if any.)

1-877-689-3896 (Be sure to include a fax cover page.)

Mailing/Delivery Address: 
The Roger Fisher Negotiation Training Scholarship
c/o Sumeet (Sonu) Dhanju-Dhillon 
Torkin Manes LLP
151 Yonge Street, Suite 1500
Toronto, ON
M5C 2W7

Candidates may be invited, in the discretion of the Committee, for a telephone or an in-person interview.

The person selected to receive the Scholarship will be notified and all applicants will be informed of the outcome.Website Host: The Scholarship Committee expresses its appreciation to Torkin Manes LLP for hosting this Scholarship website. The firm has no other role in relation to the Scholarship.

Download the application form here.

University of Guelph-Humber Talks: Justice and Public Safety webinar on February 27, 2022 at 1PM

The Justice and Public Safety Degree program at the University of Guelph-Humber provides an opportunity for working professionals to earn a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree from the University of Guelph part-time —while continuing to work. The degree is offered 100% online with no in person instruction. Significant credit is given for previous post-secondary education, work experience and professional training which allows you to complete the entire degree in 2 to 2.5 years of part-time study.


We will be hosting GH Talks: Justice and Public Safety webinar that will highlight more information about our program, courses, scholarships, application, and admissions process on February 27, 2022 at 1:00 pm EST. You can register for this event and for more information on our website.


Here are some others ways you can connect with us and learn more:


1:00 pm

19th Annual Deb Snead Memorial Golf Event - August 22, 2022

University of Guelph-Humber Talks: Justice and Public Safety webinar on February 27, 2022 at 1PM
Special Events
5:30 pm

Town Hall Mentoring Event - September 13, 2022

University of Guelph-Humber Talks: Justice and Public Safety webinar on February 27, 2022 at 1PM


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