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Effective Career Transitions - February 9, 2023

Making an effective career transition between private practice, government or an in-house role requires careful planning and preparation in order to ensure that you are a strong candidate. Our speakers will be discussing their unique career transitions as mid and senior level lawyers and what prepared them for their new roles. We will be joined by three speakers:

Sarah Malik (Crown Counsel at Public Prosecution Service of Canada)
Fariya Walji (Incoming Senior Director, Law Practice Program (LPP), Toronto Metropolitan University - formerly Ryerson
Emily Larose (Vice President Regulatory & General Counsel at Electrical Safety Authority).

This event is being offered as both an in-person event (very limited capacity and for members only) and as a virtual presentation.

Attendees will be given an opportunity to pose questions to our speakers.

Date: February 9, 2023
Time: 5:30pm-7:30pm (5:30pm registration & networking; 6pm event content; 6:45pm Q& A for speakers;  7-7:30pm optional networking)
Location: Hybrid Event. Virtual. And for limited attending In-Person - Lerners Lawyers (225 King Street West, Suite 1500, Toronto, ON, M5V 3M2)

Virtual available for both Members and Non-members. Limited In-person availability. (In-person attendees will be offered light snacks and refreshments.)

Price: $30 for members, $40 for non-members.


Click here to register!


City of Toronto's Tribunals Nominating Panel - closes February 10, 2023

Request for recruitment of members of the public to apply for a range of the City of Toronto Tribunals Nominating Panel - a unique opportunity to play a critical part in selecting members of the public to serve on the City of Toronto's quasi-judicial adjudicative boards.

Established at the start of the last Council term, the Tribunals Nominating Panel is a roster of public members appointed by City Council who convene in panels to review applications, conduct interviews, and recommend the appointment of public members to such decision bodies as the Committee of Adjustment, the Toronto Licensing Tribunal, the Sign Variance Committee, and the Toronto Local Appeal Body.

Members of the Tribunals Nominating Panel should have experience in such areas as adjudication, mediation, law, land use planning, and the public sector as well as senior level knowledge and experience in quasi-judicial tribunals and an understanding of the community context within which the tribunals operate. Panel members receive $250 per half-day meeting and $500 per full day meeting to a maximum of $5,000 per calendar year pro-rated on an annual basis from the time of appointment. Members must be residents of the City of Toronto.

If you are ⁴interested in playing a part in this important decision-making process, please apply online at Applications are due February 10, 2023. Feel free to share this message with anyone who you think may be interested.

If you have any questions about this opportunity or the application process, please feel free to contact Matthew Cowley.

Matthew Cowley
Acting Manager, Public Appointments Secretariat
City Clerk's Office
City of Toronto
416-392-4389, TTY: 416-338-0889


Past President Mary E. Duncan notice of death

Past President of WLAO, 1993-94, MARY E. DUNCAN died peacefully, on Wednesday, November 16, 2022, at the Wenleigh Long Term Care in Mississauga. Loving wife of Earl Sheppard. Mary retired from Clerical Life Insurance Company serving as their Legal Council. Private funeral services.



WLAO Annual Holiday Dinner Party - Thursday, December 8th

Join us on Thursday, December 8th at the DoubleTree by Hilton Toronto for the WLAO Annual Holiday Dinner Party! Cocktails, dinner and the opportunity to share the holiday spirit - dressed up and in person!

This year we are delighted to have Treasurer Jacqueline Horvat and immediate Past Treasurer Teresa Donnelly as our guests of honour.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available if you would like to show your support of WLAO programs and events!

Bring a colleague, book a table for 8, or become a sponsor!

Registration is below and we welcome both members and non-members to join in the celebration! Members can bring along a guest at the member rate!

Thursday, December 8, 2022, at 5:30 pm
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Toronto Downtown
108 Chestnut Street
Toronto, ON

Learn More

WLAO 2022 (1)

A2J Week 2022: Women leaders in access to justice - October 25 2022

A2J Week 2022: Women leaders in access to justice

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. ET

Register here

Panelists will discuss how they and their firms support access to justice.  They will also talk about their firm culture.


Treasurer Jacqueline Horvat is the Treasurer of the Law Society of Ontario. She was elected in 2022 during her third term as an elected bencher. Jacqueline represents clients in commercial and shareholder disputes. She is involved in collaborative projects with the University of Windsor, including the Reclaim Pro Bono Project, representing clients who have suffered online and technology facilitated violence. Jacqueline gives back to the profession by being a frequent speaker at continuing legal education programs and mentoring new lawyers.

Michelle Haigh is a licensed paralegal and founder of Precision Paralegal Services Professional Corporation, and has 25 years’ experience in the Small Claims Court. Michelle is currently a member of the Toronto Small Claims Court Frequent User Committee and the Attorney General’s Small Claims Court Advisory Committee.  Michelle was formerly a member of the Humber College Program Advisory Board, and the Sheridan College Advisory Board. Michelle has also sat on the boards for Legal Aid Ontario and the Canadian Mental Health Association (Halton Branch).

Amelia Yiu is the founding principal lawyer of Elm Law Professional Corporation, a law firm located in Whitby, Ontario. Amelia is committed to supporting and promoting women lawyers by creating an inclusive atmosphere at her firm and by being an advocate for the advancement of women in the profession.Amelia was called to the bar of Ontario in 2007 and began her career at a boutique litigation law firm in downtown Toronto before opening Elm Law in 2016. Her practice is focused on estate litigation, power of attorney disputes and elder law. Amelia also practices family law where it intersects with estates and/or power of attorney issues.


Jennifer Gold is a Partner of Wood Gold LLP in Brampton, where she practices family law with a focus on settlement. She’s experienced in achieving consensus, negotiating agreements, de-escalating conflict, and representing clients in mediation and arbitration. In 2021, Jennifer was appointed as a Dispute Resolution Officer for the Superior Court of Justice to assist in early resolution of family law cases. She has completed a Certificate in Family Mediation and, in keeping with her professional commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, has also completed the University of Alberta’s course, Indigenous Canada.

Najma Jamaldin is a Trial & Appeal Lawyer who is passionate about Canadian law and history. Najma has accumulated over 20 years of court expertise and with a deep belief in individual rights, she applies herself with professionalism and dedication. She has experience dealing with complex matters before all levels of court and regularly appears in the appellate courts. Najma has frequently participated as a panelist for several legal education conferences held by Ontario Bar Association, Osgoode Hall Professional Development Program and the Criminal Lawyers Association. She serves on committees for the Advocates’ Society and Women’s Law Association of Ontario. Najma works with a network of lawyers in shared chambers to ensure she can serve her clients from every angle.

This session is hosted by the Women’s Law Association of Ontario.

CPD Accreditation: Approved EDI Professionalism: 1 hour(s) and 5 minute(s)

WLAO 2022 (3)

Mentoring Program- 2022 Fall Intake Open

Mentoring program applications are open for the fall intake, September 1 through September 30, 2022.

If you are interested in joining the program, please complete the appropriate form. You MUST be a member of WLAO to become a Mentee.

New for Mentors! Earn your CPD credits by mentoring with WLAO.

Click here for more information.

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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.

5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Effective Career Transitions - February 9, 2023

Law Society announces 2022 award recipients
Meetings / Mentoring


Women’s Law Association of Ontario
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Toronto, ON M5C 2V6



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