2018 Award Applications are now open for President's Award and all Student Awards.

President's Award

The WLAO President's Award recognizes a woman who has made a substantial contribution to the legal community as an academic, adjudicator, litigator, solicitor, author, or related profession. The recipient must demonstrate a commitment to the promotion of women in the law and be recognized as a leader. Encompassing the ideals of the Women's Law Association, the recipient of the President's Award will be engaged, aware and connected to issues, substantive and personal, facing women in the legal profession today. The Award may also be presented to a firm or organization exemplifying the ideals for which it is given.

The President's Award is presented at an annual dinner in Toronto in June.

Download Nomination Form (deadline March 16, 2018)

2017:

Women`s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF)

2016:
May Cheng

2015:
The Barbra Schlifer Clinic

2014:
Elizabeth Grace

2013:
Professor Marilyn Pilkington and Judith Huddart

2012:
Delia Opekokew

2011:
Laurie Pawlitza

2010:
Bonnie Tough

2009:
Barbara Hendrickson

2008:
Kirby Chown

2007:
The Honourable Madam Justice Sandra Chapnik

2006:
Elizabeth Atcheson

2005:
Madam Justice Susanne R. Goodman
Mary Louise Dickson, Q.C.

2004:
Beth Symes
Marlys Edwardh

2003:
Janet E. Minor

2002:
Linda Silver Dranoff
Avvy Yao-Yao Go

2001:
Professor Constance Backhouse

1999:
Sanda Rodgers
Margaret Ross
Madam Justice Lynn D. Ratushny

1998:
Susan Elliott
The Honourable Judge Mary Jane Hatton

1997:
Marilou McPhedran
V. Maureen Kempston-Darkes

1996:
Madam Justice Louise Arbour
Carole Curtis
Juanita Westmoreland-Traore

1995:
Madam Justice Mabel Van Camp
Mary Duncan

1994:
Marva Jemmott Q.C.

1993:
Mary Eberts

1992:
Francis Kitely

1991:
The Honourable Bertha Wilson

1990:
Margaret Hyndman Q.C.
Jane Pepino

1989: Past Presidents of WLAO
June Bushell
Margaret Fasken Baird Campbell
Madam Justice Tamarin Dunnet
Patricia Drozdoski
Margaret Turvey Haig
Judith Hendy
Mary Lamont
Laura Legge
Fern Levis
Betty Jane Macdonald
Lynda Tanaka
Eileen Mitchell Thomas
Madam Justice Mabel Van Camp
Margot A. Warren

General Counsel Chapter Award

Nomination deadline: March 30, 2018

The WLAO General Counsel Chapter Award, established in 2015, recognizes a member of the General Counsel Chapter for her leadership role and commitment to the success of women in law.

The first presentation of this award was to Norie Campbell of the TD Bank Group in June 2015. The 2016 recipient of the award was Dorothy Quann of Xerox Canada. The recipient of the 2017 award was Doris Stamml, Chief General Counsel at Ernst & Young.


The Honourable Sandra Chapnik Women-in-Law Award

Submissions deadline: April 30th of the current year

The Honourable Sandra Chapnik Women-in-Law Award recognizes female law students who exemplify the drive and determination to achieve a law degree after having spent time in the workforce.

  1. Currently enrolled in an Ontario law school (include transcripts and a CV);
  2. A defined need for financial assistance (to be determined at law school with supporting documentation); and
  3. An essay of no less than 200 words explaining the above, her past experiences and her future goals.

As a guest of honour at the WLAO Annual Awards dinner in June, the recipient will receive her award and have the opportunity to meet many influential and successful women lawyers, legal educators, and judges from the Toronto area. This award will be administered through the WLAO and Ontario law schools with final selection by a panel consisting of the Honourable Sandra Chapnik and two WLAO board members.

Annual Award Amount: $1,000

Download Application Form


Lerners LLP/WLAO Elizabeth Grace Emerging Leaders Award

Nomination deadline: Award discontinued

Lerners LLP has established the Lerners LLP/WLAO Elizabeth Grace Emerging Leaders Award to recognize women in law who are emerging leaders in their fields. The award aims to recognize practical, policy and/or academic law-related work, leadership and contributions in areas that advance the understanding of sexual and/or domestic violence and abuse, or otherwise advances the rights and interests of vulnerable persons who have suffered and/or are at risk of suffering such violence and abuse.


Avril A. Farlam Advocacy Award

Submissions deadline: April 30th of the current year

The Avril A. Farlam Advocacy Award is designed to recognize outstanding participation in the legal clinic program of any one of the Ontario law schools to be determined by:

  1. Academic achievement (ie. marks);
  2. A copy of applicants CV (curriculum vitae), and;
  3. Essay of no more than 200 words describing how the applicant believes the legal clinic experience will make her a better lawyer

As a guest of honour at the WLAO Annual Awards dinner in June, the recipient will receive her award and have the opportunity to meet many influential and successful women lawyers, legal educators, and judges from the Toronto area.

Annual Award Amount: $1,000

Download Application Form


Aird & Berlis Equality Award

Submissions deadline: April 30th of the current year

The Women's Law Association of Ontario and Aird & Berlis LLP Equality Award is designed to recognize a woman law student who has dedicated her time and talents to advancing equality rights. The recipient will receive a monetary award of $1000.00. The recipient of the award will demonstrate the following characteristics (for details see application form):

  • female registered, in good standing, at an Ontario faculty of law and studying for an LL.B, J.D. or LL.M.; and
  • a record of dedication to advancing equality rights (such as, but not limited to religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, mental health, refugee, aboriginal, minority and HIV/AIDS victim's rights).

As a guest of honour at the WLAO Annual Awards dinner in June, the recipient will receive her award and have the opportunity to meet many influential and successful women lawyers, legal educators, and judges from the Toronto area. Funds are available for accommodation and travel costs to Toronto for the recipient to attend the Awards dinner.

To obtain an application form please contact your law school’s Career Services office or contact Women's Law Association of Ontario directly.

Download Application form

2017
Yadesha Satheaswaran, Osgoode Hall Law School
2016
Stacey MacTaggert, University of Western Ontario Law School
2015
Elisa Mangina, University of Toronto
2014
Iman Amin, University of Ottawa
2013
Samara Sector, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
2012
Maria Nunez, Queen's Law School
2011
Christine Dankowych, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
2010
Andree Taylor University of Ottawa
2008
Shaneka Shaw Osgoode Hall Law School
2007
Rosario Cartagena University of Ottawa

Torkin Manes LLP Trailblazer Award

Submissions deadline: April 30th of the current year

Torkin Manes LLP and WLAO have established the Trailblazer Award to recognize a female law student for her leadership role in business and the law (this could be corporate/commercial, not-for-profit, or entrepreneurial). This award is given to a student that best exemplifies the qualities of effective business leadership, innovatively applied know-how, and potential for growth. The award (with a monetary award of $1,000) will be presented at a gala dinner in June 2018.

The recipient of this award will demonstrate the following qualifications and characteristics:

  • female student registered in 2nd or 3rd year and in good standing at an Ontario faculty of law, and studying for a J.D. or LL.M. (the successful candidate will likely be enrolled in a joint J.D./LL.M. and MBA degree program);
  • an acknowledged leader, actively demonstrating the promotion of women in business;
  • exceptional legal expertise and proven business acumen; and
  • demonstrates an entrepreneurial and business focused spirit, with a strong sense of how to put a project or idea into action.

Please return completed application form along with a letter of merit (not to exceed two pages) outlining the candidate’s qualifications for this award. If appropriate, please provide supporting documentation (i.e. letters of recommendation, curriculum vitae).

Download Application Form

2017
Precia Darshan, Queen's University, Faculty of Law
2016
Diana Pegoraro, Osgoode Hall Law School
2015
Alexandra Aliferis, University of Toronto
2014
Denise Brunsdon, University of Western Ontario

McCarthy Tetrault Community Contribution Award

Award discontinued.

2013
Benita Ann King University of Windsor
2012
Saron Gebresellassi University of Ottawa
2011
Amelia Martin University of Ottawa
2010
Amy Slotek University of Windsor Law
2008
Seema Shah Osgoode Hall Law School
2006
Victoria Creighton Osgoode Hall Law School
2005
Melissa Ghislanzoni University of Western Ontario