Lakehead Law Student Receives Inaugural Rosalie Silberman Abella Justice Award from the Royal Society of Canada

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UL law student selected as first recipient of Lakehead University’s Rosalie Silberman Abella Justice Award

PRESS RELEASE
LAKEHEAD UNIVERSITY
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THUNDER BAY — Aria Kamal of Barrie, Ont., has been named one of the recipients of the inaugural Rosalie Silberman Abella Justice Award from the Royal Society of Canada.


Kamal began advancing equality in her community through her involvement with Dress for Success, a charity that empowers women to gain economic independence, where she worked closely with clients by providing work clothes and professional development training to obtain meaningful employment.


She has also facilitated information workshops on financial literacy, professional networking and job retention skills.


“I am very honored to have been chosen as the inaugural recipient of Lakehead University’s Rosalie Silberman Abella Justice Award,” said Kamal.


“Throughout my years in law school, I have firmly understood that effective lawyers must learn to acknowledge the lived experiences of their clients to the best of their abilities.


“While standard legal studies curricula do not mandate courses in social justice-based advocacy, I sincerely believe that students should develop an awareness of social context through increased involvement in pro bono internships. , clinical work and community outreach initiatives during law school,” she said.


Kamal said she was grateful for the unique opportunities and experiences she had as a student at Bora Laskin Law School.


“I hope that future generations of law students will continue to question the role of socio-legal inequalities in the law and strive to improve the gaps between equality on the books and equality in the practice.


During his three years at Bora Laskin Law School, Kamal continued to build his impressive resume in the area of ​​social justice and equality. In her first year, she provided pro bono legal support to women seeking separation from their abusive common law spouse at the Northwestern Ontario Women’s Center (NWOWC).


Kamal documented her experience at the NWOWC in a two-part series for The Lawyer’s Daily, titled “Disproportionate Effects of Poverty on Divorced Women: An Access to Justice Issue” and “Covered Socio-Legal Implications of Self -representation in small communities”.


In addition, she facilitated a workshop emphasizing the need to integrate intersectional equality into lawyers’ practices at the national forum Law Needs Feminism Because.


During her second year of law school, Kamal was hired by Pro Bono Students of Canada as a social worker for their family justice center. In this role, she developed free public legal education resources to assist unrepresented litigants in their family law proceedings. She also prepared court forms and organized free summary legal advice meetings between low-income clients and pro bono family law attorneys.


Over the summer, Kamal worked as a student for the Law Commission of Ontario, where she investigated the role of racial bias in predictive policing technologies and developed law reform recommendations during consultations with leading experts in the province.


During her third and final year of law school, Kamal completed her practicum at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, where she learned to identify social inequalities hidden in the law and intervene just to bring these issues to light. before the courts.


Kamal was a dedicated volunteer throughout her law studies.


She has been a Law Student Ambassador for the Ontario Bar Association Student Chapter Executive, Student Member at Large for the Ontario Bar Association Women Lawyers Forum Executive , pro bono student for the Women’s Legal Education Action Fund, member of the Racism and Racial Discrimination Advisory Committee for Lakehead University’s Office of Human Rights and Equity, and volunteer for Because I am a Girl: Member of the Speakers Bureau-PLAN Canada.


Please join Bora Laskin Law School in congratulating Kamal on winning this prestigious award. The Bora Laskin School of Law is proud of its accomplishments and recognizes the contributions of its fellow applicants and all students of the School in their collective commitment to social justice and equality.


The Royal Society of Canada created this award in honor of Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella, an agent of change celebrated for her visionary intellectual contributions and commitment to building equality and equity in Canadian society and beyond. .


Throughout her distinguished career, Justice Abella has made many groundbreaking legal and judicial contributions. She chaired and authored the Ontario Study on Access to Legal Services for Persons with Disabilities in 1983 and was Sole Commissioner of the Federal Royal Commission on Equality in Employment in 1984, coining the term and the concept of “employment equity”.


She developed theories of “equality” and “discrimination” in her Royal Commission report that were adopted by the Supreme Court of Canada in its first decision dealing with equality rights under the Charter. Canadian Rights and Freedoms in 1989. The report has been implemented by governments around the world.

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