OBA Foundation Chief Justice of Ontario Fellowships
The OBA Foundation administers and funds The OBA Foundation Chief Justice of Ontario Fellowships in Legal Ethics and Professionalism.
The 2014-15 OBA Foundation Chief Justice of Ontario Fellowships in Legal Ethics and Professionalism have been awarded to Windsor Law’s Professor Noel Semple (Fellowship in Research) and City of Oshawa staff lawyer Kelly Gravelle (Fellowship in Legal Ethics and Professionalism Studies). The fellowships promote and fund academic and practical research into the role of lawyers in society. In the wider community, the work of the fellows fosters principled, evidence-based improvements in lawyers’ service to their clients and constituents.
The 2014-15 Fellow in Research, Prof. Semple, will be engaged in conducting interviews and collecting data on the practical, economic and institutional impediments of private practice lawyers in delivering access to justice for “personal plight” clients. Semple joined the University of Windsor Faculty of Law after completing a term as Post-Doctorate Fellow and Scholar in Residence at the University of Toronto’s Centre for the Legal Profession. “Lawyers in private practice are an essential portal between people with legal problems and the just resolutions,” Semple stated in his proposal. “Is there anything that the legal profession and its regulators can do to increase the accessibility of this segment of the bar?”
Kelly Gravelle’s project as the 2014-15 Fellow in Legal Ethics and Professionalism Studies will examine the often misunderstood role of in-house counsel employed by municipalities and their counterparts in aboriginal communities. Drawing on her experience in private practice and as staff counsel in municipal and aboriginal law, Gravelle will delve into the unique role of the local government lawyer in balancing public and private interests and obligations, demarcating the boundaries between political and regulatory functions, and ensuring government accountability.
A grant of $15,000 was awarded to Professor Alice Woolley of the University of Calgary, recipient of the Chief Justice of Ontario Fellowship in Legal Ethics and Professionalism Research. Professor Woolley’s research project will consider the significance of the lawyer’s status as a fiduciary in defining the lawyer’s duties, in particular duties of loyalty and confidentiality.
A grant of $5,000 was awarded to Amy Salyzyn, a graduate student, Yale University Law School, recipient of the Chief Justice of Ontario Fellowship in Legal Ethics and Professionalism Studies. Her project will study the ethical implications of lawyers’ pre-litigation demand letters.
A grant of $15,000 was awarded to Professor Brent Cotter of the University of Saskatchewan and Professors Richard Devlin and Jocelyn Downie of Dalhousie University, recipients of the Chief Justice of Ontario Fellowship in Legal Ethics and Professionalism Research. Their project is “Video Vignettes in Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility (Confidentiality, Conflicts of Interest, Competence and Quality of Service, Civility and Professionalism and Access to Justice / Pro Bono).”
A grant of $5,000 was awarded to Ms. Hanna Askew, student, Osgoode Hall Law School, recipient of the Chief Justice of Ontario Fellowship in Legal Ethics and Professionalism Studies. Her project is “Educational Strategies to Foster Inter-cultural Understanding of Aboriginal Legal Perspectives among New Legal Professionals.”