Durham Region – What does it take to become a lawyer or a judge? Some local high school students are about to get firsthand experience.
These are dedicated and studious winning teams from Ontario's Central East who are taking part in a regional competition called “OBA Law Day” hosted by the Ontario Bar Association (OBA), a volunteer member association of 16,000 Ontario lawyers.
In April, the OBA opened Ontario’s only province-wide mock trial tournament for students in communities across Ontario. Local schools ran their own mini-tournaments to create a school team.
On Thursday, May 7, 2015, from 8:30 am to 4:45 pm, students from eight area schools will compete in the Central East Ontario Regional Final at the Durham Region Courthouse (150 Bond St. E., Oshawa) with Justice Mary Teresa Devlin presiding.
OBA Law Day is an important event not just for students, but also for the local lawyers who help make it available to schools in their communities.
For local lawyer, Kelly Gravelle, a solicitor for the City of Oshawa, it is a way for lawyers to help instill the value of justice among young people in Durham region. “The OBA’s Law Day is an excellent opportunity for students to have exposure to a profession that they often only ever get to read about in books or watch on television,” she says.
Erin Watson, a Whitby-based lawyer who practices with Johnston Montgomery, Barristers and Solicitors, adds, “I get involved with OBA Law Day because I see how rewarding the experience is for both students and volunteers alike. It’s a meaningful experience for all of us. I grew up in Durham Region and now that I’m practicing here, it is a privilege to see our bar take pride collectively in developing and encouraging young minds.”
Participating schools include:
- Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School (Oshawa)
- All Saints Catholic Secondary School (Whitby)
- Crestwood Secondary School (Peterborough)
- Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School (Peterborough)
- Richmond Hill High School (Richmond Hill)
- Sir William Mulock High School (Aurora)
- Middlefield Collegiate (Markham)
- TananbaumCHAT - Kimel Campus (Vaughn)
Vince De Angelis, a lawyer with De Angelis Law Professional Corporation and an OBA member is excited to bring the experience to local students. “I’m pleased to help students learn and appreciate some of the basic skills of advocacy. I am sure they are enjoying the process and I am glad to be a part of it. This experience should give these young people a better appreciation of our justice system.”
OBA Law Day is aimed at educating and informing the public, especially Ontario’s youth, about the role and importance of the law. It provides a unique glimpse into the profession and offers a valuable education to the vital role that lawyers and the judiciary serve in guaranteeing an open, independent and unbiased judicial system.
The Ontario Bar Association partners with the Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN) and the Association of French Speaking Jurists of Ontario (AJEFO) to make OBA Law Day success.
For more information:
Amy Clark, Ontario Bar Association
416-869-1047 x 364