Terms of Reference
OBA Foundation Chief Justice of Ontario Fellowships in Legal Ethics and Professionalism
Two Fellowships are available for 2021-22:
- The OBA Foundation Chief Justice of Ontario Fellowship in Research (“Fellowship in Research”)
- The OBA Foundation Chief Justice of Ontario Fellowship in Legal Ethics and Professionalism Studies (“Fellowship in Studies”)
The purposes of the Fellowships are:
- to encourage scholarship in the academic discipline of legal ethics and professionalism in Canadian universities and colleges;
- to continue the development of Canadian materials on legal ethics and professionalism in the practice of law;
- to promulgate the principles of professionalism to the practicing bar at continuing education conferences; and
- to commission keynote speakers for continuing education conferences on legal ethics and professionalism.
September 1, 2021 to August 31, 2022.
Applications are due July 20, 2021. Applicants are to submit a curriculum vitae, a statement of their proposed research or studies and intended work product, a cover letter in support of their application, and, if a full-time faculty member of a Canadian university or college, confirmation of authority from their employer to hold the Fellowship. Each Applicant is to submit a statement explaining how the Fellowship proceeds will be used.
Applications are to be submitted by e-mail, in PDF or Word format, simultaneously to Lee Akazaki at lakazaki@Gilbertsondavis.com and Valerie Dallas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Only full-time faculty teaching at a Canadian university or college (“faculty applicants”) are eligible to apply for the Fellowship in Research. Faculty applicants are not required to be members of the Canadian Bar Association.
Only members in good standing of the Ontario Bar Association who are not eligible as faculty applicants (“non-faculty applicants”) are eligible to apply for Fellowship in Studies.
The recipients of the Fellowships will be selected by August 24, 2021 by a Selection Committee appointed by the OBA Foundation (“Selection Committee”) from OBA members. The Selection Committee will include at least one legal academic and at least one practicing lawyer. The “legal academic” may be a full-time, part-time or emeritus member of a Canadian University law faculty. The Trustee administrator of the fellowship will serve as a non-voting chair of the Selection Committee.
The Selection Committee reserves its right, in appropriate cases, to:
- Decline to award a Fellowship;
- Award co-winners in a particular category, with the co-winners each receiving one-half of the grant amount;
- Re-allocate funds from one category to another, in whole or in part; and
- Reduce the amount of the grant in a particular category in circumstances where the Applicant’s budget for preparation and presentation of the paper does not contemplate significant “hard cost” disbursements.
All decisions of the Committee shall be final.
For the Fellowship in Research, the following criteria will be considered: the applicant's demonstrated interest in legal ethics and professionalism including track record of legal ethics teaching and scholarship, the applicant's publication record, the clarity and depth of the proposal, a demonstrated understanding of the realities and challenges of practice as it relates to the proposed issue, the applicant's experience in organizing a conference and demonstrated track record of presenting at professional conferences, and whether the applicant is a member of a under-represented group in the legal academy.
For the Fellowship in Studies, the following criteria will be considered: the applicant's demonstrated interest in legal ethics and professionalism, the applicant's publication record (if any), the clarity and depth of the proposal, the applicant's experience in organizing a conference and demonstrated track record of presenting at professional conferences, and whether the applicant is a member of a under-represented group in the profession.
$15,000 will be paid to the recipient of the Fellowship in Research. The expectation is that a substantial portion of these funds will be used to hire one or more student researchers and that some of these funds will be used for travel expenses.
$5,000 will be paid to the recipient of the Fellowship in Studies.
For each Fellowship, all of the funds are to be used for the recipient of the Fellowship’s expenses. These can include the costs of hiring one or more student researchers, travel expenses, purchase of research materials, and research and administrative costs. Any unused funds are to be returned at the end of the Fellowship.
The recipient of the Fellowship in Research is required to use the Fellowship title in his or her day-to-day communications. The recipient of the Fellowship is required to present his or her research at least twice at conferences of legal organizations or to universities or colleges. The recipient of the Fellowship is expected to produce at least one publishable law review article on his or her research topic or make a comparable contribution to legal scholarship.
The recipient of the Fellowship in Studies is expected to produce an article or a comparable contribution to scholarship on legal ethics or professionalism and to present his or her studies at a minimum of two conferences of legal organizations.
The OBA Foundation will co-ordinate opportunities to present the research, but recipients are at liberty to publish the work through their own efforts.
Recipients of the fellowships hereby grant OBA Foundation a non-exclusive licence to publish the work product of the fellowships on the OBA Foundation website.
Background to the Fellowships
In 2010, the Chief Justice of Ontario's Advisory Committee on Professionalism (“Advisory Committee”) completed a seven-year project to promote professionalism in the practice of law, to encourage scholarship in the academic discipline of legal ethics and professionalism, and to develop uniquely Canadian materials about legal ethics and professionalism. The “colloquia project” consisted of thirteen colloquia on the legal profession that took place at the six Ontario law schools and at the premises of the Law Society of Upper Canada. The colloquia project adopted a broad definition of professionalism to include legal ethics, legal history, legal culture, legal literature, and the contribution of the law and of lawyers to society.
The colloquia project responded to the recognized needs of promoting ethical behaviour and professionalism in the legal profession, of enhancing the reputation and the esteem of the profession, of encouraging scholarship in legal ethics and professionalism, and of providing leadership and support to both the academy and the practicing bar in developing professionalism in the practice of law. The Fellowships, which were introduced in 2011, were designed to continue the work and the successes of the colloquia project.
2011 was a propitious time to establish the Fellowships because of the introduction in Ontario of mandatory continuing professional development that includes a legal ethics and professional practice component and because of the recommendation of the Task Force on the Canadian Common Law Degree of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada that law school curricula include a stand-alone course on legal ethics and professionalism. The Fellowships respond to the demand for reference material and educators knowledgeable in the dynamic and emerging discipline of legal ethics and professionalism and will provide keynote speakers for continuing legal education conferences.
In 2013, the Advisory Committee reached an agreement with the OBA Foundation for the assumption and continuation of the Fellowships, to provide stable funding from a charitable fund established by the bar.