Deadline: January 29, 2016
The Law Society invites nominations for the Law Society awards. Awards for lawyers include the Law Society Medal, the Lincoln Alexander Award and the Laura Legge Award. Paralegals are eligible for the William J. Simpson Distinguished Paralegal Award. Both are eligible for the J. Shirley Denison Award.
New Award to honour John Shirley Denison
In April 2015, Convocation approved the establishment of an award in honour of former Treasurer John Shirley Denison, to be bestowed annually in recognition of significant contributions to access to justice and/or poverty issues. Both Paralegal and lawyer licensees of the Law Society of Upper Canada are eligible for this award.
The J. Shirley Denison Award is named in honour of Denison and his commitment to helping others. It succeeds the the J. Shirley Denison Fund, which was established through a bequest from the former Treasurer to assist indigent lawyers and their families, and which was closed in 2014.
Filing a Nomination
Nominations for the awards should include:
- a letter of nomination setting out the reasons for the nomination and background information on the nominee’s outstanding service and achievements as they relate to the award,
- a current curriculum vitae, and
- letters of support from other members of the Law Society or the public supporting the nomination.
Nominations are encouraged for members from all communities, practice areas, firm sizes, and regions across the province.
We encourage the nominator to file the nomination together with letters of support as one package.
You can submit a nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by regular mail to this address:
The Law Society Awards Committee
The Law Society of Upper Canada
130 Queen Street West
Toronto, M5H 2N6
If you are submitting a nomination by email, please indicate the award and the name of the candidate being nominated in your subject line. For example:
Re: Law Society Medal Nomination, Jane Nancy Smith
Re: Lincoln Alexander Award Nomination, John David Smith
Letters of nomination, letters of support and other accompanying material submitted by email should be in PDF format.
Nominations will be considered for two consecutive years and do not have to be refiled the second year.
Those nominated but not recognized after two years may be nominated again by filing a nomination package with updated information.
Nominations for the lawyer awards are reviewed by the Law Society Awards Committee. The Treasurer of the Law Society chairs the committee. The committee is composed of the Treasurer of the Law Society, five benchers of the Law Society, the Chief Justice of Ontario, Chair of Ontario Law Deans, President of the Ontario Bar Association, President of the Advocates’ Society and the Chair of the County and District Law Presidents’ Association. The committee will review all of the nominations and report to Convocation in-camera with their recommendations for the awards. The committee’s recommendations must be approved by Convocation.
The nominations for the paralegal award are reviewed by a selection committee comprised of all five paralegal members of the Paralegal Standing Committee, the Vice-Chair of the Paralegal Standing Committee, a lay bencher member of the Paralegal Standing Committee and the Treasurer of the Law Society or designate. The selection committee will review all of the nominations and report to Convocation in-camera with their recommendation for the award. The committee’s recommendation must be approved by Convocation.
Announcement of Award Recipients
The names of the award recipients will be made public once all of the recipients have been contacted. The names will be published on the Law Society’s website as well as by press release.
Questions regarding the Law Society Awards can be directed to 416-947-3946 or 1800-668-7380 ext 3946.
Law Society Medal
The Law Society Medal, established in 1985, recognizes lawyers who have demonstrated outstanding service through ongoing devotion to professional duties or through a single distinguished professional or academic accomplishment that accords with the highest ideals of the legal community.
Originally struck in 1985, the Law Society Medal has been awarded to more than 100 lawyers in recognition of distinguished service.
Learn more about the Law Society Medal.
Lincoln Alexander Award
The Lincoln Alexander Award honours an Ontario lawyer who has shown an enduring commitment to community service on behalf of Ontarians.
The award was created in 2002 in honour of former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Member of Parliament, and 2002 Law Society Medal recipient The Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander, P.C., C.C., O.Ont., Q.C., to reward his dedication to the people of Ontario and the legal community.
Learn more about the Lincoln Alexander Award.
Laura Legge Award
The Laura Legge Award is given each year to a female lawyer from Ontario who has exemplified leadership within the profession.
The award was established in 2007 in honour of Laura Legge, O. Ont, Q.C., the first woman ever elected as a bencher of the Law Society and the first woman to serve as Treasurer.
Learn more about the Laura Legge Award.
William J. Simpson Distinguished Paralegal Award
The William J. Simpson Distinguished Paralegal Award recognizes a paralegal who has demonstrated one or more of the following criteria: outstanding professional achievement; contribution to the development of the profession; devotion to professional duties; adherence to best practices and mentoring of others in best practices; a history of community service and personal character that brings credit to the paralegal profession.
Learn more about the William J. Simpson Distinguished Paralegal Award.
J. Shirley Denison Award
The J. Shirley Denison award is bestowed annually in honour of former Treasurer John Shirley Denison, in recognition of significant contributions to access to justice and/or poverty issues. Both Paralegal and lawyer licensees of the Law Society of Upper Canada are eligible for this award.
Learn more about the J. Shirley Denison Award.