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Law Society of Ontario to honour top professionals at annual awards ceremony

by HR Law Canada

Members of Ontario’s legal profession are set to be honored for their exceptional career achievements and community contributions during the Law Society Awards ceremony on May 22, 2024.

The event, hosted by Treasurer Jacqueline Horvat, celebrates the significant impact these individuals have made in their communities and the legal sector at large. The ceremony will include a range of prestigious awards, acknowledging contributions across diverse areas of law and society.

Charlene Nero. Photo: LinkedIn

William J. Simpson Distinguished Paralegal Award: Charlene Nero

Charlene Nero has been a paragon of advocacy and representation, particularly notable during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the national president of LIUNA Local 3000 and its former legal director, Nero has championed the rights of healthcare and frontline workers, ensuring their protection and rights are upheld. Her efforts extend beyond representation, with significant contributions to collective bargaining and labor rights, especially in healthcare.

Juliet L.B. Chang Knapton. Photo: LinkedIn

Lincoln Alexander Award: Juliet Chang Knapton

Juliet Chang Knapton’s dedication to mentorship, diversity, and inclusion within the legal community has set her apart. As Chair of the Roundtable of Legal Diversity Associations and a committed volunteer, Knapton has tirelessly worked to uplift those from equity-seeking backgrounds, exemplifying commitment to community service and the legal profession’s advancement.

Julie Lassonde. Photo: Canadian Human Rights Commission

Laura Legge Award: Julie Lassonde

Julie Lassonde has been a driving force for social justice, inclusivity, and diversity. From co-founding Toronto’s first Francophone women’s shelter to advocating for 2SLGBTQIA+ rights, Lassonde’s contributions span across legal and community spheres. Her multifaceted approach to social justice, combined with her artistic endeavors, showcases her unique impact on the community and the legal profession.

J. Shirley Denison Award: Trudy McCormick

As executive director of the Northwest Community Legal Clinic, Trudy McCormick has been pivotal in addressing the legal needs of low-income individuals in rural Northwestern Ontario. Her leadership and advocacy have significantly influenced the community legal clinic system in Ontario, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to justice and community service.

Law Society Medal Recipients

Dianne G. Corbiere, Rob Cunningham, Carole M. Dagher, Milton A. Davis, and Raj Dhir have been recognized for their exceptional contributions to law and society, ranging from advancing First Nations Peoples’ legal and social justice, leading tobacco control reforms, advocating for mental health awareness, fighting against racism and antisemitism, and addressing systemic discrimination.

Each has demonstrated a profound commitment to their fields, impacting both the legal profession and the broader community.

Prakash Diar. Photo: LinkedIn

Human Rights Award: Prakash Diar

Prakash Diar’s career is a testament to the enduring fight for justice, from challenging apartheid in South Africa to advocating for Indigenous reconciliation and justice in Canada. His dedication to human rights and social justice reflects the highest ideals of the legal profession, earning him this distinguished recognition.

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