York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School honoured eight distinguished Osgoode alumni with awards for their exceptional contributions to the legal profession and to society at the Dean’s Annual Alumni Reception on May 12 at Osgoode Hall in Toronto.
Osgoode Hall Law School Interim Dean Jinyan Li (DJur ’91) hosted the awards evening. The awards were presented by Osgoode Associate Dean Janet Mosher, Ontario Associate Chief Justice Dennis O’Connor (LLB ’64, Honorary LLD ’07), Osgoode Alumni Association Board President John Tobin (LLB ’87), and Osgoode Legal & Literary Society President Sanford Murray.
Above: The 2010 Osgoode Hall Law School alumni award recipients. Front row: From left, Beverley Flynn, Interim Dean Jinyan Li, John Tobin and Karen Jackson. Back row: From left, Professor Shin Imai, Andrew Evangelista, Rui Alves, Samuel Schwartz, Tim Kennish and Patrick LeSage.
The Dianne Martin Medal for Social Justice Through Law is given to a member of the Canadian legal community who exemplifies the late Professor Dianne Martin’s commitment to law as an instrument for achieving social justice and fairness. The medal was presented to Professor Shin Imai, one of Osgoode Hall Law School’s and York University’s most talented and admired teachers. Imai is currently academic director of the Intensive Program in Poverty Law at Parkdale Community Legal Services and co-director of the Latin American Human Rights Research & Education Network. He has previously served as director of Osgoode’s Intensive Program in Aboriginal Lands, Resources & Governments, and director of Clinical Education. Imai is also slated to receive York’s 2010 President’s University-Wide Teaching Award at Convocation on June 11. His name will be engraved on a University-Wide Teaching Award plaque in York’s Vari Hall.
The Osgoode Gold Key Awards went to six Osgoode graduates. They are:
Achievement – Tim Kennish (LLB ’64) was presented with a Gold Key award for Achievement. A retired partner of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, he is a former co-chair of the firm and has been one of Canada’s most highly regarded practitioners in the field of competition and anti-trust law. Kennish chaired the Osler campaign to raise $1 million to establish the Osler Chair in Business Law, Osgoode’s first endowed Chair. He has also been a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council and recently served as Chair of the Major Gifts Committee for The Building Osgoode Campaign.
Achievement – Samuel Schwartz (LLB ’72) also received a Gold Key for Achievement. Managing partner of the Toronto office of Davis LLP, Schwartz practises in the areas of corporate/commercial, corporate finance structuring and securities. He has served on the York University Board of Governors since 2002 and is a tremendous supporter of Osgoode Hall Law School. He is known as a kind and generous mentor who takes the time to guide and advise young lawyers on their careers.
Public Sector – Throughout his remarkable 29 years on the bench, Patrick LeSage (LLB ’61), former chief justice of the Superior Court of Justice for Ontario, presided over some of Canada’s most publicized and complex legal cases. Upon his retirement from the bench in 2004, he joined Gowlings LLP as counsel in the Advocacy Law Group. He was also appointed to the York University Board of Governors. In 2005, he was appointed as a commissioner to the Ontario Securities Commission and also appointed to head two government inquiries. LeSage, who is a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario, received a Gold Key award in recognition of his career of public service.
Recent Graduate – Beverley Flynn (LLB ’01) was recognized with a Gold Key award for her early professional achievements. Flynn is general counsel and secretary for Morguard Corporation, a publicly traded real estate company focused on ownership, management and development of both commercial and multi-family residential assets. She has just completed her term as a member of the Osgoode Alumni Association Board and chair of the Mentor Program.
Service – Andrew Evangelista (LLB ’92) was recognized with a Gold Key award for his significant contributions of time and energy to Osgoode and its Alumni Association Board. He served as an active member of the Alumni Association Board for 14 years. He was appointed president of the board in 2008 and a member of The Building Osgoode Campaign Cabinet. One of his greatest contributions is the Mentor Program, which he founded and chaired for eight years.
Service – Karen Jackson (LLB ’77) was awarded a Gold Key for her leadership and longstanding service to Parkdale Community Legal Services. Jackson joined Stikeman Elliot in 1994 and practises primarily in the area of corporate law. In 1997, she was appointed to the Board of Directors of Parkdale Community Legal Services and has served for 10 years as co-chair and a member of the Executive Committee of the Parkdale Board. The board has benefited enormously from Jackson’s knowledge of corporate governance and her dedication to creating the structures and supports necessary for effective board governance.
In addition, the Mentor of the Year award was given to Rui Alves (LLB ’94), an associate at Wilson Christen LLP Barristers. The Osgoode Mentor Program helps students connect with alumni so that they may receive advice and guidance on legal practice and education. Alves, who is certified as a collaborative practice lawyer and has a strong background in family law and civil litigation, was nominated by his student mentee who wrote, “Mr. Alves exceeded my expectations of what a mentor should be. He made himself available to me at all times and made it a priority to guide me throughout this entire journey. He proudly introduced me to his entire firm as his mentee and gave me great insight into what a day in the life of a family lawyer is like.”