The Law Foundation of Ontario (LFO) has awarded a Community Leadership in Justice Fellowship to Marian MacGregor, director of Osgoode’s Community and Legal Services Program (CLASP). It is one of two fellowships that the LFO announced on Sept. 6.
Left Marian MacGregor
MacGregor, who will be on a leave of absence from the end of September 2011 until the end of April 2012, will develop an intensive clinical program in disability law. She will also return to school to obtain her masters degree in critical disability studies at York. Richard Ferriss, who has been a review counsel at CLASP for the past two years, will serve as acting director of CLASP while MacGregor is away.
The intensive clinical program in disability law will build on Osgoode’s established leadership in clinic-based legal education and enhance capacity in this specialized and under-serviced area of law. The program is expected to involve a dual placement: one at the ARCH Disability Law Centre, a specialized community legal clinic in central Toronto, and one at a non-governmental organization pursuing relevant policy work.
“The impact of disability, often combined with poverty, can create serious access to justice barriers,” said MacGregor, who has practised extensively in the area of poverty law. “This new program will produce lawyers who are better equipped to meet the distinct needs of clients with disabilities, as well as involving students in the systemic change that needs to take place.”
“Marian has demonstrated commitment, compassion and great leadership as director of CLASP and will no doubt bring those same qualities to bear in her LFO-funded project,” said Osgoode Dean Lorne Sossin. “While we will miss her, we are very proud that she has received this honour. We also know that CLASP will be in excellent hands under Richard’s guidance.”
Community Leadership in Justice Fellowships are one of several LFO granting programs, and two or more have been awarded annually since 2006. They harness the potential of community-academia links to advance justice-related and educational objectives. Fellows are typically leading experts and innovators. Joint applications from public interest groups and prospective host academic institutions are invited each spring.