Osgoode Hall Law School and Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, one of Canada’s leading law firms, have jointly announced a $1.2-million Davies Fellows Award that is designed to break down barriers to legal education.
The new bursary is created with donations from Osgoode alumni at Davies with matching funds from the law school.
Every year, the bursary will help support one first-year student in the law school’s juris doctor (JD) program who has demonstrated financial need and exceptional promise.
The successful candidate’s personal and professional achievements will include overcoming obstacles related to financial means; racial, cultural, or gender inequalities; mental health; and physical or learning challenges. The recipient will be known as a Davies Fellow.
The award is renewable for the student’s second and third years in the JD program, provided the student remains in good academic standing and continues to demonstrate financial need and exceptional promise.
“We count among our lawyers at Davies, individuals who have overcome obstacles to achieve excellence in the profession, and we recognize that we have an opportunity to expand access to a legal education to students from equity-deserving groups,” says Osgoode alumna and Davies senior partner Patricia Olasker.
She adds that the initiative reflects the firm’s commitment to creating a more inclusive legal profession by removing barriers that stand in the way of remarkable students. “Our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion is a core value of our firm, and the creation of the Davies Fellows Award is an impactful way for us to turn our values into action.”
“I am so grateful for the amazing support our alumni working at Davies have given to this initiative, which will see generous alumni donations matched by Osgoode to help reduce systemic barriers to law school for students from equity-deserving groups who will, in turn, change the face of the legal profession,” says Mary Condon, dean of Osgoode. “The creation of the award is a transformative contribution to the law school’s No Barriers campaign, which aims to make Osgoode one of the most diverse and inclusive law schools in Canada.”
As the first Canadian law school to adopt a holistic admissions policy 15 years ago, Osgoode has been a leader in making legal education more open, inclusive and diverse, the dean adds.
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