Schulich instructor earns 2023 Law Society of Ontario award

Close-up photo of judge's gavel on a desk with unseen figure writing on paper in the background

Ena Chadha, an adjunct lecturer teaching power and politics negotiations to MBA and JD students at York’s Schulich School of Business, has received the Law Society Medal for outstanding contributions to the profession and the community from the Law Society of Ontario (LSO).

“On a personal level, the medal represents the pinnacle of my career and I’m overwhelmed by gratitude to be honoured this way,” said Chadha. “The award speaks to the power of law to advance social justice and expose and eliminate systemic discrimination. At its heart, the Law Society Medal inspires me and all lawyers to use our legal skills for advocating progressive equity.”

Ena Chadha close-up portrait
Ena Chadha

In addition to her contributions to Schulich, Chadha also served as an adjunct lecturer instructing administrative law courses at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School – where she had previously earned her LLM while practicing as a lawyer in 2008.

Called to the Bar in 1994, Chadha has been a litigator, lecturer, adjudicator, mediator and public service leader. Throughout her storied career, Chadha litigated civil rights cases at various levels of the judicial branch, all the way up to Constitutional challenges before the Supreme Court of Canada.

She also served as litigation director at the ARCH Disability Law Centre from 1999 to 2007 and as vice-chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario between 2007 and 2015. From July 2020 to August 2021, she served as the chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, confronting not only the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on vulnerable communities, but also escalating bigotry and extremism permeating the prevailing social climate. With passion and dedication, she helped steward the province through an ever-changing landscape by strengthening relationships with government and by championing the rights of marginalized communities. Through her legal activism and extensive scholarship, Chadha has been a strong advocate for social justice reform and addressing systemic inequities to improve the lives of all Ontarians.

“On behalf of the entire Schulich community, I wish to congratulate Ena on being named a 2023 recipient of the Law Society Medal,” said Schulich Dean Detlev Zwick. “Ena’s steadfast advocacy on behalf of social justice reform and her work in championing the rights of marginalized individuals make her a worthy recipient of this award.”

In addition to Chadha, three of her fellow Osgoode alum were also named as award recipients in the same March 10 LSO announcement. Reva Devins also received the Law Society Medal, while Courtney Harris and Tami Moscoe each earned the the Laura Legge Award and the J. Shirley Denison Award respectively. Each recipient will have their award bestowed upon them at an in-person ceremony scheduled for May 24.

Find more information on the latest LSO award recipients.