Check out this incredible panel speaking to the origins of the community legal clinic system – many of those starting right here in Parkdale!
This is the summary of the panel from the Association of Community Legal Clinics of Ontario’s website:
The presentation will examine how the history of Ontario’s Community Legal Clinics informs today’s structures and work in clinics. The principles and underpinnings that were used in establishing the clinic system will be reviewed. Our presenters will discuss the reasons why these principles continue to be vital to the ongoing and future success of the community legal clinic system. The discussion will be relevant to the current stewards of Ontario’s Community Legal Clinics; clinic staff and Board members alike.
Our presenters are well-known to clinics for their long history and unwavering commitment to community legal clinics and access to justice. Mary Jane, Doug and Thea all continue to support the work of our clinics as valued members of The Friends of the Community Clinics.
Mary Jane Mossman articled at Parkdale Community Legal Services in 1971, and served on the Boards of three Toronto clinics in the 1980s and 90s after working for several years as the first OLAP Clinic Funding Manager during a major expansion of clinics in the province. As a faculty member at Osgoode Hall Law School for several decades, she has engaged in research, presentations, and activism on issues concerning community legal clinics and legal aid.
Doug Ewart’s involvement with Ontario’s community clinics goes back to 1971. As an Osgoode student he helped identify Parkdale as the site for the school’s clinic program. He participated in the operational set up of the Parkdale clinic and worked with numerous community organizations to ensure their role in its governance. Throughout a long career in government, he continued his commitment to the growth and sustainability of the community clinic system, both as a member of the Clinic Funding Committee and as the government’s policy and financial lead for legal aid issues. He contributed to major reviews of the clinic system and post-retirement was involved in supporting the clinics that opposed closure under the transformation project.
Thea Herman is a retired judge of the Superior Court of Ontario. Prior to her appointment to the bench, Thea served as Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of Justice, with responsibility for policy and worked in various capacities in the Ontario government. Throughout these years, Thea focused on equality rights and access to justice issues. She was a member of the Clinic Funding Committee. Thea was legal counsel at Toronto Community Legal Assistance Services, a community legal clinic at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. She was a law student volunteer in several legal clinics, including the Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples. Thea has been a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Equity Advisory Committee and a board member of community legal clinics.