OJEN’s family of local committees is growing!
In January, representatives from Kingston’s legal and education communities met to discuss ways they could provide enriched justice education experiences for local students and youth. Home to Queen’s University Law School and an active legal community, Kingston is well situated to be an important support for OJEN’s justice education programs.
Co-chairs Greg Dobney, a lawyer with Cunningham Swan, and Andrea Barrow, a law teacher with Limestone District School Board, are part of a team of 13 volunteers planning their first local programs. Committee members include judges from both the Ontario and Superior Courts of Justice, Crown lawyers and lawyers from the private bar, secondary school teachers, staff from Queen’s Law School and law students. Organizing quickly, they are already planning two justice education initiatives for the spring of this year.
In April they will offer the OBA/OJEN Competitive Mock Trial Tournament (OOCMT) to Kingston area secondary schools and in early May, hold a full-day student law symposium.
They are ambitious goals, but according to Greg, there is a lot of enthusiasm to make them happen.
“There’s great judicial interest from local judges,” he comments. “And the local criminal bar and Crown representatives on the committee have taken quite active volunteer roles.”
Andrea says that, for high school law teachers, the OJEN committee in Kingston means having better access to the resources of the legal community. She also looks forward to opportunities to work more closely with other law teachers in the area. All the teachers she has approached about offering the OOCMT have responded favourably. Three schools are already onboard. She expects a few more will follow suit.
“Everyone on the committee is on the same page when it comes to the goal of giving more students exposure to more aspects of law,” Andrea says.
Welcome to the OJEN family, Kingston Committee!
Local committees expand OJEN’s capacity to deliver justice education projects province-wide. Currently there are 15 local committees offering a wide range of innovative justice education projects that respond to the needs of their communities. We expect more committees to be established over the coming year.