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From the OJEN Blog

20th Anniversary Profile – Gabriela Dedelli, former Justice Education Fellow

“Justice education provides practical, relevant knowledge that young adults can apply throughout their lives.”

Each year, OJEN invites law students and paralegal students across Ontario to apply for our Justice Education Fellowship positions. Fellows receive in-depth training in public legal education theory and practice,and then run youth-focused justice education projects in their communities. This one-year program provides students an opportunity to build skills in communications, community outreach, public speaking, access to justice initiatives, and plain language work.

Gabriela Dedelli, from the University of Ottawa law school, was accepted into the OJEN Fellowship program in 2019. She was in her third year of law school. In her first two years, she had volunteered to deliver justice education programs that previous OJEN Fellows from the University of Ottawa had initiated. As an OJEN Justice Education Fellow, she took responsibility for organizing 3 Alternative Dispute Resolution workshops with local high school classes, coordinating with the teachers and recruiting and training law school student volunteers.

What Gabriela is doing now:

Gabriela is now employed with a large municipality with a focus on planning and development law. Her practice includes litigation before development-related administrative tribunals, which involves the use of alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, to resolve matters.

Lessons from her year with OJEN:

“Through my involvement with OJEN, I learned that justice education is crucial in helping young adults learn to tackle day to day issues. Crucial life experiences, like renting a home or getting a job, involve heavy legal components. Teaching young adults the basics of these areas of law, as well as the practical skills, like negotiation, necessary to navigate common issues, empowers young adults to make good decisions and protect their legal rights. Importantly, in my experience, justice education also instilled confidence in students’ abilities to manage situations with legal aspects. Knowledge is power and justice education provides practical, relevant knowledge that young adults can apply throughout their lives.”

Everyone at OJEN wishes Gabriela great success in her career and invites her to volunteer with us whenever she likes!

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