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Introducing OJEN’s 2024-25 Justice Education Fellows

Each year, OJEN invites law and paralegal students across Ontario to apply for our Justice Education Fellowships (JEFs). Fellows receive in-depth training in Public Legal Education (PLE) theory and methods, as well as ongoing support from OJEN staff. During the school year, each Fellow is responsible for planning and delivering a minimum of 3 justice education projects in local schools. 

The specialized training Fellows receive at this early stage in their careers, can be applied throughout their professional lives. It helps ensure a solid base of qualified justice sector volunteers for the future. OJEN also extends justice education programming to classrooms across the province. Each year, hundreds of high school students benefit from quality justice education programs delivered by OJEN Fellows.

Nine exceptional Justice Education Fellows have been selected for the 2024-25 school year, from Ontario law schools, as well as 2 from paralegal programs. Orientation and training is scheduled in July. We look forward to working with all of the Fellows throughout the upcoming academic year. See the brief bios of OJEN’s new JEFs below.

Vania Abbasi is a first year student from the Toronto Metropolitan University’s Lincoln Alexander School of Law. Vania is involved in public legal education work as a legal researcher with Pro Bono Students Canada, conducting research into the healthcare needs of survivors of gender-based violence.

Sarah-Grace Chai is from Queen’s University’s Faculty of Law. Sarah-Grace was a national team athlete with Archery Canada for five years and continued working with that organization afterwards. During this time, she developed an awareness of barriers to access to justice and the importance of young people gaining trust in the legal system.

Ethan Dubeau is a second-year law student at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law in the French Common Law and Political Science program. He is the Executive Editor, French, for the Ottawa Law Review and will be a teaching assistant for Administrative Law in the upcoming school year.

Hamsana Ganeshalingam is in her second semester in Seneca Polytechnic’s paralegal program. While at York University, Hamsana acted as a student ambassador at the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. OJEN’s Steps to Justice presentations piqued her interest in public legal education.

Christina Rajkumar is from York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School. As a first year law student, Christina volunteered with the LAWS (Law in Action Within Schools) program, to coach Central Tech High School’s Mock Trial Club. 

Alissa Schwartz is from the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Law. As a high school student, Alissa competed in an OJEN mock trial and used OJEN resources in her law classes. Alissa demonstrated her interests in both law and education this year by acting as a teaching assistant for Property Law. In her role as a student advisor with Windsor’s Career Service Office, she assists students with mock interviews and participates on career panels.

Justin Shin is a first year student from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law. Justin combines his interests in education and law, recently creating a public legal education seminar for independent contractors who were pursuing claims at Small Claims Court.

Claire Strong is from Western University’s Faculty of Law. Claire was introduced to OJEN in her high school law class where she often used OJEN materials and competed in a mock trial competition at the Ontario Court of Justice in Kitchener. As a first-year law student, she competed in the Canadian National Negotiation Competition and was involved in Western Law’s Sport Solution Clinic.

Sally Tung is from Seneca Polytechnic’s paralegal program. During Sally’s time in Hong Kong, she taught English to primary school children. She learned about OJEN while in high school and sees this fellowship as a chance to give back to the organization that prompted her interest and studies in law.

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