We recently announced the launch of our Blazing Trails Mentorship Program for the 2018-19 year, and we couldn’t be more excited about what’s to come!
Over the next few months, we’ll be showcasing some of the highlights of this program. To officially kick things off, we’d like to introduce you to some of the incredible individuals who have generously volunteered their time as Mentors. Their experience varies across private, public and non-profit sectors, with expertise in Aboriginal, human rights, employment/labour, environmental, commercial, and constitutional law.
This year, 15 legal experts have offered to share their time and wisdom mentoring 47 motivated law students. We’d like to introduce you to a few of our 2018-19 Mentors, and invite you to stay tuned for more updates on this exciting program.
Akosua May Matthews
Akosua Matthews is a Rhode Scholar and graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, and holds a MPhil is Social Comparative Policy from the University of Oxford. While at law school, Akosua served on the Executive of the student legal clinic, Downtown Legal Services, and represented low-income clients in the Criminal Law Division. Akosua completed her articles with the Ministry of the Attorney General at Crown Law Office, and joined Falconers LLP in 2014.
Akosua is from Winnipeg, where she served over five years as an Army Reservist with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles Regiment. She is a descendant and member of the Manitoba Métis. Currently, Akosua serves as the Vice-President and Vice-Chair of the Regent Park Community Health Centre Board, and is a Board Member of the YMCA of Greater Toronto.
Dr. Kim Stanton is an Associate in Goldblatt Partners LLP’s Aboriginal Law group. She graduated from the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law and practiced litigation at a national law firm in Vancouver after a clerkship at the British Columbia Supreme Court. In addition to practicing Aboriginal and constitutional law in British Columbia and Ontario, Kim has worked with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Gaza Strip and with the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development in Accra, where she was an Official Observer of Ghana’s National Reconciliation Commission. Kim was appointed to the Ontario Health Professions Appeal and Review Board and Health Services Appeal and Review Board in 2012.
From 2013-2017, Kim was the Legal Director of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF). She led the organization to intervene before multiple appellate courts and the Supreme Court of Canada to advance equality rights in cases spanning topics such as Aboriginal law, criminal law, human rights law, socioeconomic rights, and reproductive justice. During her tenure, LEAF made significant contributions to discourses on judicial accountability, the law of consent, the treatment of social welfare recipients and the treatment of sexual assault survivors and Indigenous women in the criminal justice system.
In 2016, the federal Minister of the Status of Women appointed Kim to her Advisory Council on the Federal Strategy Against Gender-based Violence. She is a Senior Fellow of Massey College at the University of Toronto where she completed her Masters and Doctorate degrees in Law.
Molly Reynolds is a Counsel with Torys LLP’s Privacy group, with expertise in cyber-security, data protection and breach response, privacy regulatory compliance, privacy class actions, and anti-spam law compliance.
Molly graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the bar in both Ontario and New York. She has appeared as counsel before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Court of Appeal for Ontario, the Federal Court of Canada and the Supreme Court of Canada.
Rizwan Khan is a co-founding Partner of Viridius Lex (Latin for ‘greener law’), a boutique law firm specializing in sustainability. Prior to starting Viridius Lex, he practiced at a prominent public interest environmental law firm where he focused on environmental justice and advocacy for low income Ontarians.
Rizwan has worked for First Nations communities to protect drinking water, fought to ensure commercial entities adhere to regulatory requirements, and made submissions and recommendations to government bodies to protect and improve environmental and public health.
Stéphanie is the Director of Education for Innocence Canada. In this role, her work is directed towards educating the public, law students, legal professionals, and others involved in the criminal justice system on wrongful convictions. She also manages Innocence Canada’s student programs, develops legal education materials, and works with Innocence projects across the country.
Prior to joining Innocence Canada, Stéphanie worked in law in a number of capacities- including as a Student Affairs Consultant, a Recruitment & Diversity Specialist, and most recently the Bilingual Program Officer at Pro Bono Students Canada. She earned a degree in translation (from French to English) and a minor in Mandarin & Chinese Cultural Studies from Concordia University.
Next Up: Hear from Our Participants!
In the coming months you will hear what our current participants have to say about the program, learn about the importance of mentorship, and how this benefits both student mentees and legal mentors!
With that, we would like to give thanks to all of this cohort’s Mentors! We couldn’t do it without you!
We also want to thank you, our followers! Level couldn’t be what it is without your support. In the spirit of #GivingTuesday, we encourage you to spread the love and donate today! Science supports the notion that kindness breeds kindness! Every dollar goes towards Level’s programming, and helps advance our mission of disrupting prejudice, building empathy and advancing human rights.