Michael Ford
Civil Litigation, The Profession

OBA Foundation looking for applications for fellowships

The Ontario Bar Association (OBA) Foundation is currently accepting applications for two fellowships for the 2017-18 term, says Toronto business lawyer and OBA Foundation Trustee Anton Katz.

“The program is intended to encourage professionalism and scholarship in legal ethics,” he tells AdvocateDaily.com. “It’s really important to remind the profession that the daily practice of law can be guided — and should always be guided — by a desire to advance the interests of legal ethics and professionalism.”

In addition to his trustee work with the OBA Foundation, Katz is the lead administrator of the fellowship program, which includes the OBA Foundation Chief Justice of Ontario Fellowship in Research, and the OBA Foundation Chief Justice of Ontario Fellowship in Legal Ethics and Professionalism Studies.

Established in 1987, the OBA Foundation is the charitable arm of the OBA and works to promote legal education and advance innovative research with the goal of improving the justice system.

According to the terms of reference for the fellowships, the purpose is to:

  • encourage scholarship in the academic discipline of legal ethics and professionalism in Canadian universities and colleges;
  • continue the development of Canadian materials on legal ethics and professionalism in the practice of law;
  • promulgate the principles of professionalism to the practicing bar at continuing education conferences; and
  • commission keynote speakers for continuing education conferences on legal ethics and professionalism.

“As the terms indicate, the Fellowship in Research is open to full-time faculty teaching at a Canadian university or college, while the Fellowship in Studies is open to all OBA members who do not otherwise qualify for the fellowship open to full-time faculty,” explains Katz.

The term of each fellowship runs from Sept. 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018.

Katz encourages those who are eligible and interested to review the fellowship criteria and submit their applications before the July 3, 2017 deadline.

“We have a meeting at the end of July to review the applications as a committee, where we discuss and debate the summaries of the proposed papers,” he explains. “We will select a winner in each category and plan to announce the winners in early August.”

Katz, who has been a trustee since April 2014, says his involvement with the OBA Foundation has been very rewarding.  

“Being part of the foundation has allowed me to give back to the profession, while additionally enriching my own experience as a member of the profession.”

Last year’s fellowship in Legal Ethics and Professionalism Studies was awarded to litigator Paul Michell for his proposed research on the ethical consequences of disaggregation in the legal practice. Professor Alain Roussy was awarded the Fellowship in Research for his proposed analysis of the history and adequacy of Rules 3.2-2A and 3.2-2B (Language Rights) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

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