Lisa Cirillo, President

Lisa Cirillo, B.A. (University of Toronto), LL.B (Queen’s University), LL.M (Osgoode Hall Law School), is the Executive Director of Downtown Legal Services (DLS), the University of Toronto Faculty of Law Community Legal Clinic. She has practiced in the areas of human rights, education, housing and family law in a wide variety of social justice organizations including DLS, ARCH Disability Law Centre and the Ontario Human Rights Commission. In addition to her legal work, Lisa has extensive experience in public legal education and community outreach. Lisa is a frequent presenter and requested speaker on a wide variety of public interest topics including family law, violence against women, poverty law, access to justice and human rights issues. Lisa is a member of the National Steering Committee for NAWL (National Association for Women and the Law) and joined the ACCLE Board in 2011. Lisa was recently appointed to serve as a member of Legal Aid Ontario’s Clinic Law Advisory Committee.


Marian MacGregor, Vice President

Marian MacGregor, B.A. (Hons), L.L.B., M.A. (Critical Disability Studies) has been the Clinic Director of Community and Legal Aid Services Program (CLASP) since 2008. Since her Call to the Bar in 1997 she has worked exclusively in community legal clinics throughout Toronto. In 2011 she was awarded the Law Foundations Community Leadership in Justice Fellowship to develop a clinical program in disability law. Marian is also the Co-Director of the Disability Law Intensive, which began in September 2013. Marian received her M.A. in Critical Disability Studies in the Fall of 2013. Marian is also a current PhD student in the Critical Disability Studies where she will continue her research on disability in experiential education.


Michelle Christopher, Treasurer

Michelle Christopher is a Calgary lawyer and mediator who holds a joint appointment as a faculty member teaching clinical programs at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law and as Executive Director of Student Legal Assistance, the pro bono legal clinic located at the University of Calgary.

A graduate of Dalhousie Law School, Michelle also has an LLM from Osgoode Hall Law School, where she focused on dispute resolution theory and practice. With extensive training in dispute resolution from Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation, Michelle regularly sits as a Dispute Resolution Officer with the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta and is a roster mediator with both the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta and the Provincial Court of Alberta, Civil Division. She assisted in the design and implementation of Legal Aid Alberta’s Family Settlement Services program for the mediation of family disputes and sits on the Board of the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family. She recently organized the Canadian Conference on Judicial Mediation which was hosted by the Faculty of Law in June, 2013.

At SLA and within the Faculty of Law, Michelle is dedicated to the development of clinical programs and is passionate about innovative pedagogies which foster a commitment to access to justice and which develop problem solving and advocacy skills in young lawyers. In addition to her work with ACCLE, Michelle keeps tabs on future lawyers by teaching and evaluating students in the Alberta bar admission course. In her spare time, she pretends to live in the country and tries, on urban neighborhood walks, to trick her dog into thinking that squirrels are friendly.


Donna Franey, Secretary

Donna Franey is a faculty member of Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University appointed as Executive Director of Dalhousie Legal Aid Service, a community legal aid office located in North End Halifax, Nova Scotia. The service forms a significant part of the curriculum providing an educational opportunity in clinical law for third year law students. The ‘clinic’, as it is known, is the only legal aid office in Nova Scotia providing dedicated services in poverty law. It is also unique, in that its mandate includes engaging in community development and law reform work on behalf of the low income community as well as providing individual representation.

Donna is actively involved in the life of the clinic and local community. She carries a caseload of poverty, family, criminal law cases and community development files. She is continuously developing and revising the curriculum to enrich and grow the clinical law program. Over the years she has been involved in community organizations such as Bryony House, Adsum House, Bayers Westwood Family Resource Centre, Immigrant Settlement and Integration Services, Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia, Committee Against Woman Abuse, National Association of Women and the Law, Gender Equity Committee, Family SOS, Association for Canandian Clinical Legal Education, and the Judicial Education Committee to name a few.

Donna has a passion for community engagement and social justice. She is constantly striving to develop initiatives to engage the community for positive change through provision of information, services, advocacy, organizing, law reform and community development.


Doug Ferguson, Founder of ACCLE and Past President

Doug Ferguson holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from the University of Ottawa and a law degree from Western University. He spent many years in private practice as a partner with the London firm of Bitz, Szemenyei, Ferguson & MacKenzie (now Szemenyei MacKenzie) before returning to Western’s Faculty of Law as Adjunct Professor and Director of Community Legal Services.

Doug is a member of the councils of both the Canadian Bar Association and the Ontario Bar Association. In August 2013 he was appointed to two Canadian Bar Association committees on Access to Justice and on Legal Education. He is also a member of Ontario’s Justices of the Peace Appointments Advisory Committee.

In 2010, Doug organized the first national conference for Canadian student legal clinics, and spearheaded the founding of the Association for Canadian Clinical Legal Education, where he served as the inaugural president until 2013. He has written articles and spoken at a number of conferences on the need for reform of legal education in Canada. He has also spoken on the role of law schools in access to justice. Doug was a past president of London’s Covent Garden Market, and a past president of the Liberal Party of Canada. He received Western Law’s Alumnus of Distinction Award in 2009 and the Access to Justice Award in 2011 from the Middlesex Law Association. In 2012 he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal.


Members at Large:

Natasha Brown

Natasha Brown is the Legal Director of Legal Help Centre of Winnipeg, Inc. (“LHC”). Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Natasha received her Bachelor of Education in 2001 and her Bachelor of Laws in 2005. Natasha worked in private practice, exclusively in the area of family law, until the fall of 2012, at which point she became LHC’s Family Law Supervising Lawyer. In late summer of 2014, Natasha became the Centre’s Legal Director. Natasha is currently a sessional instructor at the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Law, teaching Legal Methods and acting as Supervising Lawyer for the law school’s LHC Internship program.  Natasha also sits on the Board of the Association for Canadian Clinical Legal Education and is currently Manitoba’s representative to the Canadian Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Access to Justice.


Sarah Buhler

Sarah Buhler (BA (Winnipeg), LL.B (Osgoode Hall Law School), LL.M (Saskatchewan)) is an Assistant Professor at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law. She is responsible for the academic component of the College’s Intensive Clinical Law program, which is located at CLASSIC (Community Legal Assistance Services for Saskatoon Inner City). CLASSIC was founded in 2007; its mandate is to promote access to justice for low-income residents of Saskatoon, with an emphasis on meeting the legal needs of First Nations and Metis clients. CLASSIC is the recipient of several awards, including the CBA National Pro Bono Award and the Law Society of Saskatchewan’s C Willy Hodgson Award. Each semester 10 upper year law students are admitted into the Intensive Clinical program, where they spend an entire semester working at CLASSIC, and also take an academic seminar. In addition to her involvement with the clinical law program, Sarah teaches in the area of Access to Justice and Professional Responsibility. Her research focuses on clinical legal education, access to justice and poverty and the law. Before joining the College of Law as a faculty member, Sarah was CLASSIC’s Executive Director and Supervising Lawyer; and prior to that she practiced law at a private firm in Saskatoon. Sarah is actively involved in the community and in particular with STR8 UP, a local organization that works with former gang members. Sarah and her husband, Charlie, have three children: Simon (9), Benjamin (5) and Rachel (3).


Sarah Charow

Sarah Charow is a staff lawyer with Legal Assistance of Windsor. Her practice focuses on social assistance law, specifically on matters dealing Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program, and Employment Insurance. Sarah also supervises any incoming Employment Standards files. Sarah is also active in community development and public legal education.

Sarah summered with Queen’s Legal Aid and continued on as a group leader, supervising law students in the areas of social benefits law, criminal and quasi-criminal offences, Criminal Injuries Compensation, landlord/tenant law, and small claims matters. She articled with the Ontario Ministry of Labour, where she prosecuted offences under the Employment Standards Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Sarah completed a five-week secondment to the Ontario Labour Relations Board, and repeatedly represented the Director of Employment Standards before that tribunal.


Lucie Lamarche

Lucie Lamarche is a Professor in the Faculty of Political Science and Law at the University of Québec in Montréal (UQAM). She is also a professor on leave from the Faculty of Law of University of Ottawa where she served as Research Director of the Human Rights Research and Education Centre of the University of Ottawa and held the Gordon F. Henderson Chair in Human Rights (2007-2013).

Professor Lamarche recently co-edited (with Shelagh Day and Ken Norman) 14 Good Reasons for Human Rights Institutions in Canada (Irwin Law, 2013). Prof. Lamarche is a member of the Quebec Bar (Mérite Christine Tourigny 2002 and Ad. E.). She completed her ph.d. in international human rights law in 1994 (University of Brussels) and was offered the Jean Monnet Fellow in 1998 (European University Institute).

See for some publications: http://hq.ssrn.com/submissions/MyPapers.cfm?partid=1076144 The return of Lucie Lamarche at UQAM in 2013 coincides with the strategic decision of the Department of Juridical Science to organise its curriculum around experiential learning and to emphasize existing clinical activities.


Sarah Lugtig

Sarah Lugtig obtained a joint LL.B. (Bachelor of Laws)/ M.S.W (Master of Social Work) degree from McGill University in 1996. After clerking at the Supreme Court of Canada with Madame Justice L’Heureux-Dubé the following year, Sarah practised with a focus on human rights and administrative law for several years in a number of capacities, including as Equality Rights Director with the Court Challenges Program of Canada, Legal Counsel to the Manitoba Human Rights Commission and Crown Counsel with Civil Legal Services of Manitoba Justice.

Sarah collaborated on the development of the University of Manitoba’s first poverty law course, an initiative inspired by a group of students interested in the area, and has been teaching the course since its inception. She participated actively in the establishment of the Legal Help Centre of Winnipeg, which is staffed largely by lawyer volunteers and law and social work students, and is currently its President. She also serves as Vice-chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Access to Justice. On July 1, 2013, Sarah assumed the newly-created position of Director of Experiential Learning at the Faculty of Law of the University of Manitoba.


Sarah Rauch

Sarah Rauch, called to the bar in 2002, has been the director and supervising lawyer of the UBC Indigenous Community Legal Clinic since 2007. As a former student at the clinic herself, she recognises the development of clinical legal education over the years, and the value that clinic experience can add to law school education, and to the profession. As a practitioner who commonly works with women prisoners, she believes in teaching with and advancing questions of fairness, freedom and liberty, especially as those aspects of Canadian law interact with Indigenous law, and effect Indigenous people and families, children and women. Sarah was the recipient of the BC branch of the CBA “Equality and Diversity” award and currently represents the Aboriginal CBA section on the Children’s Law Committee. Since 2007, she has been following clinical legal education by attending the American Association of Law Schools clinical legal education conferences, and has been invited as a speaker at the Northwest regional clinical legal education conferences, the Indian Law symposiums and the International Journal of Clinical Legal education conference in the UK, as well as at the ACCLE conferences.


Dr. Martha E. Simmons

Dr. Martha E. Simmons, BA(Hons), JD, LLM(ADR), PhD, is a Visiting Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School. She is also the Director of the Mediation Intensive Program and Clinic and sits on the Executive Committee of the Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution. Her research focus is in dispute resolution and legal education. She is a certified Collaborative Lawyer and mediator. In addition to the mediation program, Professor Simmons teaches negotiation and mediation in the JD program at Osgoode and is also a faculty member of the part time LLM program in ADR at Osgoode Professional Development. She is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and serves on the Board of Governors at Havergal College, an all girls’ school in Toronto. Professor Simmons is a teaching award recipient from Osgoode Hall.


Student Members:

Jordan Szoo

An Alberta native, Jordan Szoo is a second year student at the University of Calgary, Faculty of Law. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Université Laval where he specialized in Political Science and International Relations. During his time in Québec, Jordan volunteered for Lawyers Without Borders Canada and was an All Canadian varsity athlete. He is currently a volunteer Caseworker and group leader with Student Legal Assistance at the University of Calgary. His caseload focuses on Criminal law and in his time at Student Legal Assistance he has run multiple trials. Jordan is also keenly interested in SLA’s outreach clinics and often leads student outreach at local homeless shelters and other housing initiatives. Jordan is a contributor for the “Moot Times”, the Faculty of Law newspaper. He was recently hired by Alberta Justice and will be spending the upcoming summer with the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service.


Adam Wheeler

Adam Wheeler is a third year JD/MSW student at the University of Toronto. His passion for clinical practice has led him to work at Downtown Legal Services (DLS) in housing and criminal law, serve on the DLS student executive as Outreach Coordinator, and to train and supervise first year students on poverty law issues. He was recently involved with clinical programs through Pro Bono Students Canada and at West Toronto Community Legal Services, and has practice experience in aboriginal child welfare and forensic mental health.

Prior to law school, Adam completed a BA in Women’s/Gender Studies and Religious Studies at McGill University, and has worked in agencies on issues including queer and trans youth mental health, HIV/AIDS health promotion, and harm reduction. Adam also brings his experience in non-profit administration and program planning to ACCLE, having worked in financial management and board governance roles with several agencies in Toronto and Montreal.