The Ontario Bar Association has recognized two Windsor women for the significant impacts they have made through their access to justice work.
Law professor Jasminka Kalajdzic and retired superior court justice Mary Jo Nolan (LLB 1981, LLD h.c. 2018) are the inaugural honorees in the association’s southwest region for lawyers who have done — and continue to do — critical work when it comes to access to justice in Ontario.
“Both Justice Nolan and Prof. Kalajdzic personify the idea that lawyers play a critical role in levelling the playing field, ensuring that everyone has the ability to access the legal system and assert their rights,” says bar association president Karen Perron. “Lawyers like them not only help people navigate the system, they also advocate for fairer laws and policies that promote access to justice for all, and provide knowledge and guidance to those in need, as well as to other lawyers.”
Justice Nolan became a lawyer after working 15 years as a child welfare advocate, helping vulnerable clients access equitable justice. She was the first female case management master in Ontario, and the first female judge appointed to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Essex County. Justice Nolan has taught in the University of Windsor Faculty of Law and, since retiring from the bench, has continued to serve as a mediator and arbitrator.
Prof. Kalajdzic is the founding director of the Class Actions Clinic at Windsor Law. Author of two books and numerous legal articles, she is a sought-after lecturer and expert on class actions law.
Established in 1907, the Ontario Bar Association is the largest voluntary legal association in the province representing over 16,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and students.