Women’s rights organization releases alternative orientation guide for law students

PRESS RELEASE

October 11, 2011

Women’s rights organization releases alternative orientation guide for law students
The National Association of Women and the Law (“NAWL”) Charitable Trust for Research and Education will today
release its Gender and the Law Manual: An Introductory Handbook for Law Students. The Manual was compiled by
a working group of law students from all over Canada following a leadership summit held by NAWL in February
2011 to train feminist leaders in law school. It aims to provide feminist and equality seeking law students with
hope, encouragement and inspiration as well as with some of the tools they may need to survive law school and
legal practice.

The Gender and the Law Manual consists of manifestos, excerpts of articles and personal accounts written by 25
feminist students, professors, lawyers and activists. Taken together, these excerpts encourage students to think
critically about the law and to use the skills they acquire in law school to advance the equality rights of women and
other marginalized groups. The handbook updates an earlier manual published 20 years ago and acknowledges that there remains much work to be done to reduce systemic discrimination embedded in the law, as well as in legal
education and practice. By publishing this material at this time, the NAWL Trust is renewing its commitment to
advance the equality rights of Canadian women.

“The NAWL Trust for Research and Education was founded in 1983 to fund, prepare and disseminate research and
education about legal issues in all aspects of the social, economic and political life of Canadian women. It is our
hope that by exposing some of the institutional barriers that make the law school experience difficult for many
women and individuals from equality seeking groups, we will effectively encourage more awareness and discussion
of the issues – and perhaps even encourage small steps to be taken toward the development of practical answers
as well,” says Anne Levesque a member of NAWL’s National Steering Committee.

The translation and publication of the manual was generously supported by the Shirley E. Greenberg Chair for
Women and the Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa. Professor Rosemary Cairns Way, the current
Greenberg Chair, describes it as “intended to help women feel more at ease in law schools and in the legal
profession, and perhaps more importantly, to encourage feminist students and future lawyers to think critically
about the law and take action to denounce inequality and injustice.”

A roundtable on feminist issues in legal education will follow the release of the Manual and is being organized to
take place this spring.

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If you would like more information about the Gender and the Law Manual, please contact:

Pam Cross, Acting Executive Director
(613) 328‐1851
pamelacross54@gmail.com

Anne Levesque, NAWL National Steering Committee Member
(613) 237‐4740, extension 3
alevesque@champlaw.ca

Professor Rosemary Cairns Way
(613) 562‐5800 ext 5793
Rosemary.CairnsWay@uottawa.ca

 

PDF version available here.

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