The Alison Dewar Scholarship in Women’s Equality, Labour and Human Rights Law

On October 20, 2014, the National Association of Women and the Law Charitable Trust for Research and Education and Raven, Cameron, Ballantyne and Yazbeck LLP launched the Alison Dewar Scholarship in Women’s Equality, Labour and Human Rights Law at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law. A community of students, along with Alison’s friends and colleagues gathered to celebrate Alison’s strong commitment to social justice and feminist lawyering.

The annual scholarship provides financial support for a female student in University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Common Law who is interested in pursuing a career in some combination of women’s equality and union-side labour, workers’ rights or human rights law.

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Past Recipients

Allana is the 2019 recipient of the Alison Dewar Scholarship and is returning to school as a mature student to do her degree in law. She aims to encourage and promote other women to advance in the legal profession. Her previous degrees include a PhD in Political Theory and a Master’s Degree in Applied Ethics. She is on the executive of UOAWL (the local branch of NAWL at the University of Ottawa). In addition, she is also an Assistant Editor at the Ottawa Law Review and is a research assistant of Prof. Chidi Oguamanam. Allana is active in advocacy for women’s rights in the community, serving on the Board of the Elizabeth Fry Society, Community Engagement officer for the Ovarian Cancer Walk of Hope for Ottawa/Gatineau, and as a volunteer with OCISO (Ottawa Community Immigration Services Organization). Allana’s greatest accomplishment is having raised a courageous and strong-spirited daughter. Her goal is to advocate for women’s equity and empowerment through the law. 

Clare is the 2019 recipient of the Alison Dewar Scholarship and is in her final year of law school at the University of Ottawa. She wants to use her legal education to advocate for gender equality and the protection of human rights.  She has worked for the past four years helping to ensure access to justice and the protection of human rights. Previously, she worked with United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to housing, Leilani Farha, to research and draft a report for the General Assembly advocating for the recognition of right to housing as a component of right to life.  Clare was one of the University of Ottawa’s 2019 Social Justice Fellows and worked as a Summer Student at the Barbra Schlifer Clinic in Toronto helping to represent women who were survivors of violence. Her current research examines human rights violations in the Canada’s health care scheme through a failure to ensure equitable access to abortion services in Northern Canada.

Uttra is the 2018 recipient of the Alison Dewar Scholarship and is a 2019 JD graduate from the University of Ottawa. She is deeply committed to substantive equality. Uttra currently works as legal support for a global software company, assisting in mergers and acquisitions. She will article for the City of Toronto in 2020. Uttra is an award winning mooter, garnering second individual oralist at the Wilson Constitutional Law Moot as well as second place overall team. She was President of #LawNeedsFeminismBecause, Vice-President of the South Asian Law Students association, Division leader at the University of Ottawa Community Legal Clinic, volunteered for ProBono as well as won several scholarships and awards for her access to justice work, particularly relating to tech, and community activism. Prior to attending law school, Uttra obtained a Bachelor’s of Science (with Honours) from the University of Toronto. Uttra is committed to using law for social good.

Lindsay is the third recipient of the Alison Dewar Scholarship in Women’s Equality, Labour and Human Rights Law (2017). Lindsay has represented women, primarily domestic and sexual violence survivors, at the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board in her role as Caseworker and Division Lead at the University of Ottawa Community Legal Clinic. To complement her legal studies, Lindsay has volunteered with various feminist and social justice organizations, including the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund. Today, she continues to volunteer her time for like-minded organizations such as a women’s legal mentorship program. She also continues to pursue her passion for women’s equality and human rights as a union-side labour, employment, and human rights lawyer.

Nhi is the second recipient of the Alison Dewar Scholarship in Women’s Equality, Labour and Human Rights Law. She describes herself as having a deep commitment to women’s equality rights and a “keen interest” in employment, labour and human rights law. In her role as Chair of the University of Ottawa’s Task Force on Respect and Equality, she gathered students’ ideas on how to improve the university’s internal processes “so that women can thrive in an environment free of harassment and sexualized violence”.

Morgan is the first recipient of the Alison Dewar Scholarship in Women’s Equality, Labour and Human Rights Law. She has worked as an organizer for the Public Service Alliance of Canada, as a steward for CUPE, and recently wrote a paper analyzing the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act from different feminist theoretical perspectives. Her volunteer involvement is impressive and includes time in a free legal clinic specializing in immigration and refugee law (conducting country of origin research on gendered violence for female refugee claimants’ applications) and co-founding the Feminist Legal Collective, a campus group aiming to build a feminist community at the University of Ottawa.

As a feminist law student committed to practicing union-side labour law, I am inspired by the feminist politics that motivated Alison's legacy.
Morgan Teeple Hopkins
I represent a number of groups that are severely underrepresented within Canadian law practices. Despite this, I hope to build more bridges and expand the space we give to women's equality.
Nhi Huynh