The Nathan Strauss Q.C., Essay Prize in Legal Ethics is awarded annually to a full-time student in the J.D. or graduate programme at the Faculty of Law who produces an essay of exceptional merit on any issue relating to legal ethics and/or professional conduct. The prize of $1,000 was established by Lilly Offenbach Strauss to honour the memory of her late husband Nathan Strauss Q.C., a Life Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada and a distinguished member of the Ontario Bar, whose name was synonymous with integrity and exemplary professional conduct among fellow lawyers and generations of clients.

The intent of this Essay Prize is to promote student interest in legal ethics and to stimulate debate about conduct proper to the practice of law as an honourable profession and a force for the good in the community at large.

Previous winners of the award are:

  • Adam Dodek, "Canadian Legal Ethics: A Subject in Search of Scholarship"
  • Benjamin Shaer, "Pro Bono, Legal Aid and the Right to Legal Services"
  • Michael Rosenberg, "Shoot the Messenger? An analysis of the Cravath objection and its implications for neutral partisanship"
  • Gail Ellen Elman, "Overlap and Empty Spaces: The Judiciary and Law Societies' Simultaneous Regulation of Lawyer Misconduct"
  • Megan Ann Vuksic, "Legal Duty or Ethical Obligation? Evaluating the Competence of Counsel at Criminal Law"
  • Laura Johnson, "Reconceptualizing Legal Professionalism"
  • Michael Da Silva, "Lawyers as Ethical Actors and the Scope of the Cab Rank Rule Exception"
  • Justin Nasseri, "Class Counsel's Ethical Obligations to the Class: A look at the inadequacies of the current ethical regime in addressing class action lawyer's duties to class members"
  • Lauren Epstein, "Privilege and Responsibility: Addressing Rising Levels of Incivility among Litigators"
  • Jonathan Bright, “The Cost of Winning: a Formalist Approach to the Practice of Law on Television.”
  • Duncan Melville, "Revisiting civility after Groia"
  • Timothy Jones, “Reflecting on Melting Down the Bunny: Towards a Decolonial
    Legal Ethics.”
  • Ellie Jane Marshall, "Critical Questions for Artificial Intelligence as a Means of Alternative Dispute Resolution"

Essays are nominated by faculty members.