Philanthropy is the foundation of our accomplishments and fuels our aspirations

U of T Law Students 2019

Thanks to our wonderful community of donors, the Faculty of Law is at the forefront of legal education in Canada. The generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations have provided unprecedented support for our student financial aid program experiential learning, robust research endeavours and responsive and comprehensive legal clinics that serve our community.

Philanthropic Priorities:

Dean's Strategic Fund

Supporting scholars from Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Indigenous-led community work

When the University of Toronto and its donors rally together, we can achieve amazing things — like the critical projects supported by the U of T Law Dean’s Strategic Fund.

The fund allows the Dean to address the most urgent needs of the law school as well as invest in rapidly emerging opportunities. While endowed gifts are invested for the long term, annual funds like this fuel swift action — and have an immediate impact on our vibrant, intellectual community.

JD student Jackie Brown

JD student Jackie Brown, 2L, received a stipend and support for travel costs to work in Yellowknife with an Indigenous community-based organization.

She is worked on the development of a Project Finance for Permanence (PFP) for the Northwest Territories, with the Indigenous Leadership Initiative, an organization committed to furthering the role of Indigenous Nations in land use planning, conservation, and stewardship.

“PFPs are tools for financing conservation and community development, involving partners from Indigenous and public governments and private philanthropic donors, and support ambitious conservation plans designed and implemented by Indigenous communities,” says Brown.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to travel to Yellowknife. I am very interested in community self-governance and collective action and look forward to learning from those at the forefront of Indigenous-led conservation.”

Read more about Dean's Strategic Fund projects

Experiential Learning Fund

We are committed to supporting our students in pursuing dynamic and rewarding experience that complement their studies. Experiential learning opportunities in the form of paid internships, or fellowships, reinforce students’ academic experiences, ignite passion for an area of study and support the growth and development of a well-rounded individual.

Fellowships are an excellent leadership development experience that, amongst other things, build professionalism, confidence, communication skills, and establish working relationships and networks that will benefit our students throughout their careers.

Ben Keitching

The R. Douglas Elliott Fellowship, established by the LGBT Purge Fund and named in honour of alumnus R. Douglas Elliott (LLB 1982), supports supports a JD or graduate student’s work with public interest-oriented LGBTQ+ organizations, or research on antidiscrimination class actions more broadly. 

Ben Kitching, worked with Egale – Canada’s leading organization for 2SLGBTQI people and issues.

“I was drawn to this Fellowship placement because it aligns with my passion for advocacy and provides a great opportunity to do meaningful work promoting the rights and equality of 2SLGBTQI Canadians,” says Kitching who will enter his second-year of the JD program this fall.

“The fellowship has been a great learning experience and has allowed me work at Egale for the summer, where I have learned about domestic and international human rights law. I have had the opportunity to work on projects related to a UN human rights review and the 30th anniversary of the end of the ban on Gay and Lesbian servicemembers in the Canadian armed forces.”

“It is important for me to give back to my community, so I am very grateful for this opportunity to do so through Egale with the support of the R. Douglas Elliot Fellowship.”

Access to Justice

Everyone from policymakers to law societies must address the barriers to justice to maintain confidence in our legal system. Our students, through intensive fellowships and internships, have opportunities to engage in valuable research and directly support low-income families, refugees and new Canadians navigate the legal system.

Read more about U of T's community clinic and clinical legal education program, Downtown Legal Services

Read more about Pro Bono Students Canada's Family Justice Centre

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Photos courtesy of Brown and Kitching