Tuesday, January 23, 2024

The Arbor Awards are the University of Toronto’s highest honour for volunteers, who, through their exemplary generosity, make sustained and valuable contributions to the experience of U of T students, faculty members, staff and alumni.

To celebrate the contributions of our dedicated volunteers, on January 16th at The Carlu, the University of Toronto hosted an in-person ceremony and celebration for 2023 recipients. Invitations were also extended to award winners from the intervening years of 2020, 2021 and 2022, who did not have the opportunity to celebrate in-person due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Several U of T Law recipients, as well at U of T Law Dean Jutta Brunnée, were in attendance.

We are delighted to honour and celebrate the contributions of current and past recipients and are pleased to congratulate our 2023 recipients.

2023 Arbor Award Recipients

Andrew Foley (JD 1991) has been an invaluable member of the Law Alumni Association. Among his numerous volunteer contributions, Andrew volunteers with Faculty’s Career Development Office to connect and mentor students interested in practising law in the United States.

Jessica Orkin (JD 2005) has provided pro bono counsel in 2 interventions– R v Sharma and The Quebec Reference– over the past 3 years at our Faculty’s David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights. The countless hours of support, counsel and guidance have been instrumental to the work of the Asper Centre. Both interventions have recently made there way through the Supreme Court of Canada and have provided tangible learning opportunities for our students. 

Padraic Ryan (JD 2011) has supported and mentored our students as a mooting coach for a number of years. Mooting is a key component of a well-rounded legal education and offers students the opportunity to practice and improve their oral advocacy skills. Additionally, Padraic has volunteered with our Faculty’s David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights as a guest on the podcast Charter: A Course where he discussed Section 1 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

Jennifer Stone (JD 2004) has supported and mentored our students in the Health Justice Law Externship since the program inception in 2018. The Health Justice Program, delivered in partnership with St. Michael’s Hospital, aims to address the overlapping health and justice needs of our community. Externships extend the depth and breadth of the learning opportunities we can offer our students while allowing us to support our local community. They are a key component of a well-rounded legal education. 

2022 Arbor Award Recipients

Sarah M. Boulby (LLB 1991) has been an invaluable asset to the advancement team at the Faculty of Law. Her services as a member of the alumni association board since 2016 include advising on advancement office programming and whether it adequately engages alumni. Sarah’s feedback has helped shape and create more inclusive and engaging programming.

Meghan Bridges (JD 2014) has been instrumental since she joined the Law Alumni Association board in 2018. As a recent graduate, Meghan provided unique input regarding how to develop programing that is more targeted at engaging younger cohorts. Her recommendations included recruiting new alumni association board members as well as planning class reunions.

Brian R. Carr (LLB 1973) has been a long-standing member of the Law Alumni Association since 2015. He has provided invaluable guidance and support to the advancement team related to event planning as well as implementing new and creative programs to engage current and new alumni.

Albert Lin (JD 2013) has served as a board member on the Law Alumni Association since 2019. He graduated with a JD in 2013 and since his appointment to the board, he has been instrumental in helping the advancement office develop programming targeted at younger alumni.

Mark A. Surchin (JD 1981) is a deeply engaged supporter of the Faculty of Law. His contributions include serving as vice-president of the Law Alumni Association and inspiring his graduation class of 1981 to participate in the Faculty’s 2021 reunion. Mark also supports the law school by teaching a course, providing advisory services, and representing the Faculty as vice-chair of U of T’s College of Electors.

2021 Arbor Award Recipients

Michelle Henry (JD 2002) Michelle has been an active volunteer with the Faculty of Law since 2009, contributing her time in many capacities. She regularly mentors law students and contributes to the Black Future Lawyers program as both an event speaker and mentor for undergraduate students. Michelle also serves on the University’s tribunal as one of the Chairs.

Tyler W. Hodgson (LLB 1997) Since 2016, Tyler has been actively engaged with the Faculty of Law as a mentor and speaker. As a lawyer employed by the World Bank, he has also created summer internship opportunities for students at the organization. Tyler was a presenter at Lawyers Doing Cool Things, a speaker series offering students a glimpse into unusual and exciting career paths.

Khalid Janmohamed (JD 2008) Khalid has been an active volunteer with the Faculty of Law since 2010. In addition to regularly supporting students as a mentor, he has also contributed as a Council member with the Law Alumni Association and as a moot coach and advisor. Khalid actively participates in the Faculty’s Welcome Day activities, ensuring students begin law school on an uplifting note.

Gordon G. Raman (LLB 1996) has been a valued volunteer with the Faculty of Law since 2013. Engaged in many capacities, he currently serves as Vice President of the Law Alumni Association and has mentored countless students. Gord is also a passionate supporter of the Faculty’s Welcome Day activities, engaging with students as they embark on their law school journey.

Lisa Talbot (LLB 1999) Since her graduation from U of T, Lisa has mentored University of Toronto law students and high school students through the “LAWS” program, volunteered her time judging moot competitions, and has served as a Vice-Chair on the University Tribunal. She contributed significantly to Excellence without Barriers—the largest bursary-focused campaign at any Canadian law school—as a campaign advisor for her firm, Torys LLP. Lisa also co-taught “Law of the Workplace” for the Faculty of Law’s GPLLM program.

2020 Arbor Award Recipients

Andrew Alleyne (LLB 2002) has been a council member of the Law Alumni Association for the past five years, and also serves as a mentor to U of T law students. He has also been very involved in the faculty’s Welcome Day activities.

Donald M. Cameron (LLB 1979) has taught the Patent and Trade Secrets Law course at the Faculty of Law for over 25 years and surveys intellectual property courses at other law schools, to ensure that U of T’s intellectual property curriculum remains unmatched in Canada. Don has written widely on IP topics and has spoken frequently at the Faculty of Law’s annual Patent Colloquium since 2014.

For 50 years, Boris Freesman (LLB 1964) has been the lead volunteer for the Class of ’64, annually planning their activities for the Faculty of Law Reunion, for an impressive total of 11 Reunions to date.

Andrew Heal (JD 1988) has served as a council member for the Law Alumni Association and a volunteer on the Class of '88 reunion committee, helping to engage his classmates and raise participation at their reunion.

Heather Platt (LLB 1999) has been a dedicated council member of the Law Alumni Association, as well as a volunteer with the Faculty's Campaign for Excellence Without Barriers in support of financial aid and enhancing the student experience.

Faculty of Law alumni Fidelia Ho (JD 2013)Stephen Hutchison (JD 2011) and William James Keel (LLB 1984), were nominated by the U of T fencing team, Innis College and Trinity College, respectively.