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The William J. Simpson Distinguished Paralegal Award

The Distinguished Paralegal Award was created in 2011 and renamed in 2014 in honour of William J. Simpson, to recognize a paralegal who has demonstrated one or more of the following criteria:

  • outstanding professional achievement;
  • contribution to the development of the profession;
  • devotion to professional duties;
  • adherence to best practices and mentoring of others in best practices;
  • a history of community service;
  • personal character that brings credit to the paralegal profession.

See below for the eligibility policy.

2020 recipient

Michelle L. Haigh is the recipient of the 2020 William J. Simpson Distinguished Paralegal Award.

Licensed in 2008, Michelle Haigh is a highly regarded practitioner who has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to her profession. Having operated Precision Paralegal Services since 1996, she has mentored countless paralegals and frequently shares her expertise through professional education programs. She has been instrumental in the significant advances made in paralegal regulation in Ontario through her leadership and contribution as a Law Society Bencher.

Past recipients

Jennifer Gravel Vanasse, 2019
Harry D. Fine, 2018
Edwarda De Oliveira Castro, 2017
John Tzanis, 2016
W. Paul Dray, 2015
Paula Stamp, 2014
Elaine Page, 2013
Brian J. Lawrie, 2012

William J. Simpson Distinguished Paralegal Award
Eligibility Policy
 The William J. Simpson Distinguished Paralegal Award (the “Award”) is presented to one recipient annually at the sole discretion of the Law Society of Ontario. Only eligible nominees will be considered for selection.

  1. The “eligibility period” is the period beginning on the date on which nominations for the Award close in a given year and ending on the date on which a recipient is selected.
  2. Nominees must be or have been licensed as a paralegal by the Law Society of Ontario.
  3. Nominees whose licences are revoked or suspended at any time during the eligibility period are not eligible for the award.
  4. Nominees who are the subject of an open complaint at any time during the eligibility period are not eligible for the award.
  5. Nominees who are, at any time during the eligibility period, Law Society of Ontario employees (including Law Society Tribunal employees), benchers, or Law Society Tribunal adjudicators are not eligible for the Award.
  6. Nominations will be kept on file and considered for two consecutive years, and will be subject to this eligibility policy each year.
  7. In extraordinary circumstances, the Law Society, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to subsequently revoke the Award from a recipient who is no longer deemed deserving based on the Award criteria.
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