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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.

2021 recipient

Kathleen Cooper is the recipient of the 2021 William J. Simpson Distinguished Paralegal Award.

Licensed in 2012, Kathleen Cooper is a senior researcher and paralegal at the Canadian Environmental Law Association, a legal aid clinic dedicated to environmental and public health for low-income Ontarians. She is a leading voice for environmental justice and contributes to consultations at all levels of government. Her work has significantly improved the lives of low-income people across Canada.

Past recipients

Michelle L. Haigh, 2020
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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