A trust fund to provide up to $5000 in annual scholarships to disabled youth studying law in Canada has been announced in Toronto by Legal Leaders for Diversity (LLD). The fund aims to provide equal access to a legal education and to advance diversity in law faculties by offering annual scholarships to support disabled youth who are studying law in Canada.
“As legal leaders in Canada, we are duty-bound not only to advocate for greater inclusion, but also to act to generate the positive impact we want to see in our businesses and communities,” said Me Daniel Desjardins, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Corporate Social Responsibility Chairman, Bombardier Inc. “By fostering greater inclusion, we are securing the profitability and sustainability of our organizations and the communities in which we do business. Through the Legal Leaders for Diversity Trust Fund, the lives of our beneficiaries will be forever changed, and in turn, so will the future of the field that has offered us tremendous learning, success and reward.”
“Law students and lawyers with disabilities still face barriers in accessing and remaining in the legal profession. It’s important that we do our part to encourage private firms to invest in this talented pool of students and professionals because the work we do today will have a direct and positive impact on the companies where we work and on the shape of the Canadian workforce”, said Simon Fish, General Counsel, BMO Financial Group.
The scholarships will provide financial assistance to students with physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments for undergraduate or graduate studies in Canadian law faculties. From 2014-2015, up to eight scholarships ranging from a minimum of $3,000 to a maximum of $5,000 will be awarded per academic year, for a total amount of up to $25,000. To date, $210,000 have been raised thanks to the generosity of 42 general counsel and managing partners representing corporations and law firms from coast to coast, who each committed to give $5,000 to the Trust Fund. To date the Fund has received $210,000, from companies across Canada.
LLD members Simon Fish, BMO Financial Group; Dorothy Quann, Xerox Canada; Daniel Desjardins, Bombardier Inc; and Ken Fredeen, Deloitte LLP, were on hand for the announcement.