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Awards: Nominations and Selection Process

Call for Nominations: 2022 Law Society Awards

Deadline: December 17, 2021

Nomination Process

Each year the Law Society invites nominations for the Law Society awards as follows:

The Law Society is committed to equity, diversity and inclusiveness. The Law Society Awards showcase the best of the professions by recognizing individuals who have made extraordinary contributions and reflect the diversity of the professions. Nominations are encouraged for members from all communities, practice areas, firm sizes and regions across the province. 

Eligibility Criteria

As a public interest regulator, the Law Society considers nominations and presents awards at the Society’s sole discretion.

  1. The “eligibility period” is the period beginning on the date on which nominations for the Award close and ending on the date on which the award is conferred.
  2. Nominees must be licensed by the Law Society of Ontario.
  3. The Law Society will not consider a posthumous nomination.
  4. Nominees whose licenses are revoked or suspended at any time during the eligibility period are not eligible for the award.
  5. Nominees who are, at any time during the eligibility period, a  Bencher of the Law Society of Ontario or a Law Society of Ontario employee 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.

Filing a Nomination

To file a nomination, the Nominator must file using the online nomination form. The nomination form asks for the nominee’s contact information, general background information and a brief description of why your nominee qualifies for the award. After completing the form, you can attach supporting documents.  
A complete nomination package includes the following:

  • online nomination form  completed by the nominator
  • a letter of nomination setting out the reasons for the nomination, background information on the nominee, and their outstanding service and exemplary achievements including community and civic activities as they relate to the award; (recommended length not to exceed 2000 words);
  • a narrative bio or CV.
  • You may include up to five letters from other members of the Law Society or the public in support of the nominationNominators are required to collect the letters and file them with the nomination. Letters can be addressed as follows:

Law Society Awards
Law Society of Ontario
130 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON M5H 2N6

Selection Process

Nominations for Law Society Awards are reviewed by the Treasurer’s Appointments Advisory Group. The Treasurer of the Law Society chairs the committee. The committee is composed of the Treasurer, appointed benchers to the Treasurer’s Appointments Advisory Group, the chair of the Paralegal Standing Committee of the Law Society, the Chief Justice of Ontario, a nominee of the Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice, the chair of Ontario Law Deans, the president of the Ontario Bar Association, the president of The Advocates’ Society, the chair of the Federation of Ontario Law Associations and the President of the Ontario Paralegal Association. The committee reports to Convocation in camera with their recommendations for the awards. The committee’s recommendations must be approved by Convocation.

Nominations will be considered for two consecutive years and do not have to be refiled the second year

Those nominated but not recognized after two years may be nominated again by filing a nomination package with updated information.

Announcement of Award Recipients

The names of the award recipients will be made public once all of the recipients have been contacted. The names will be published on the Law Society’s website as well as by news release.


Questions regarding the Law Society Awards can be directed to, 416-947-3946 or 1-800-668-7380 ext 3946.

Award Details

Law Society Medal

The Law Society Medal, established in 1985, recognizes lawyers who have demonstrated outstanding service through ongoing devotion to professional duties or through a single distinguished professional or academic accomplishment that accords with the highest ideals of the legal community.

Originally established in 1985, the Law Society Medal has been awarded to more than 200 lawyers in recognition of distinguished service.

Learn more about the Law Society Medal.


The Lincoln Alexander Award

The Lincoln Alexander Award honours an Ontario lawyer who has shown an enduring commitment to community service on behalf of Ontarians.

The award was created in 2002 in honour of former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Member of Parliament, and 2002 Law Society Medal recipient The Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander, P.C., C.C., O.Ont., Q.C., to reward his dedication to the people of Ontario and the legal community.

Learn more about the Lincoln Alexander Award.


Laura Legge Award

The Laura Legge Award is given each year to a female lawyer from Ontario who has exemplified leadership within the profession.

The award was established in 2007 in honour of Laura Legge, O. Ont, Q.C., the first woman ever elected as a bencher of the Law Society and the first woman to serve as Treasurer.

Learn more about the Laura Legge Award.


The William J. Simpson Distinguished Paralegal Award

The William J. Simpson Distinguished Paralegal Award recognizes 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 and personal character that brings credit to the paralegal profession.

Learn more about the William J. Simpson Distinguished Paralegal Award.


J. Shirley Denison Award

The J. Shirley Denison Award is bestowed annually in honour of former Treasurer John Shirley Denison, in recognition of significant contributions to access to justice and/or poverty issues. Both Paralegal and lawyer licensees of the Law Society of Ontario are eligible for this award.

In April 2015, Convocation approved the establishment of an award in honour of former Treasurer John Shirley Denison, to be bestowed annually in recognition of significant contributions to access to justice and/or poverty issues. Both Paralegal and lawyer licensees of the Law Society of Ontario  are eligible for this award.

The J. Shirley Denison Award is named in honour of Denison and his commitment to helping others. It succeeds the the J. Shirley Denison Fund, which was established through a bequest from the former Treasurer to assist indigent lawyers and their families, and which was closed in 2014.

Learn more about the J. Shirley Denison Award.

Terms or Concepts Explained