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Emerging leadership award given to Ashley Fisch

Toronto refugee and immigration lawyer Ashley Fisch has received the Elizabeth Grace Emerging Leaders Award.

The award, in its second year, is named after Toronto lawyer and Lerners LLP partner Elizabeth Grace, who has been an advocate for victims of sexual abuse for more than two decades and was a driving force behind the recent elimination in Ontario of limitation periods for abuse claims.

“It is a privilege to give away an award that recognizes leadership in an area that has long been near and dear to my heart and brain — that is, preventing and addressing harm caused by sexual and domestic abuse and violence,” said Grace, who presented the award at the Women’s Law Association of Ontario (WLAO) Annual Award Gala on June 8.

“The passage this year of legislation in Ontario eliminating limitation periods for sexual misconduct and domestic abuse claims before the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board and our civil courts reflects the positive change that can and does happen when those privileged with legal training advocate on behalf of survivors.”

Fisch has been practising refugee and immigration law for three years at Kaminker Weinstock Associates Barristers and Solicitors. She also volunteers at The 519, an organization and space in Toronto devoted to advancing equality and inclusion for members of the LGBTQI community.

“In that context, she has demonstrated a commitment to the highest level of legal service to members of the LGBTQI community who have been marginalized and made vulnerable because of their sexual orientation and gender identities,” Grace tells AdvocateDaily.com.

“The materials in support of her nomination were truly impressive and speak to the qualities this Emerging Leaders Award is intended to recognize: skill; creativity; ingenuity; compassion and passion; resourcefulness and hard work; the ability to listen and hear clients; respect and humility.”

The Emerging Leaders Award is a joint initiative between Lerners LLP and the WLAO. It celebrates a woman in law with five or less years of experience who has shown leadership working on behalf of vulnerable persons who have suffered or are at risk of suffering sexual and domestic violence and abuse. The award recipient can choose an organization to receive a $1,000 donation in the recipient’s name.

“Fittingly, given Ashley’s work and the positive legislative change we’ve seen this year with the introduction of Bill C16, which will amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code to recognize the rights of transgender people, she has chosen The 519 as this year’s donation recipient,” Grace says.

The award seeks to recognize practical, policy and/or academic law-related work, leadership and contributions in areas that advance the understanding of sexual and/or domestic violence and abuse, or otherwise advances the rights and interests of vulnerable persons who have suffered and/or are at risk of suffering such violence and abuse.

This article originally appeared on AdvocateDaily.com

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