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Join the Schlifer Team!

There is a new opportunity to join the Schlifer Clinic team! We are currently seeking a family lawyer for a full time permanent position. The staff family lawyer will be responsible for the delivery of legal services to the Clinic’s clients, for the delivery of a variety of public legal education and professional development programs on family law and for the coordination of the legal department’s student education and volunteer programs. The staff lawyer will engage in various program planning and evaluation processes and external stakeholder relations, as appropriate.

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Toronto Star Article: Schlifer Clinic Counsellor Farrah Khan & The Outburst! Program Were Featured Subjects In The Award Winning “Listen to Me” Documentary

Listen to Me, a documentary by South Asian documentary maker Lalita Krishna, won Best Canadian Documentary at the Reel World 2015 Film Festival this year. The documentary featured Schlifer Clinic Counsellor Farrrah Khan, The Third Annual Spirit of Barbra Schlifer Award Winner Deepa Mattoo, and the Outburst! program, highlighting their groundbreaking work on forced marriage. Read an excerpt of a Toronto Star article about the award-winning documentary below:

Forced marriage focus of award-winning Canadian documentary

By: Debra Black Immigration Reporter, Published on Thu Jun 25 2015

“Krishna wanted to do something more: She wanted to propel change and inspire young women from the South Asian and Muslim communities in Greater Toronto and beyond.

After talking to Deepa Mattoo, executive director of the South Asian Legal Clinic, and doing a lot of research, she found Farrah Khan, an outspoken advocate at the Barbra Schlifer Legal Clinic involved in groundbreaking initiatives to help young South Asian women find their voice.

It was then that Krishna, who made documentaries for TVO when she first came to Canada from India in 1980, knew she had a way into the subject.

She would focus on Khan and her devotion to helping young women to stand up, be themselves, and take a stand against family violence and forced marriage.

The result is Listen to Me, which took the prize for best Canadian documentary at the Reel World 2015 Film Festival earlier this year.”

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The Barbra Schlifer Clinic Received The WLAO President’s Award: Read Schlifer Clinic ED, Amanda Dale’s Speech!

amandaWLAOExecutive Director, Amanda Dale’s Address to the Women’s Law Association of Ontario [WLAO] on the occasion of receiving the President’s Award for the Barbra Schlifer Clinic

Delivered June 09, 2011 at the Rosewater Supper Club

Thank you for this incredible honour.

It is humbling for me, as one of the more recent custodians of this community treasure and stalwart of practical and daily women’s rights’ activism, the Barbra Schlifer Clinic, to stand here for the many whose work is surely the reason for your recognition here tonight.

I can hardly imagine being here without the hard work and dedication of Mary Lou Fassel, whose guidance of the legal work of the Clinic has built our solid reputation over the last nearly three decades.

Mary Lou’s multi-decade relationship as an undisputed leader at the Clinic began over a lunch in Spring 1987.

The first Executive Director, Diane Mathis, called her out of her private practice in family law –with partner Gerri Sadaway, now at Parkdale CLC–to assist in building this new idealistic clinic, which commemorated the name and memory of a young idealistic lawyer who had lost her life to shocking violence that rocked the city, and indeed all of Canada.

(It is hard to imagine that Mary Lou’s starting salary of $31,000 was an enrichment in comparison to her private practice, which over the 5 years from her call to the bar in 1983, actually saw her giving her marginalized and desperate clients more money to assist them, than they ever gave back in fees.)

I will return to the history of the Clinic in a moment.

For now, I want to share some thoughts I’ve had lately about the link between our work overcoming violence and the nature of trust and solidarity with others.

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The Barbra Schlifer Clinic Is Awarded The 2015 WLAO President’s Award!

FullSizeRenderLast night at the Women’s Law Association of Ontario Annual Award Gala, the Schlifer Clinic received the 2015 WLAO President’s Award.

The WLAO President’s Award recognizes a woman, firm or organization who has made a substantial contribution to the legal community and as a recognized leader, demonstrates a commitment to the promotion of women in the law: engaged, aware and connected to issues, substantive and personal, facing women in the legal profession today.

The Clinic was thrilled to join the celebration which honoured fantastic women and their remarkable accomplishments!

Toronto Star Article: The Wrong Way To Tackle Forced Marriages

Deepa Mattoo, The 3rd Annual Spirit Of Barbra Schlifer Award Winner, And Farrah Khan, Schlifer Clinic Counsellor and Advocate, spoke with Catherine Porter of the Toronto Star about their innovative work on forced marriage and why criminalizing forced marriage as a separate criminal code offence will make it more difficult for survivors to seek support:

The wrong way to tackle forced marriages: Porter

By: Columnist, Columnist, Published on Fri Jun 05 2015

““The law in Canada creates a narrative that this is a problem about faith and community,” said Farrah Khan, a counsellor with the Barbra Schlifer clinic. “It’s violence. That’s the problem.”

For the past two years, Mattoo and Khan have been training social workers, guidance counsellors, police officers and other service providers across Canada about forced marriage — how to detect it and how to devise safety plans for young women who sense they’ll be victims.

The solution, they say, is public education and a safety net for women fleeing attempted forced marriages.

Money should be put into counselling services, they say.

If any laws are passed, they should be ones that insist shelters accept young women escaping attempted forced marriages (many still don’t, according to both Khan and Mattoo), and social workers bump them to the top of the waiting list for social housing, as women fleeing family violence. (It now depends on the worker, Khan and Mattoo said.)”

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