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Law Fellowship Explores Ways Social Work Theory Can Enhance Access to Justice Efforts

August 7, 2014

Toronto, ON – The Law Foundation of Ontario is pleased to award a Community Leadership in Justice Fellowship to Adam Vasey, Director of Pathway to Potential. Mr. Vasey, who is a lawyer and a social worker, will spend his fellowship during the 2014-2015 academic year at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law. Mr. Vasey’s research will explore how the principles and practices of social work might inform the ways in which lawyers formulate responses to poverty.

“There’s no doubt that the legal profession has contributed to access to justice through, for example, the provision of legal aid and legal clinics. Yet, based on my experience and education as a lawyer and a social worker, I believe that the law and legal institutions can become more effective at advocating for access to justice by learning from aspects of social work theory,” says Mr. Vasey.

Mr. Vasey’s work as Director of Pathway to Potential has positioned him particularly well to undertake this research. Pathway to Potential works, in partnership with a network of supporters, to educate members of the community about the social and economic costs of poverty and the return on investment associated with preventing and reducing poverty.

While conducting his research, Mr. Vasey will build connections between the Faculty of Law, the School of Social work and a wide network of community organizations. A major focus of his efforts will be strengthening the capacity of the Faculty of Law and the School of Social Work to plan, develop, and evaluate student placements at anti-poverty organizations. University of Windsor students participating in these placements will focus on developing ways to redress the systemic barriers that perpetuate poverty.

“The University of Windsor looks forward to working with Adam Vasey during his fellowship. His proposal is an excellent fit with Windsor Law’s existing programs, such as the Legal Assistance of Windsor community-based clinical learning project and our unique MSW/JD program. Mr. Vasey’s fellowship will build on our existing commitment to complete a curriculum review and develop an externship program for law students,” says Reem Bahdi, Associate Dean, Faculty of Law.

Community Leadership in Justice Fellowships harness the potential of community-academia links to advance justice-related and educational objectives. Fellows are typically leading experts and innovators. Joint applications from public interest groups and prospective host academic institutions are invited by the Law Foundation of Ontario each spring.

The Law Foundation of Ontario helps people to understand the law and use it to improve their lives.  It provides grants for access to justice initiatives, awards fellowships, and supports the practice of public interest law and professional excellence. In 2014, the Foundation celebrates 40 years of promoting access to justice. For more information about the Foundation, please visit


For more information, please contact:

Tanya Lee
Law Foundation of Ontario

Adam Vasey
Pathway to Potential
519-255-6545 Ext. 6953

Reem Bahdi
University of Windsor
519-253-3000 Ext. 2923