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Kelli Day - Winner of the 2023 Emerging Leader Award

Updated: Apr 23

Today, we raise our glasses to Kelli Day for being awarded the Emerging Leader Award by the Federation of Ontario Law Associations (“FOLA”). 

To those who know Kelli, it will not come as a surprise that FOLA has recognized her for demonstrating exceptional leadership and making exemplary contributions to her community.  This is because Kelli has never once shied away from the needs of others – big or small.  Kelli’s career has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to her clients, the public, and her legal community. 

Clients:  Having appeared before various tribunals, all levels of Court in Ontario, and arbitral panels, Kelli has developed a reputation for being an excellent advocate with unparalleled integrity.  She does not turn away from a difficult challenge or those in crisis.  She sees what needs to be done and does it.

Public: In response to the unprecedented COVID-19 layoffs, Kelli helped co-create the Ottawa Pro Bono Employment Law Clinic (“Clinic”).  While many Ontarians were looking inwards to process the devastation caused by COVID-19, Kelli looked outwards to her community.  Since opening in 2020, the Clinic has given thousands of hours of free employment and human rights law advice to those who cannot afford a lawyer.  The Clinic would not exist but for Kelli’s initial contributions as volunteer Clinic Director and her ongoing work as a volunteer lawyer, trainer, and Board Member.

While Kelli’s commitment to the Clinic has been steadfast and inspiring, it is not surprising.  Roughly 30% of Kelli’s firm-based work is on a pro bono basis.  This work ranges from estate to Charter litigation. She has helped countless families and vulnerable individuals navigate the hardest challenges they have ever faced.  She does so with poise, patience, and compassion.  

Legal Community:  In addition to her pro bono leadership, Kelli is a respected mentor amongst Ottawa’s young lawyers because of her substantial work with the Advocacy Club, the uOttawa Faculty of Law’s Advocacy Club Introduction to Case Analysis & Guide to Succeeding in a Law Firm, her work on the CCLA Young Lawyers and Students Summit Committee, and her generous mentorship time.  Kelli has assisted countless young counsel forge their own path in our profession.  And we, as a legal community, have come to know Kelli as a steadfast source of mentorship and support.

You contribute so much Kelli. Congratulations being recognized for all that you do by this prestigious award! 

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