Congratulations to first J. Shirley Denison recipient Jenny Quan

Published: March 23, 2016

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Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) congratulates Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic’s (MTCSAL) Jenny Quan for receiving the inaugural J. Shirley Denison Award.

For 28 years, Jenny has worked as a community legal worker, helping thousands of clients-many of whom are disadvantaged and suffer from mental illness and trauma.

“Although I am pleased and humbled by this recognition, I feel that this award is also a recognition of the success of the legal clinic system,” says Jenny. “There are many people who work in the clinic system who are just as deserving of this recognition for their hard work and dedication to their clients and ensuring they have access to justice. Therefore, I would like to share this honour with all those hidden heroes of the clinic system for their unwavering commitment to serving the community.”

Jenny is the first recipient of an award established in honour of former Law Society of Upper Canada Treasurer, John Shirley Denison. This award will be bestowed annually to either a lawyer or paralegal in recognition of significant contributions to access to justice and the relief of poverty.

“On behalf of LAO, I wanted to extend my warmest congratulations to Jenny on receiving the first J. Shirley Denison Award,” says John McCamus, LAO’s Chair. “LAO fully realizes the unique challenges of racialized communities in accessing justice are challenges that still need to be addressed-and this is why LAO hopes to draw on the expertise of people like Jenny as we embark on the development of a racialized communities strategy.”

Licensed in 2012, Jenny is a paralegal who is fluent in English, Mandarin, Cantonese and Vietnamese. She works alongside the MTCSAL staff to provide legal services to low-income, non-English speaking clients from the Chinese, Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian communities in Toronto.

“Jenny has been with the Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic since day one. We cannot be more proud of her,” says Avvy Go, executive director of the clinic. “With Jenny’s win, we hope that more community legal workers in the legal clinic system will be recognized for their contribution to access to justice by the Law Society and by the justice system in general.”

Jenny will be among 14 people to be recognized for their career achievements and contributions to their communities at the annual Law Society Awards ceremony on May 25, 2016 at Osgoode Hall.