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Family Law Scholarship Apply by November 5 2016

Family law innovation starts with you.

Entries for the 2016 scholarship are now closed. Thank you to all who applied. Winners will be announced in December 2016.

Lead the way to a better family law system. Write an essay proposing practical innovations or substantive family law reform. Submit your essay by November 5, 2016 for consideration by a panel of family lawyers and scholars. Win a $5,000 scholarship or one of three runner-up prizes. Get published. Make a difference. Start now.


McGurk Fraese Family Law Scholarship

At McGurk Fraese Family Lawyers we recognize that family law has both a broad and profound impact on Canadian families. Perhaps no other area of law has such a significant role to play in the well-being and future prosperity of our society. We are passionate about supporting students interested in practicing family law as a career choice, and want to inspire law students across Canada to consider how the family law system can innovate, improve, reform and modernize – all to better serve Canadian families.

That’s why we’ve created a substantial new scholarship to encourage family law innovation, open to entry for students studying at or admitted to any Canadian law school. The McGurk Fraese Family Law Scholarship is an annual scholarship in the amount of $5,000 for the best essay on family law innovation, as judged by a panel of distinguished Canadian family lawyers and scholars.

Eligibility Requirements

The eligibility criteria and application process are as follows:

  • Applicants must submit a minimum 1,500 word essay on any aspect of innovation in Canadian family law (we’ve prepared a non-exhaustive list of possible topics)
  • Open to students enrolled in any year of study at any Canadian law school during the 2015/2016 academic year
  • Submission deadline November 5
  • Winner will receive prize of $5,000, and automatic consideration for publication
  • Runners-up will receive prize of $500

All submissions will be considered for publication on the McGurk Fraese Family Law Blog. With your consent, we may propose submitting your essay to other legal industry publications for broader circulation. If your ideas are good, they deserve an audience!

Application Instructions

Applications should be submitted by email to scholarship@mcgurk.ca. All applications must include:

  • your full name, email address, phone number and mailing address;
  • confirmation of admission or enrolment at a Canadian law school; and
  • your essay on family law innovation (minimum 1,500 words) in word or pdf format.

All applicants will receive an email confirmation that their application has been received, and will be notified of the results when they are available.

Award Panel

The award panel for the 2016 scholarship includes the following members:

  • John-Paul Boyd, Executive Director, Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family
  • Heather McGurk, Partner, McGurk Fraese Family Lawyers
  • Heather Fraese, Partner, McGurk Fraese Family Lawyers

We ask that you please refrain from contacting award panel members directly regarding the scholarship. All inquiries should be directed to scholarship@mcgurk.ca.

Possible Writing Topics / Subject Areas

What follows is a list of areas in which we see an opportunity for student research to make a significant contribution to the practice:

  • ways to improve public access to family law counsel
  • potential uses of technology in family law
  • improvements to court processes relating to family law
  • law reform to address inequity or injustice in an area of family law

This list is by no means intended to be inclusive. Please feel free to write on any topic you consider responsive.

Past Winners

The 2016 competition will be the inaugural year of this scholarship. Results will be posted here in early 2017.

Award Summary

Award Name: McGurk Fraese Family Law Scholarship

Award Value: $5,000 main award, $500 runners-up

Number: 1 main award, maximum of 3 runners-up

Application Deadline: November 5, 2016

Conditions: The scholarship is open to all law students who are currently admitted to or attending an undergraduate degree program in law at a Canadian university.

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