2007 Distinguished Service Awards Celebrate Excellence in Legal Profession



    CALGARY, March 16 /CNW/ - For volunteering to do pro bono work in the
Edmonton community, addressing homelessness in Calgary, contributing to the
importance of mediation in the legal profession, and advancing legal academic
knowledge, four lawyers were recognized for distinguished service during the
Alberta Law Conference.
    Law Society of Alberta president-elect Perry Mack, QC and Canadian Bar
Association Alberta president Scott A. Watson presented Distinguished Service
Awards to:

    
    -   Nicholas Rafferty for Legal Scholarship
    -   Brian P. O'Leary, QC for Service to the Community
    -   Sandra L. Schulz, QC for Service to the Profession
    -   Ronald G. Hopp for Pro Bono Legal Service
    

    These awards, which celebrate excellence in the legal profession, were
awarded jointly by the Law Society of Alberta and the Canadian Bar Association
in Edmonton today.
    These prestigious awards recognize the many outstanding contributions
Alberta lawyers make to the community, to the profession, to legal scholarship
and in pro bono legal service.

    Nicholas Rafferty, Distinguished Service in Legal Scholarship

    Nicholas Rafferty's contributions to the legal and academic fields have
spanned more than 30 years from England to Canada. He is known as an
instrumental practitioner, educator and mentor who has advanced the stature of
the legal profession through his many roles in teaching across the legal
industry. He is currently a Professor with the Faculty of Law at the
University of Calgary and has contributed significantly to the Alberta legal
community, most notably in the area of contract law.

    Brian P. O'Leary, QC, Distinguished Service to the Community

    The rise to prominent stature in the legal field for Brian O'Leary
developed over more than 31 years of dedication to his community, including
his extensive work with the homeless population in Calgary. He was elected
director of the Calgary Homeless Foundation in 2001 before becoming Founding
Chairman of the Calgary Community Land Trust Society. By 2006, Brian was
elected Chairman of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, and partnered with the
United Way to create a new strategy to end homelessness in Calgary, resulting
in the formation of the Committee to End Homelessness. He has also volunteered
extensively with Habitat for Humanity. Brian is currently a partner with
Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP, leading the Insolvency Law Team focused on
banking, insolvency and bankruptcy.

    Sandra L. Schulz, QC Distinguished Service to the Profession

    Sandra Schulz has touched many lives in her career as a chartered
mediator. She is currently working as a Mediation Program Advisor and
Coordinator for the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta Civil Mediation Project,
among her other professional endeavours. She earned her Bachelor of Law degree
from the University of Manitoba in 1982 and is now a Master's Candidate at
York University.
    Sandra is also now a Sessional Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the
University of Alberta in Dispute Resolution and Sole Practitioner in
Mediation, Arbitration and Facilitation.

    Ronald G. Hopp, Distinguished Service Pro Bono Legal Service

    Ronald Hopp's career is marked by an unwavering dedication to give back
to the community. Since 1976, he has provided endless hours of pro bono legal
service to Student Legal Services of Edmonton, routinely working 30 hours a
month of unpaid time. At least one third of the work done through his
part-time practice is pro bono. Ronald is now a Professor Emeritus at the
University of Alberta's Faculty of Law. His teaching career spans four decades
with the U of A after obtaining his law degree in 1971 and admittance to the
Alberta Bar the following year. Ronald has helped mould generations of lawyers
and his contributions through his teaching and pro bono legal service
continues to be felt by students on campus.





For further information:

For further information: Sheila Serup, Communications Director, Law
Society of Alberta, Ph. (403) 229-4744

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