2010 Distinguished Service Awards Shine Spotlights on Community Visionary,
Mentor, Scholar and Pro Bono Lawyer

CALGARY, Feb. 3 /CNW/ - A visionary leader who works tirelessly to bridge cultures, a mentor who serves as a trailblazer for young lawyers, a scholar whose commitment to human rights is unsurpassed and a lawyer who was personally committed to ensuring access to justice for all regardless of ability to pay were awarded Distinguished Service Awards.

The Law Society of Alberta and the Canadian Bar Association - Alberta announced the 2010 recipients of the Distinguished Service Awards on January 29, 2010. They are:

    Distinguished Service to the Community - Solomon J. Rolingher, QC,
    Edmonton, AB

    Distinguished Service to the Profession - Virginia M. May, QC, Calgary,

    Distinguished Service in Legal Scholarship - Professor Gerald Gall, OC,
    Edmonton, AB

    Distinguished Pro Bono Service - the late John A. Weir, QC, Edmonton, AB

Distinguished Service to the Community, Solomon J. Rolingher, QC: A visionary leader who works as tirelessly on community projects as he does for his legal clients, Mr. Rolingher has made a significant impact on Edmonton's quality of life. He founded the Phoenix Multi-Faith Society to diffuse cultural tensions between Edmonton's Islamic, Jewish and Christian leaders in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Mr. Rolingher is currently a University of Alberta governor and senate member, and spearheads the River Valley Alliance group working to develop a riverfront park in the city.

Distinguished Service to the Profession, Virginia M. May, QC: Regarded by many young lawyers as a mentor, trailblazer and inspirational role model, Ms. May is an accomplished litigator who founded her own highly successful Calgary law firm. As a mature law student, she chose law to be able to help those in need, to make the world a fairer place and to oppose oppression. As a dedicated, four-term Law Society Director, Ms. May has regularly contributed her dynamic energy and passion for the law to the university classroom and the seminar podium.

Distinguished Service in Legal Scholarship, Professor Gerald Gall, OC: Recognized internationally as an expert on human rights and constitutional law, Prof. Gall has enriched thousands of University of Alberta law students through his unique insights, scholarship and mentoring. A prolific lecturer and author, Gall became a member of the Order of Canada in 2001. He remains dedicated to many community organizations, notably a 24-year role with the Canadian Human Rights Foundation, and is president of the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights.

Distinguished Pro Bono Legal Service: the late John Alexander Weir, QC: For over 50 years, the late Mr. Weir ensured access to justice for hundreds of clients who lacked the means to compensate him for his legal services. Committed to the highest standards of professional excellence, Weir's compassion and championing of the underdog helped make him a formidable and respected litigator in Edmonton's courtrooms.

SOURCE Law Society of Alberta

For further information: For further information: Sheila Serup, Manager, Communications, Law Society of Alberta, (403) 229-4744 or Sheila.Serup@lawsociety.ab.ca, www.lawsociety.ab.ca

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