The Michelle McKelvey Award in Family Law was established to receive gifts made to the University in memory of Michelle McKelvey, Law 2007.
Michelle passed away at the age of 32 on April 15, 2014, after a long battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Michelle grew up in Toronto and attended Neuchatel Junior College in Switzerland.She earned a BA at the University of British Columbia in Interdisciplinary Studies - European Cultural History, before attending Queen’s Law School. There, she participated actively in student life, winning the Denis Marshall Contribution Award. A 2007 graduate, she was called to the Ontario Bar in 2008 and quickly developed a passion for family law. After a few years in practice, she returned to school to earn a Master of Laws degree from the University of Toronto in 2011, focusing her thesis on the issue of parental alienation. After graduating, Michelle worked as one of the associates of Esther L. Lenkinski at a boutique family law firm to continue her practice.
Although Michelle was early in her legal career, she made a significant contribution in the practice of law. She often represented clients with very limited financial resources and had a particular interest in helping children in the family law setting. She had a strong desire to ensure that a just result was achieved in the context of what were often difficult and challenging cases. Her dedication to her clients continued during her lengthy illness.
Outside of her legal practice, Michelle had a vibrant and active social life.She had a wonderful sense of humour and always enjoyed a good party. She loved the theatre and trying new restaurants. She was an amateur skating coach and avid skier, travelling widely in her short life.
The award funded in part by your gift will be granted on the basis of academic achievement in family law, involvement in school or community activities, and a demonstrated commitment to social justice, to an upper year student in the JD program or a combined JD degree program in the Faculty of Law.