Dr. Pnina Alon-Shenker, LLB, LLM, SJD
Law and Business, Ted Rogers School of Business Management
Law and Business Clinic
Pnina Alon-Shenker fell in love with law while studying legal theory and the role law plays in society as a law student and decided she wanted to help educate the next generation about its impact. She came to Canada from Israel to gain some international experience while pursuing graduate legal studies at University of Toronto. Unexpectedly, Alon-Shenker was as intrigued by the Canadian way of life as she was by her schooling, so she and her husband decided to remain and raise their family here.
Alon-Shenker began teaching at the Ted Rogers School of Management as a sessional instructor during the final year of her doctoral studies and joined the faculty as an assistant professor in 2010. As an expert in employment and labour law, she finds TRSM an excellent fit for her interests.
“I am working with future employers, executives and managers and engaging them in discussions about employment and labour law issues,” she said.
In addition, more and more of the students in TRSM’s law and business major are going on to work in risk management and regulatory compliance positions or continuing to law school, Alon-Shenker noted.
“Every year I write more letters of reference,” she said. “This program is an opportunity to test the waters.”
Alon-Shenker teaches Employment and Labour Law, but she is most proud of the Law and Business Clinic, a law clinic that she launched at TRSM three years ago.
“This is one example of how TRSM is so dynamic, innovative and open to initiatives from both faculty and students,” said Alon-Shenker. “I love it.”
The clinic is offered as a year-long credit course, similar to clinics run by law schools. Supervised by lawyers from Bay street firms, students work with entrepreneur clients on a pro bono basis, while attending weekly workshops about various legal issues, such as ethics and professional obligations. Since its start, the clinic’s client base has doubled, as have the number of students participating.
Alon-Shenker said the clinic gives the students an opportunity for analytical, thoughtful discussion and an understanding of the gap between enforcement and reality. They also acquire skills that they can apply in any business context: interviewing, teamwork and time management, for example.
Alon-Shenker’s own skills include research, where she explores employment and labour law issues, such as age discrimination in the workplace. She is exploring the practical implications of an aging population: the impact of outlawing mandatory retirement and the myths and stereotypes about older workers. She is also researching why age discrimination isn’t taken as seriously as other forms of discrimination. She received the Dean’s Scholarly, Research and Creative Activity Award in 2014 for her recent scholarly achievements.
Her research interests have led to membership in Ryerson’s Law Research Centre. She is also a faculty associate at the Centre for Labour-Management Relations.
“It’s hard to find the balance between teaching and research,” Alon-Shenker said, “but once you find that balance it is very rewarding as both aspects enrich and enhance each other.”
Read Pnina Alon-Shenker's bio to learn more about her
The Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University is Canada’s pre-eminent entrepreneurial-focused business management school, shaping the next generation of global innovators and leaders with a combination of experiential and theoretical learning. The law and business major provides students with the critical thinking skills and legal knowledge to competently handle contract negotiations, human resources, risk management, policy development and property transactions, as well as areas of increasing importance, such as corporate social responsibility and corporate governance.