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University Advancement | May 2019  


Leading law firms invest in Ryerson Faculty of Law

Potential students of Ryerson University’s new Faculty of Law

The Ryerson University law school opens its doors to students in the fall of 2020.


Four leading law firms have made generous gifts in support of student scholarships in Ryerson’s Faculty of Law. The inaugural scholarships established by Torys LLP, McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP and Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP represent an important step toward the opening of the university’s new law school, and in realizing its vision of increasing access to justice.

To expand access and broaden diversity in Ryerson’s law student population, the university is building a robust scholarship and bursary program for the new faculty. With these gifts, substantial awards are now in place for students with financial need from historically underrepresented groups, and students demonstrating an aptitude for business and entrepreneurship.

“When Ryerson Law opens its doors in September of 2020, these prominent Toronto law firms will be there with us to welcome new students,” says Mohamed Lachemi, Ryerson University president and vice-chancellor. “Their support encourages strengthened diversity and inclusion in the practice of law, and we are very grateful for their partnership.”

Each firm selected a different emphasis for their scholarships. Torys directed support to future Indigenous students in the faculty. Scholarships in McCarthy Tétrault’s name will be for first generation students, with priority given to newcomers to Canada. Blakes designated their gift to students entering Ryerson Law with an aptitude for business or entrepreneurship, who may also identify as a member of an equity-seeking group. And students from historically underrepresented communities will have access to scholarships created by Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie.

Ryerson is leveraging the firms’ support to create nearly $750,000 (to date) worth of student financial support. A key match came through Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures: Scholarships, Bursaries, and Awards program, which will provide entrance and follow-on awards of $20,000 annually for several Indigenous students at the law school. Some of the support also triggered matching through Ryerson’s own President’s Awards to Champion Excellence (PACE), which helps make post-secondary education accessible for students from a variety of underrepresented groups.

Ryerson’s goal is to be able to provide scholarship support for at least half of the 150 students entering its law school each year, delivering on its vision to drive social change and economic strength by improving access to post-secondary education.  

Individuals and institutions interested in supporting Ryerson’s mission to provide students with access to a different kind of legal education can visit the Faculty of Law’s online giving page to make a donation.