Advancing Women’s Equality: Pamela Cross receives 2019 Laura Legge Award

Posted: 05/17/2019

Pamela CrossCalled to the Bar in 1994, Pamela Cross has demonstrated extraordinary achievement and leadership in the advancement of women’s equality in Canada.

For over 25 years, Pamela has worked tirelessly as a lawyer, researcher, teacher, writer, public speaker, mentor and activist, to explain and challenge how the law addresses individualized and systemic violence against girls and women, especially in the family law context.

She is currently the Legal Director of Luke’s Place Support and Resource Centre for Women and Children, where she leads the organization’s provincial projects, including research, training and law reform advocacy. She provides both in-person and online training and support for approximately 100 frontline workers who assist women leaving abusive relationships in family court.

Through Pamela’s efforts, countless women have gained access to the legal system, and the next generation of community advocates and lawyers has been mentored.

Pamela is this year’s recipient of the Laura Legge Award which recognizes women lawyers from Ontario who have exemplified leadership within the profession.

What does this award mean to you?

It is an honour to have my work recognized through this award. Laura Legge was a pioneer for women in the legal profession, and I hope my work in the area of violence against women will offer the same kind of inspiration to other women entering the world of lawyering.

What drives you in your legal career?

My work is inspired and driven by the courage of the thousands of women subjected to abuse who say “no more” and then turn to the law for assistance, and by the dedication of the frontline workers who support them in their journeys. These voices must be heard if we are to turn the law from a weapon that is used against women into a tool for women’s empowerment.

What piece of advice do you have for new legal professionals beginning their careers?

Law should be a vocation and not a career. Anyone entering this work needs to be inspired by a commitment to social justice and change. That will provide the energy, drive and strength all lawyers need if we are to be true to our calling.

The Laura Legge Award was established in 2007 in honour of the late Laura Legge, OOnt, QC, the first woman ever elected as a bencher of the Law Society and the first woman to serve as Treasurer.

This year, 12 outstanding members of the legal professions will be honoured with Law Society awards on May 22nd.