University of Calgary

University of Calgary law prof honoured with fellowship

UToday HomeAugust 16, 2013

Alice Woolley is a professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary.Alice Woolley is a professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary.University of Calgary Law professor Alice Woolley has been awarded the 2013-14 Ontario Bar Association Foundation Chief Justice of Ontario Fellowship in Legal Ethics and Professionalism (Fellowship in Research).

A grant of $15,000 was awarded to Woolley for her research project, which focuses on how the law defines lawyers’ duties and obligations to their clients and to the legal system as a whole. Lawyers are fiduciaries – they have a general legal duty to put the interests of their client ahead of anyone else, including their own. They also have specific obligations to keep their clients’ confidences and to avoid conflicts of interest. Woolley’s project will assess how these different legal duties relate to each other in order to clarify what exactly lawyers are, and are not, required to do when discharging their duties to clients and to the administration of justice.

“This project will consider how Canada and other common law courts have (or have not) used the law of fiduciary obligations to define the duties owed by lawyers to their clients,” says Wooley. “It will help to clarify lawyers’ responsibilities, particularly with respect to maintaining client confidences and avoiding conflicts of interest.”

University of Calgary Faculty of Law Dean Ian Holloway says Woolley is “one of the leading scholars of our generation in the area of ethics and professionalism. Her work has a global reach, and the Chief Justice of Ontario's Fellowship will help her to carry on her scholarly mission."

The Fellowship in Research consists of a grant of $15,000, awarded annually to full-time teachers at a Canadian university or college. The OBA Foundation, the charitable arm of the Ontario Bar Association, administers and funds the fellowships.

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