CBA Immigration Law Section - Founders' Award

The Founders’ Award of the CBA Immigration Law Section was created during the 30th anniversary of the Section when the original founders of the Section were honoured at the annual Immigration Law Conference. The award recognizes an exceptional law student or junior lawyer and a future leader of our Section.

Eligibility & Criteria

Each applicant must be a member of the Canadian Bar Association and be:

  • A lawyer in good standing with a provincial or territorial law society and called to the bar less than five years (or has been practicing for less than five years); or
  • A Quebec notary who has been practicing for less than five years; or
  • An articling student; or
  • A law student at a Canadian University; or
  • A Quebec Bar student

The Founders' Award Committee will consider the following criteria in determining each year's winner:

  • Paper outline
  • Letters of reference
  • Public service, including pro bono work
  • Service to the profession
  • Contributions to the development of the law

Submission & Selection Process

The submission must include:

  • A one page letter written by the applicant providing insight into why they are applying and why they should be selected.
  • An outline, no longer than 500 words, of the paper which will be written upon selection as the award winner. Each applicant must commit to preparing a paper (2,500-5,000 words in length) if selected, to be based on the brief outline submitted with their application. Papers should focus on a broad, timely topic related to immigration, citizenship or refugee law. Winners’ papers will be published with the materials for the National Immigration Law Conference.*
  • Two letters of support from individuals familiar with the practice or studies of the applicant.
  • Applicants may also provide other relevant documents in support of the application, including those demonstrating the criteria.

*The CBA and the selection committee reserve the right not to publish the paper should it not meet the minimum quality criteria of the conference.

All submissions will be reviewed and the winner selected by the Founders’ Award Committee.

Entries are to be submitted to:

CBA Sections
Phone: (613) 237-2925 or
Toll Free: (800) 267-8860

Deadline for Submissions

March 19, 2024


The Award will provide the winner with registration to the National Immigration Law Conference, as well as, if needed, economy air/train transportation to and from the winner’s home city and up to two nights accommodations at the conference hotel in accordance with CBA financial policies.

Award Winners

  • 2024 – Katie Lay (Vancouver, BC)
  • 2023 – Genevieve Giesbrecht (Toronto, ON)
  • 2022 – Lou Janssen Dangzalan (Toronto, ON)
  • 2021 – Silvia Macedo (Vancouver, BC)
  • 2020 – Will Tao (Vancouver, BC)
  • 2019 – J. Alicia Dueck-Read (Winnipeg, MB)
  • 2018 – Tess Acton (Vancouver, BC) and Adrienne Smith (Toronto, ON)
  • 2017 – Aris Daghighian (Toronto, ON)
  • 2016 – Samuel Plett (Toronto, ON)
  • 2015 – Cheryl Robinson (Toronto, ON)
  • 2014 – Erika Heinrich (Calgary, AB)