Michele is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Law, Queens University. Her thesis documents the imperatives for legal education reform, specifically the contribution of “Reflective Practice” as a professional learning theory of benefit to legal educators, law students, and legal practitioners. Her research compares approaches in Canadian and Australian law schools in traditional law and experiential learning courses. Michele is already applying her interim research findings by offering seminars/workshops about reflective practice at Osgoode Hall Law School and Queen’s University Faculty of Law, and at conferences of the Canadian Association of Legal Ethics, Law & Society Association, Association of Canadian Clinical Legal Educators, Canadian Association of Law Teachers, Commonwealth Legal Education Conference, Global Alliance for Justice Education, Australian law schools, Ontario and Australian community legal centres, and other organizations.
Michele Leering is a lawyer and the Executive Director of the Community Advocacy & Legal Centre, a non-profit community legal clinic in Belleville, Ontario. She holds a Masters of Adult Education from St. Francis Xavier University (Nova Scotia). She is a member of the International Legal Aid Group and has also worked with the Open Society Justice Initiative, Ukraine’s International Renaissance Foundation, and Namati to provide training on legal empowerment, community lawyering, and paralegals in international forums. She has been a Law Foundation of Ontario Community Leadership in Justice Fellow (2009) at Osgoode Hall Law School (York University) and has a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University (2014, 2017) as well as s Bond University (2017). She has been a member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Access to Justice Committee and chairs its Legal Education Working Group that is producing an Experiential Learning Guide for Canadian Law Students (“Learning Law in Place”).
Michele has received the following awards: R.S. McLaughlin Fellowship (2017-2019), Eric W. Cross Fellowship (2017-2018), Louisa A. Fowler Fellowship (2016-2017), Bruce D. MacDonald Award (2018-2019), Law Foundation of Ontario Faculty of Law Graduate Student Award (2015), and the Graduate Entrance Tuition Award (2015-2016).
Recent Professional Achievements
“Integrated Reflective Practice: A Critical Imperative for Enhancing Legal Education and Professionalism.” Canadian Bar Review 95, no. 1 (2017)
Featured Conference Presentation:
“Enhancing the Legal Profession’s Capacity for Innovation: Reflective Practice & Action Research to Increase Access to Justice.” Presentation at the Law & Society Association Conference, Toronto, 2018.