2020-2021 Public Interest Articling Fellowship participants

Meet the 2020-2021 Public Interest Articling Fellowship participants: Stacia Loft, Andrea Ajurias, Zayneb Ragheai, Julia Sande, Laura Simon, Murray Fallis, Alexandria Hamilton, Yuka Sai
October 6, 2020

2020-2021 Public Interest Articling Fellowship participants

Public Interest Articling Fellowship participants

The Law Foundation of Ontario created the Public Interest Articling Fellowship Program to help respond to the public’s need for legal assistance and to help give law students valuable experience in public interest law. The Foundation makes a substantial contribution to public interest law in Ontario through this program as many organizations simply do not have enough funding to host articling students.

Meet our most current Public Interest Articling Fellowship participants:


Stacia Loft Stacia Loft
Law school: Queen’s University
PIAF placement: Amnesty International

Stacia Loft is Kanyen’keha:ka from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. She received her Juris Doctor from Queen’s University in January 2020, and a Bachelor of Arts, Hons. from the University of Western Ontario in 2004.

Stacia served as an elected Band Councillor from 2015 to 2019. She began her career supporting Indigenous youth program development, delivery, and management, and transitioned to managing provincial justice programs at the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres. She is highly skilled in strategic and operational management and has held leadership roles on local, provincial, and federal boards and advisory tables.

Andrea AjuriasAndrea Ajurias
Law school: Osgoode Hall Law School
PIAF placement: Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic

Andrea Ajurias received her Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Bachelor of Social Work from York University. While at Osgoode, Andrea formed Osgoode Latin American Students to create a community for Latinx law students and to encourage Latinx youth and undergraduate students to pursue careers in law.

Andrea is passionate about access to justice and supporting survivors of gender-based violence. Throughout law school, Andrea worked at the Community and Legal Aid Services Program, Parkdale Community Legal Services, West Toronto Community Legal Services, and the Family Law Project providing immigration, social assistance, housing, and family law services to women and low-income communities.

Andrea is thrilled to be articling with the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic where she will continue to use the law as a means for social justice and broaden access to legal services for women and low-income communities.

Zayneb RagheaiZayneb Ragheai
Law school: University of Ottawa
PIAF placement: Canada Without Poverty

Zayneb Ragheai is a graduate of the Common Law Section at the University of Ottawa. She also holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto in International Relations and Peace, Conflict and Justice Studies.

During law school, Zayneb interned at the War Crimes section of the Department of Justice. Additionally, she conducted legal research for a member of the International Law Commission and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing. Zayneb also participated in the University of Ottawa’s Refugee Law Clinic (an course related to The Refugee Hub) and contributed to the development of an upcoming Muslim Legal Clinic. In 2019, Zayneb received the Amatul Rahman Social Justice Summer Fellowship, which allowed her to travel to Malta to work as a Migration Governance Trainee with the International Centre for Migration Policy Development.

As the proud daughter of Libyan immigrants, Zayneb has always been committed to pursuing a career in international human rights law; she looks forward to using her education and experiences to help bring prosperity to her home country. Zayneb is thrilled to be articling with Canada Without Poverty, an organization that is committed to using a human rights approach to eradicate poverty across the country through education, advocacy, and policy development. She is honored to receive a Public Interest Articling Fellowship and hopes she can continue to fight for the advancement of international human rights and the protection of vulnerable communities.

Julia SandeJulia Sande
Law school: Peter A. Allard Law School, UBC
PIAF placement: Canadian Civil Liberties Association

Julia Sande graduated from the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia, where she had the opportunity to focus on public interest law and was named a Wesbrook Scholar.

Through her school’s International Justice and Human Rights Clinic, she supported the United Nations Human Rights Committee’s various efforts to protect and promote civil and political rights. Julia worked with Doctor Ghebremusse on a project that examined the efficacy of transparency in combatting the negative impacts of resource extraction and assisted in the development of community legal education materials for a research project with Doctor Liao. While working with New York University’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, she performed interdisciplinary research on the rights to water, land, and the environment to enhance a community-based monitoring program in Guyana.

Julia is thrilled to have the opportunity to article with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

Laura SimonlLaura Simon
Law school: Osgoode Hall Law School
PIAF placement: Innocence Canada

Laura Simon recently completed her JD at Osgoode Hall Law School and finished in the top 3% of her class. Prior to law school, she completed a BA, Honours at the University of Guelph in studio art and political science. Following her undergraduate degree, she worked as a practicing artist for 6 years.

During law school, Laura worked as a research assistant to a professor of constitutional law. She completed placements at All Saints Drop-In Centre in Toronto through Pro Bono Students Canada, at the Innocence Project, and a summer fellowship program at Innocence Canada. In her final year, she completed the Criminal Law Intensive Program and spent a semester shadowing criminal law judges at the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton.

Laura has a longstanding interest in social justice work and particularly wrongful convictions. Laura is honoured to be articling with Innocence Canada and looks forward to finding other opportunities to contribute to this important cause after being called to the Bar.

Murray FallisMurray Fallis
Law school: Queen’s University
PIAF placement: John Howard Society of Canada

Murray Fallis is a recent graduate of Queen’s University Law School. During his time at
Queen’s, Murray was active with the Queen’s Prison Law Clinic – working on disciplinary and parole representation at Joyceville Institution, earning him the Queen’s Law Prize in Clinical Prison Law. Murray also had the privilege of representing Queen’s at the Kawaskimhon National Aboriginal Moot, where he explored the shortcomings of implementing Gladue reports across Canada.

Prior to law school, Murray completed his undergraduate at McGill and his MSc at the London School of Economics. Like all good millennials, Murray enjoys local craft beer and the darkest roast at your local coffee shop. He struggles to play golf and claims (unverified) that he has improved his cooking during COVID-19. Murray looks forward to continue advocating for the Charter rights of inmates and is extremely grateful to both the PIAF program and the John Howard Society of Canada for having him on board.

Alexandria HamiltonAlexandria Hamilton
Law school: Windsor University
PIAF placement: Peacebuilders International

Alexandria Hamilton graduated from the University of Windsor’s joint Master of Social Work and Juris Doctor program in 2020.

Prior to law school, Alexandria attended Wilfrid Laurier University where she received a B.A. in Criminology and Contemporary Studies. It was during this time that Alexandria discovered her passion for youth justice while completing a placement at Why Not Youth Center in Brantford, Ontario. Here, Alex was inspired to pursue a MSW/ JD in an effort to enhance her capacity to assist at-risk youth and their families.

Throughout law school, Alexandria continued to be engaged with children, youth, and families. She completed a placement with the Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society, summered with a child protection lawyer, and volunteered at Windsor’s Community Legal Aid Clinic.

Alexandria is honoured to have been accepted as a PIAF recipient and looks forward to working at Peacebuilders International (Canada). She is confident that this fellowship will prove invaluable to her development as a successful advocate and cannot wait to get started!

Yuka SaiYuka Sai
Law school: University of Ottawa
PIAF placement: Public Interest Advocacy Centre

Yuka Sai graduated from the University of Ottawa’s English Common Law program. Before that, she earned a Master’s in Cellular and Molecular Medicine from the University of Ottawa, where her thesis was based on the molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease. Prior to her Master’s, she completed an Honours Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences at Queen’s University.

Yuka’s science background generated a passion for STEM outreach. Throughout her Master’s and law degrees she volunteered with Let’s Talk Science to teach workshops to children and youth. In law school, Yuka bridged science and the public interest through working with Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM), advocating for affordable medicines and socially responsible R&D policies.

Yuka chose to attend law school at the University of Ottawa for its specialization in Law and Technology. In her first year, she worked as a “Technoship” student for Professor Michael Geist, providing research support for his blog series against Bell Coalition’s website blocking proposal.

Yuka is now articling at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre working on various consumer interest projects. In her third year, she interned for the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, assisting in the Clinic’s research on the CRTC’s Mobile Wireless Review. She is honoured and excited to be part of the PIAF program and to help hold up the public interest in this era of digital technologies.