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Year of call:
Francesca Fernandes 905.526.9800 ext 5936
Nicole is a feminist social justice lawyer and Associate in our human rights group. She brings over 20 years of experience working as a front-line counsellor and advocate for women, children and gender-diverse individuals who have experienced violence, trauma and abuse. She believes that justice and equity are non-negotiable and always worth fighting for and she pursues these goals with empathy and compassion for her clients.
Nicole articled at the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund, a national legal organization promoting gender equality rights through law. There, she refined her legal writing skills and knowledge of the Charter of Rights and Freedom and was involved in the landmark Superior Court case of
Fraser v Canada
, which advanced and refined substantive equality rights in Canada.
Nicole has provided advocacy and support within the criminal justice and family legal systems, working at the Victim Witness Assistance Program and the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic, supporting survivors of gender-based violence. In the UK, she worked as a researcher, trainer and advocate in a hospital program for pregnant women experiencing violence, assessing risk, developing concrete safety plans and advocating for services.
Nicole interned for the Secretary General of Amnesty International and taught critical thinking and research skills to Chinese high school students in Shanghai. For several years, she managed the Advocacy and Human Trafficking Programs at Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre in Toronto, regularly speaking at conferences and to media on the issues facing youth who are trafficked in Ontario.
Nicole holds a law degree from King’s College London, UK, and a Masters in Human Rights Law from the University of London, UK. She is a board member for Parkdale Community Legal Services and she is a member-at-large on the Ontario Bar Association Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Executive as well as the OBA Professional Development Committee. While not working to promote social justice, you can find Nicole with her partner and two wonderful children, dancing and cooking up a storm.
Areas of Expertise
Gender Based Violence
Sexual Assault and Harassment
Organizations and Activities
Hamilton Law Association
Ontario Bar Association
Parkdale Community Legal Services - Board Member
Ontario Bar Association - Constitutional Civil Liberties and Human Rights Executive, Member-at-Large
Ontario Bar Association - Professional Development Committee