Meet our 2021-2022 articling students
Rye Dutton – Toronto
Rye Dutton (they/them) completed their JD at the University of Victoria. They also hold a BA (Hons) in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Alberta. Rye is guided by a deep commitment to workers’ struggle, Indigenous sovereignty, and social justice.
During law school, Rye was a co-op student in the Advocacy Department at the BC General Employees’ Union (BCGEU) and completed a clinical term at The Law Centre, where they represented clients in criminal, human rights, and civil matters. Rye also participated in the 2021 Canadian Client Consultation Competition, served as Co-President of Uvic’s 2SLGBTQ+ student society, and volunteered with the Victoria Youth Empowerment Society to develop rights-related resources and workshops for youth interacting with the police.
Rye spent their 1L summer working with the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) where they conducted research on the efficacy of feminist strategic litigation and contributed to LEAF’s intervener work. During their 2L summer, Rye returned to the BCGEU and worked as a Staff Representative in the Advocacy Department. While working at the BCGEU, Rye was an active member of the BC Union Workers’ Union (UWU) and sat on the UWU Equity Committee.
Before law school, Rye worked with the Elizabeth Fry Society of Northern Alberta to develop a know-your-rights handbook for provincially incarcerated women and gender-diverse people and visited provincial prisons to provide one-on-one human rights advocacy to incarcerated people. Rye continues to advocate for prisoners’ human rights as a longstanding Regional Advocate with the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS). In this role, they monitor the conditions of confinement in federal prisons designated for women and support prisoners who have experienced rights violations in pursuing remedies.
Rye is passionate about old trucks, podcasts, fermentation, and prison abolition.
Jessica Hammond – Toronto
Jessica recently completed her law degree at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law. During law school, she was awarded a Windsor Law Social Justice Fellowship, enabling her to pursue her interest in social justice advocacy at an international human rights organization in Minneapolis, Minnesota in her first-year summer. Jessica was a Student Member on the Law Admissions Committee and represented her cohort as a Student Representative on Faculty Council. She also served as a Windsor Law Student Ambassador and volunteered as a Caseworker at the Windsor Community Legal Aid Clinic, advocating for clients in landlord and tenant matters.
In the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jessica founded the SENcerely Project, a letter-writing initiative that collected letters for isolated senior residents in over a dozen nursing homes in Ontario and Alberta. Upon graduating from law school, Jessica was awarded a J.W. Whiteside Award in recognition of her outstanding services to the Faculty of Law, the legal community, and the community of Windsor.
Jessica’s passion for workers’ rights started from her undergraduate studies at Athabasca University, where she obtained a Bachelor in Human Resources Management and Labour Relations with Distinction. Her academic achievements in the program additionally led her to be the recipient of the AU Convocation Scholarship. While completing her bachelor’s degree, Jessica served as a union steward for a large private-sector union and represented her co-workers in the workplace. She also spent a summer working at a boutique employment law firm where she assisted lawyers in various matters, including wrongful and constructive dismissals.
In her spare time, Jessica enjoys travelling and socializing with family and friends. She never gets tired of watching re-runs of Seinfeld and dreams of one day meeting Mr. Art Vandelay.
Saadia Naim – Toronto
Saadia is a recent graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School. Prior to law school, she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with high distinction from the University of Toronto.
Saadia has a long-standing commitment to advocating for social change. During her undergraduate and law school, she was heavily involved with Pro Bono Students Canada, Amnesty International, and co-led Osgoode’s chapter of Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights.
She refined her advocacy skills while completing placements in Belize with the Maya Leaders Alliance, where she worked with the Maya villages to promote and protect Indigenous land rights; and with Parkdale Community Legal Services, where she was a caseworker in the Immigration Division. The latter introduced her to the intersection of immigration and labour and employment law while she was working on transnational labour trafficking cases and advocating for migrant workers’ rights.
Firmly believing in community lawyering, in her second year of law school, Saadia spearheaded the Muslim Legal Support Centre (MLSC) – an access to justice initiative. Here, she explored innovative ways to provide legal services to marginalized populations, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. She transitioned the MLSC into a fully virtual format.
Saadia also has an interest in litigation and in her final year, she represented Osgoode at the first Immigration, Refugee, Citizenship Law Moot. In her spare time, Saadia enjoys practicing her henna skills and dancing salsa.
Him Ranjit – Toronto
Him returns to the Toronto office after summering with the firm last year. A graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, Him started his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin and completed it at York University, graduating with a degree in Economics and Political Science.
While at the University of Texas, Him was involved in organizing the undocumented community as part of local and national undocumented youth-led organizations. After moving to Canada to attend York University, he worked as an organizer for several community organizations and political campaigns, including the mayoral campaign of Olivia Chow. After graduating, he spent over two years working as a campaign organizer at the Public Service Alliance of Canada. During law school, Him worked at Advocates for Injured Workers and spent the summer following his first year in Johannesburg working at the South African Society for Labour Law’s pro bono labour law clinic.
Outside the office, Him enjoys playing and watching basketball, following a healthy dose of U.S. politics, and listening to hip hop.
Seema Shafei – Ottawa
Seema is articling in our Ottawa office after summering there last year. She grew up in Atlanta, received her bachelor’s degree with high distinction from the University of Toronto, and graduated cum laude from the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Common Law.
Throughout her career, Seema has been dedicated to understanding how people experience the law firsthand. She is interested in prison abolition, direct action organizing, emerging worker’s movements, and tenant unions. In law school, she was Co-Chair of the Labour Law and Human Rights Association at the University of Ottawa and a member of the bargaining committee for her local CUPE2626.
She has taught English in Toronto, Istanbul, and Benghazi and spends much of her free time trying to learn new languages herself.
Erin Sobat – Toronto
Erin is excited to be back at the firm after working as a 2020 summer student. He holds a J.D. degree from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in History from McGill University. During his undergraduate studies, Erin was heavily involved in student union advocacy.
During law school, Erin was a caseworker in the Workers’ Rights division at Parkdale Community Legal Services, where he helped non-unionized workers to fight for decent work through legal advocacy and community organizing. Erin was also actively involved with Osgoode’s chapter of the Law Union of Ontario, the Journal of Law and Social Policy, TheCourt.ca, and several other legal aid clinics. He continues to volunteer at the Workers’ Action Centre where he assists workers challenging wage theft, misclassification, and other abuses.
When not helping workers defend their rights, Erin enjoys running, biking, and reading science fiction novels on his balcony.
Madeline Stewart – Toronto
Madeline recently graduated from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. Before law school, she completed a BA in history, and an MA in history and philosophy of science, both also at the University of Toronto. Over the years, she has worked as a legal caseworker, barista, teaching assistant, English tutor, and tour guide.
During law school, Madeline was a caseworker at the Advocates for Injured Workers program at IAVGO Community Legal Clinic, where her deep interest in disability justice developed and evolved. She also helped lead a working group at the Asper Center for Constitutional Rights that provided research support to CERA, as well as a Pro Bono Students Canada project focused on developing public legal education resources for workers. Madeline has a strong interest in litigation and competed in the Julius Alexander Isaac Moot during her 3L year.
In her free time, Madeline enjoys devouring good books and bad TV shows, taking photographs, baking, and hanging out with her cat.