Meet Our Students!
Our 2022 Summer Students are here and they are amazing
Sophia Abbatt – Toronto
Sophia Abbatt is currently completing her J.D. degree at Osgoode Hall Law School and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from McGill University.
During law school, Sophia worked at Parkdale Community Legal Services in its Workers’ Rights Division for eight months. At PCLS, Sophia advocated for clients by conducting client intakes, negotiating with opposing parties, drafting pleadings to the Ontario Small Claims Court and Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, and leading mediations at the Ontario Labour Relations Board. She also volunteered at the Workers’ Action Centre by writing ESA claims, EI support letters, and letters to employers. Sophia is an active member of Osgoode’s Asian Law Students Association and is excited to be its Vice-President and Treasurer in the upcoming year.
Sophia’s dedication to providing accessible, anti-oppressive and trauma-informed services and advocacy stems from her work with McGill’s sexual assault centre during her undergraduate degree, where she supported survivors in various capacities. One of Sophia’s projects included contacting 100+ Montreal-based therapists, social workers, community organizations, and mental health and suicide hotlines to establish community connections and increase the awareness among the general public about the sexual assault centre’s free services.
Prior to law school, Sophia also worked at a photography camp for four summers teaching 8–12-year-olds the rules of composition and basic camera techniques. It was by teaching 8–12-year-olds that she learned the importance of clear and simple instructions. Demonstrations with glitter and water balloons helped as well.
Matthew Cohen – Toronto
Matthew Cohen (he/him) is a JD student at Osgoode Hall Law School. He holds an MA in Political Studies from Queen’s University and an Honours BA from the University of Toronto in Theatre and Political Science.
At Osgoode, Matt has been involved with the Osgoode Labour and Employment Law Society as well as the Journal of Law and Social Policy. He was named a Blakes’ Scholar for his academic achievements and has been recognized for his performance in the Cassels Brock Cup Moot.
Matt is firmly committed to workers’ rights. While at law school, he was a case worker in the Workers’ Rights Division of Parkdale Community Legal Services. At Parkdale, Matt advocated for non-unionized clients in employment standards investigations and at the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the Canada Industrial Relations Board, and on civil litigation files.
Matt is also committed to gaining and defending unionized workers’ rights. He chaired the bargaining team for the Parkdale law students bargaining unit this past summer. Prior to law school, he was on staff with a union local in Ontario’s post-secondary sector, where he was involved in advising bargaining unit members of their rights and preparing members’ grievances.
Outside of work, Matt enjoys live theatre, music, and accommodating the whims of his cat, who is named for a Grateful Dead song.
Ikram Handulle – Toronto
Ikram Handulle (she/her) is a second-year student at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. Before law school, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Conflict Studies and Human Rights from the University of Ottawa.
Over the years, Ikram has committed herself to working alongside vulnerable and marginalized communities. She is interested in grassroots organizing, public interest litigation, workers’ rights, prison abolition, and mobility rights. Ultimately, Ikram wholly intends to use her legal education to address systemic barriers in the access to justice.
In law school, Ikram has worked as caseworker at Downtown Legal Services’ Immigration and Refugee Division. She is also the co-President of the Black Law Students Association, a steering committee member of the Muslim Law Students Association, and a steering committee member of the Law Union. In these spaces, she is passionate about encouraging institutional change within the law school and the larger legal community.
In her free time, Ikram enjoys hiking, drinking copious amounts of coffee, and watching reality TV!
Sarah-Claude L’Ecuyer – Ottawa
Sarah (she/her) recently completed her second year in the Programme de droit canadien, a French dual civil and Common law program at the University of Ottawa. Prior to law school she studied health sciences and psychology for three years.
Passionate about social justice, Sarah interned at the Equality Law Clinic after her first year of law school as well as volunteered with the National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL). Alongside two other students, she created the Social Justice Society, a student club dedicated to promoting progressive causes at the Faculty of Law and beyond.
In her free time, Sarah enjoys reading, spending time with her family and friends and hanging out with her family dog Sammy.
Sarah (elle/la) a récemment complété sa deuxième année au sein du Programme de droit canadien, un programme combiné de droit civil et de common law à l’Université d’Ottawa. Avant d’entreprendre ses études en droit, Sarah a étudié les sciences de la santé et la psychologie pendant trois ans.
Passionnée de la justice sociale, Sarah a travaillé à la Clinique de droits à l’égalité après sa première année en droit et a fait du bénévolat à l’Association nationale Femmes et Droit (ANFD). Avec deux autres étudiantes, elle a créé la Société de justice sociale, une association étudiante dédiée à la promotion de causes progressives à la Faculté de droit et haut-delà.
Dans son temps libre, Sarah est une grande lectrice, adore passer du temps avec sa famille, ses amis et surtout avec son chien Sammy.
Wiliston Mason – Ottawa
Wiliston Mason recently completed his 2L year at the University of Ottawa. Prior to law school he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Ottawa (primary/junior division), and a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in Religious Studies from Laurentian University.
Prior to Law School, Wiliston worked as a Community Advisor in residence for two year with the University of Ottawa’s Housing Services. Wiliston joined the bargaining committee for the housing services student-staff members at CUPE 2626 after they voted in favour of union representation. In this role, Wiliston aided in bargaining and negotiations for the first collective agreement.
During his 1L year, Wiliston held the position of 1L Representative with the Black Law Students’ Association – University of Ottawa Chapter. He was also a member of the Advocacy Subcommittee with the Common Law Student Society.
During his 2L year, Wiliston completed an internship with the General Counsel’s office at the Peel District School Board, learning about Labour & Employment law, Education law, Privacy law, and Contract law within the K-12 Education sector. Wiliston also has an interest in both oral and written advocacy and competed in the first-ever Tort Law Moot Competition, winning the award for Best Team in 2022.
As an Occasional Teacher with the Peel District School Board, Wiliston was appointed to the Peel Elementary Occasional Teacher Union Local’s Policies, Practices and Procedures Committee.
In his free time, Wiliston enjoys baking from scratch, exploring different types of cuisine, binge watching Netflix shows with his wife.
Melissa Sonnemann-Samuel – Toronto
Melissa (she/her) is midway through her law degree at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law. Prior to this, she attended McMaster University and the University of Ottawa where, respectively, she earned a Master of Arts in Labour Studies and a Bachelor of Social Science (Hons) in International Development.
As the daughter of a migrant farmworker, she is distinctly committed to advancing the livelihoods of working people – both within and beyond the workplace. She was a caseworker at Windsor’s Migrant Farmworker Clinic where she provided summary legal assistance to workers with uniquely complex and intersectional needs. She has also held a number of research positions related to critical race scholarship, social movements, migration, and basic income for all. Melissa is enthusiastically involved in the community and has volunteered in various capacities with the New Democratic Party, the Black Law Students’ Association of Canada, ACORN Canada, Veterinarians Without Borders, and ‘Just’ Food.
In the Fall of 2022, Melissa will be clerking with the Supreme Court of Northwest Territories. In the interim, and when she’s not scouring the internet for the warmest parka around, she tends to enjoy the (sunny) outdoors, reading her way through the community and culture sections of local bookstores, and cheering on (most) Toronto sports teams.