Sarah Beamish and Christine Wadsworth receive Precedent Setter Award
Created by Toronto’s Precedent magazine, the award recognizes lawyers in their first 10 years of practice who have demonstrated excellence and leadership.
Beamish, who graduated in 2015 from U of T’s joint juris doctor (JD) and master of global affairs (MGA) program in the Faculty of Law and Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, is the principal of Beamish Law, a wide-ranging civil-ligation practice with a special interest in advocacy, equity and justice.
Beamish, who was previously named the youngest-ever chair of Amnesty International, also lectures in the MGA program at the Munk School.
“As a lawyer, you have this form of knowledge and power and access that’s unlike anything else,” she told Precedent. “I can’t squander that.”
Wadsworth, who graduated from the JD program in 2013, is a litigation partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP in Toronto. The magazine named her a “Bay Street superstar” for her defense work in high-stakes litigation.
Wadsworth has also taught trial advocacy at U of T and co-directs her firm’s partnership with the faculty's community legal clinic and clinical legal education program, Downtown Legal Services, providing pro bono legal counsel to low-income individuals facing criminal charges.
“Access to justice, especially in criminal-justice cases, is a continuing problem,” she told Precedent. “My first pro bono client had a number of criminal charges hanging over his head. When I successfully got them dropped, it had a powerful impact on me.”