Our Team:
Working Together

LAWS has offices at both the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and Osgoode Hall Law School at York Univeristy. Our team is made up of six committed and talented staff members including the Executive Director, three Program Managers, a Program Administrator and a Program Assistant. LAWS also relies on the help of work study students and law student summer staff.

— Our Staff

Eleonora Dimitrova

Executive Director

Eleonora Dimitrova graduated from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law with a combined J.D./M.A. in International Relations.

After her admission to the Ontario Bar, Eleonora worked for Lawyers for Human Rights, an independent human rights organisation with a 40-year track record of human rights activism and public interest litigation in South Africa. Eleonora practiced in the areas of human rights, refugee protection and access to justice in their Durban office. Following her return to Canada, she joined Law in Action Within Schools (LAWS) as the Osgoode Hall Law School Program Manager and spearheaded the program's expansion in the Jane and Finch and York University Heights communities.

Eleonora is presently the Executive Director of Law in Action Within Schools (LAWS) and oversees the University of Toronto Faculty of Law Youth Summer Program.

Eleonora is passionate about youth outreach, legal education and civic engagement and has been extensively involved with LAWS in various capacities for over 10 years.

Stephanie Nilausen

Program Manager (Central Technical School, Harbord C.I., and Nortview S.S.)

Stephanie has dedicated the last ten years of her career to justice education and access to justice initiatives.

As a Program Manager at the Ontario Justice Education Network, a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization established by the three Chief Justices of Ontario, Stephanie spearheaded a novel area of programming for elementary school students, promoting civic engagement, advocacy, conflict resolution skills and an understanding of the justice system to over 700 students each year in diverse communities.

As the bilingual Program Manager at the National Office for Pro Bono Students Canada, Stephanie managed seven law school chapters in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. She successfully developed seven new Family Law Projects to assist unrepresented litigants in family courts across Canada, working closely with the legal community in multiple jurisdictions.

Stephanie first began volunteering at LAWS when she was a law student. She joined LAWS in 2011 and has since managed both Core and Newcomer programming and worked at seven LAWS partner high schools across the TDSB.

Stephanie has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of British Columbia and a J.D. from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.

Mary Owusu

Program Manager (Currently on Leave)

Mary graduated with a J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University. As a law student she served as the co-president of the Black Law Student's Association, participated in the Parkdale Community Legal Services Intensive and was extensively involved with LAWS. Mary articled with Rexdale Community Legal Clinic and has a substantial background in community and access to justice initiatives. She has also worked internationally with community-based organizations such as the Female Lawyers Association Gambia (FLAG), Foundation for Human Rights Initiative Uganda (FHRI) and the Pan-African Defenders Network. Mary has a strong passion for human rights, community empowerment and increasing diversity within the legal profession.

Sukhpreet Sangha

Program Manager (Westview Centennial S.S., Marc Garneau C.I., Greenwood S.S. and Monarch Park C.I.)

Sukhpreet is a lawyer and artist who holds a joint Honours Bachelor of Arts in English and Drama from the University of Waterloo, as well as a Juris Doctorate from Osgoode Hall Law School. Sukhpreet has practiced as a criminal defence lawyer and as a poverty lawyer, at a community legal clinic. In those roles, she appeared before all levels of court in Ontario, the Supreme Court of Canada, and several administrative tribunals. She has focused her career on access to justice and providing representation to marginalized communities. Sukhpreet is equally passionate about art and remains active as a theatre practitioner.

Shanii Defoe

Program Manager (C.W. Jefferys C.I. and Downsview S.S.)

Shanii is a legal professional with over six years of experience in the industry. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from York University, a Diploma in Legal Administration and Law Clerk studies from Seneca College and is currently pursing a Master of Arts in Justice Studies from Royal Roads University. Her Masters thesis will explore how the inequities and inequality that low income, marginalized and racialized people in Ontario experience, create trauma and influence how they function with each other and society. Shanii has worked with various law firms, in areas such as employment, Aboriginal and criminal law and has volunteered with many youth focused organizations around Toronto.

Presila Mason

Program Assistant