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Long‑Serving DLAS Lawyer Claire McNeil Retires

Posted by Amanda Kirby-Sheppard on January 8, 2024 in News, Dalhousie Legal Aid Service
Claire McNeil (Photo by Amanda Kirby-Sheppard)
Claire McNeil (Photo by Amanda Kirby-Sheppard)

Claire McNeil (LLB '85), Staff Lawyer with Dalhousie Legal Aid Service (DLAS), retired at the end of December 2023 after more than 30 years of service.

She was first introduced to the Clinic as a Dalhousie law student. “I attended an open house during second year, talked to upper years who had worked there, and thought it sounded amazing,” she said in a 2017 Dal News interview. “I worked there for the summer and stayed for the fall term. It’s where I discovered the reason why I went to law school and what being a lawyer was all about.”

McNeil joined DLAS as a staff lawyer in 1991 and accomplished a great deal in terms of student impact and systemic change during her career, including recently completing work on a ground-breaking disability rights case against the province of Nova Scotia, as a lawyer for the Disability Rights Coalition of Nova Scotia. She also successfully appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada in 2005, for the case Nova Scotia (Minister of Health) v. J.J., another important and historic legal win for disability rights.

”Claire made an impact on me as a Clinic student, and through my career,” says Megan Longley (LLB '94), KC, Executive Director of DLAS. “I have remained in awe of her tenacity and skill in moving the needle forward on social justice issues. The Clinic will not be the same without her.”

Please join us in extending a heartfelt thank you and congratulations to Claire as we wish her well in her next chapter!