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Butter Torts: A Truly Canadian Legal Podcast

Sep 15, 2023

Brenda Agnew, your host, welcomes Vanshika Dhawan to today’s conversation about the importance of legal literacy. 

Vanshika graduated from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, earning her JD. While at law school, Vanshika volunteered with Advocates for Injured Workers and helped to provide legal support for clients in need. Additionally, she assisted with her expertise in advocacy and education in the areas of constitutional rights at the David Asper Centre. Vanshika was called to the bar in June 2023.

Prior to joining Jellinek Ellis Gluckstein, Vanshika articled at a litigation boutique in Toronto, assisting with sexual abuse and sexual assault cases. Vanshika received her Bachelor of Medical Sciences (Honours), where she studied medical cell biology, specifically the neurobiology of trauma, and obtained her master's in professional communications from Toronto Metropolitan University. Vanshika was an advocate supporting with the research of sexual assault and survivor discourses in the Canadian criminal justice system, in addition to years of experience advocating for survivors in various non-legal contexts.

Vanshika’s practice at Jellinek Ellis Gluckstein Lawyers will be focused on representing survivors of sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse. She is passionate about helping survivors better understand and navigate the legal system. When not practicing law, Vanshika enjoys writing, reading fiction novels, going to the theatre, and being by the ocean.


Key Takeaways:

[4:44] Vanshika shares how she helps clients navigate the difficult journey of being a survivor of sexual assault/abuse.

[6:11] There are different parts of the healing process, and the civil litigation process can be one of them.

[7:02] Vanshika highlights the healing power that regaining a piece of control has for the victims.

[9:50] What does legal literacy mean?

[13:21] What are the means by which we should be trying to improve legal literacy?

[15:47] What are we actually doing to improve legal literacy?

[20:34] Vanshika shares what a campaign to support legal literacy can look like.

[27:06] What are the tools and resources that people need in order to be able to make informed decisions?

[29:25]  Vanshika talks about how the legal landscape has changed in the past two decades and how that impacts victims.

[34:21] The legal system can be a harsh environment for survivors.

[37:50] What are some actionable steps people can take to make sure the literacy piece is in place?  

[42:42] Vanshika explains why legal literacy is important.


Mentioned in this episode:

To learn more about the work we do at Gluckstein Lawyers, please visit Gluckstein Lawyers.


Learn more about Vanshika Dhawan


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