We have a dedicated team here to help you. Everyone has their specialty and the people who assist you will be chosen to match your specific problem.
Tel: 905-455-0160 Ext 226
Jack Fleming manages our community legal clinic, working under the direction of our board of directors. Jack also handles housing law cases. He joined our legal clinic as executive director in 2001. Jack has been a lawyer since 1984, after graduating from the University of Toronto Law School. He is the author of Ontario Landlord and Tenant Law Practice and Residential Tenancies in Ontario, 3d ed. He has taught at Queen’s University Law School and has previously worked at legal clinics in Toronto, Halton, Peterborough and Ottawa and at Legal Aid Ontario.
Lawyer and Assistant Executive Director
Tel: 905-455-0160 Ext 224
Norma English has been a lawyer since 1989, graduating from the University of Ottawa Law School. Norma has worked at our clinic since 1991 and prior to that was a lawyer in the private bar. Over the years, Norma has done all of the various areas of law our legal clinic practises. Currently Norma does Ontario Works (OW), Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and housing law cases.
In her personal and professional life, Norma has been involved with a variety of organizations in various capacities, including membership on boards of directors (as president, member and committee member). Additionally, Norma has also participated in various advocacy projects, made law reform presentations, and provided community public legal education trainings.
Tel: 905-455-0160 Ext 222
David Craig handles Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) cases, working to get benefits for people denied ODSP. He has been with our legal clinic since it opened in 1990 (as the first executive director). Prior to that, he was executive director at Halton Community Legal Services. David’s work over the decades has focused on assisting people with disabilities. David is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario law program.
He was previously a renowned specialist in workers’ compensation law:
- joint author of Carswell’s “Practical Guide to Workers’ Compensation Hearings in Ontario”;
- represented 20 legal clinics at 30 day “leading case” on chronic pain before the Workers’ Safety and Insurance Appeals Board;
- member of Workers’ Compensation and Insurance Board’s External Consultation Group;
- helped create the Ontario Canadian Bar Association’s Workers’ Compensation Section and chaired the section in 2000; and
- served on the Law Society of Ontario’s specialty committee certifying lawyers as specialists in workers’ compensation.
David is a member of the International Association of the Study of Pain, he was a Moot Court judge for many years at Osgoode Hall Law School and he is one of the founders of Ontario Legal Aid’s Clinic Resources Office.
Tel: 905-455-0160 Ext 230
Fintan does housing law cases for our clients. He has been a lawyer since 1995, after graduating from University of Ottawa Law School. He joined the legal clinic system in 2002 from private practice, and has worked at legal clinics in Ottawa, Moosonee and Toronto prior to joining our legal clinic in 2009.
Tel: 905-455-0160 Ext 229
Jennifer Goodfellow helps our clients with immigration cases. Jennifer has been a lawyer since 2012, and joined our legal clinic in 2014. Since her first year of law school, Jennifer has been involved in the legal clinic system, first as a student caseworker at Parkdale Community Legal Services in the housing division, and later as an articling student at the HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario where she gained experience in a variety of practice areas.
Jennifer has appeared before the Immigration Appeal Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board, the Landlord and Tenant Board and the Social Benefits Tribunal. Jennifer holds a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, and a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia University. Prior to joining us, she worked as a lawyer in various legal clinics in Toronto.
Tel: 905-455-0160 Ext 233
Parush Mann helps our clients with immigration law cases. Parush joined our legal clinic as an articling student in 2014 and began working with us as a lawyer in 2015. Parush is a member of the Law Society of Ontario and a non-practising member of the Law Society of Alberta. He has appeared on various matters before the Court of Queen’s Bench (Alberta), Provincial Court of Alberta, Immigration Appeal Division and the Landlord and Tenant Board.
Parush holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) degree from Victoria University of Wellington, Bachelor of Administrative Studies (Specialized Honours in Finance) and has completed courses towards a Master of Laws (LL.M) degree at Osgoode Hall Law School. Prior to joining our legal clinic, he worked as a lawyer in Calgary, Alberta and has worked as an Analyst for TD Asset Management in Toronto.
Tel: 905-455-0160 Ext 236
Simarroop helps our clients with immigration and employment law cases. She is fluent in Punjabi. Simarroop articled at the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, where she gained experience in many areas of law. She became a lawyer in 2016 and joined the team at our legal clinic that same year. Simarroop has a Juris Doctor degree from Osgoode Hall Law School and while there she spent a semester working at Parkdale Community Legal Services. She also participated in an international exchange program in Italy at Monash University’s Faculty of Law, studying international law.
Simarroop also holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from York University, where she graduated cum laude. She focused her undergraduate studies on socio-economic issues, women’s rights and criminology.
Tel: 905-455-0160 Ext 245
Mandeep Gill is the first line of contact for clients with housing law problems. She provides advice and other assistance and does the first assessment of all housing law matters. She first joined our legal clinic as a Law Practice Program student. She became a lawyer in 2017 and joined our team that same year.
Tel: 905-455-0160 Ext 244
Daniel Gordon helps our clients with employment law and social assistance cases. Daniel joined our clinic as a Law Practice Program Candidate (equivalent to articling) in 2017 and assisted clients with their ODSP appeals. He joined us as a lawyer in 2018.
Prior to joining our clinic, Daniel participated in two legal clinics in Detroit, where he worked in the areas of mortgage foreclosure defense and mediation.
Daniel holds a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, a Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) degree from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree from the University of Windsor, and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A. (Hons.)) degree from Western University. Daniel is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the District of Columbia Bar Association.
Tel: 905-455-0160 Ext 246
Akina helps our clients with housing law cases. She provides legal advice and representation to tenants and co-op members. Prior to joining the housing team at our legal clinic, she worked at Halton Community Legal Services. She also worked at ARCH Disability Law Centre as a summer law student, and completed her articles at the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, where she gained experience in many areas of law.
Akina has a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from University of Windsor, and an Honours Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree from University of Toronto, with a specialization in Cell and Molecular Biology and a minor in Psychology. She was called to the bar and became a lawyer in 2017. Akina is also fluent in Hindi, Nepali and Urdu.
Paralegal & Community Legal Worker
Tel: 905-455-0160 Ext 223
Madelene Reed helps our clients with Ontario Works (OW), Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) cases. She has been with our legal clinic as a community legal worker since it opened in 1990 and before that was a community legal worker at a legal clinic in Thunder Bay. She became a licensed paralegal in 2008.
Madelene has a vast amount of experience representing clients before various tribunals in matters of Ontario Disability Support Program, Ontario Works and Canada Pension Disability matters. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree. Madelene also organizes, attends and presents many public legal information sessions to members of the community, agencies and client groups. In addition, for the past 10 years, she has been an active member with the Legal Clinics’ Provincial Steering Committee on Social Assistance which reviews systemic issues impacting low income people of Ontario. The work of that group has had a significant impact in improving the laws and procedures affecting low income Ontarians.
Tel: 905-455-0160 Ext 232
Jesse Gerva does ODSP cases, appealing denials of ODSP eligibility and assisting clients with ODSP applications. He joined our legal clinic in 2012 as an ODSP case manager and then he began working with us as a paralegal when he became licensed in 2015. He has a post-graduate degree in business law. Prior to joining our team, Jesse practised law in Brazil and advised non-profit organizations in the fields of management and leadership.
Tel: 905-455-0160 Ext 231
Alison Blackman has been the office manager for North Peel & Dufferin Community Legal Services since 2014. She started at the clinic as a student placement in 2013 while taking the Social Service Worker program at Sheridan college – and in her words, “more or less, I never left.” After her student placement, she was hired as a part-time support staff at our legal clinic. In 2014, she became a part-time office manager while also being part-time support staff at Industrial Accident Victims Group of Ontario (IAVGO). She became our full-time office manager in May 2015.
Prior to moving to Canada in 2012, Alison taught high school science, math and technology education (M.Sc.). She describes the change in her career path as a unique opportunity to incorporate previous skills. Her experience in curriculum delivery and student evaluation has helped in the management of the Social Service Worker Student Placement Program at our legal clinic.
Since 2016, Alison has been extensively involved in training and support of new case management software for legal clinics, both for our legal clinic and others across the province.
ODSP Case Manager
Tel: 905-455-0160 Ext 234
Christa Merlin manages Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) cases. All of our ODSP clients begin with Christa and she continues to have a role in their cases right through to the end. Together with David Craig and Jesse Gerva, Christa is part of our ODSP Disability Denial Team – handling applications for ODSP and appeals of denials of ODSP.
Christa started with our legal clinic in 2015 as a Social Service Worker student. Following graduation, she returned to the clinic as our ODSP case manager.
Client Service Representative
Tel: 905-455-0160 Ext 249
Gail started with the clinic in 2013 as a Social Service Worker student. On completing her placement practicum in April 2014 she joined the team as a client service representative staff doing intake work, initially part-time and then full-time.
Gail is our intake worker and provides administrative assistance to the executive director, office manager and our legal workers. She assists our office manager in the management, training, supervision and evaluation of the Social Service Worker student placement program.
Gail holds a diploma in both Social Service Work and Early Childhood Education; and has a background in telecommunications. She is our very own in-house information technology specialist and the go-to person for all of our technical needs.
Client Service Representative
Tel: 905-455-0160 Ext 227
Ryan initially joined the NPDCLS team in 2014 as a practicum student while completing his Social Service Worker diploma. Ryan rejoined NPDCLS in mid 2018 after completing a Honours Bachelors of Social Work degree.
In his role as a Client Service Representative, Ryan is one of the first points of contact, which involves completing intakes and providing clients with referrals to community agencies as needed.