HELLO,

I am Jessica Gagné

About Jessica

Jessica obtained a Juris Doctor from the University of Victoria Faculty of Law, graduating at the top of her class. While in law school she received numerous prizes and awards for outstanding academic achievement. Jessica also holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, with distinction, from the University of Alberta.

Following her clerkship at the Supreme Court of Canada and prior to launching her own firm, Jessica practiced at a leading child and family law boutique firm in downtown Toronto.

Jessica is very active in the legal community. She is a sessional instructor at both the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and Seneca College. From time to time she delivers presentations at continuing professional development programs. She sits on the executive boards of the Ontario Bar Association’s Child and Youth Law SectionYoung Lawyers Division, and Family Law Section. She previously sat on the board  of the Family Lawyers’ Association.

Jessica provides pro bono services to youth and teens through the Teen Legal Helpline and Pro Bono Law Ontario’s Education Law Project. She is a past volunteer with the Law and Youth Workshop and Pathways to Education.

Jessica enjoys legal writing. In addition to creating FamilyWatch, she is a regular contributor to CanLII Connects. She previously edited Wilson on Children and the Law and the Ontario Family Law Reporter.

In her spare time, Jessica is an avid traveler.

Awards

Canadian Institute for Advanced Legal Studies French Language Scholarship (declined)
Saint Gallen’s Wings of Excellence Award
David Roberts Prize in Legal Writing
University of Victoria President’s Scholarship
Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang Scholarship
Harper Grey LLP Scholarship
MacMillan LLP Vancouver Scholarship
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt Prize in Contracts and Property
University of Victoria President’s Scholarship
Continuing Legal Education Society of BC Award in Criminal Law
Guild Yule LLP Advocacy Scholarship
Law Foundation of BC Entrance Scholarship
Export Development Canada Scholarship in International Business
Canada Millennium Foundation National In-Course Award
World Petroleum Council Scholarship for International Business Studies
Business Exchange Association Travel Award for study at the University of Hong Kong
University of Alberta Tuition Award for study at University of Hong Kong
Rod and Judith Fraser International Undergraduate Learning Award
Don Mazankowski Scholarship
Elks Royal Purple Scholarship
Jason Lang Scholarship
Alexander Rutherford Scholarship
Saint Paul Regional High School Valedictorian

Skills

Analytical Skills: Being a problem solver is one of the root skills of any lawyer. Inquisitive by nature, Jessica has strong analytical skills and is able to quickly drill down to pertinent information.

Research Skills: Preparing a legal strategy generally requires careful legal research. Jessica has excellent research abilities, honed from her experiences as a legal research assistant for a prominent law professor, a judicial law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada, and an associate at a leading boutique litigation firm.

Writing Skills: A great lawyer has excellent writing skills which allow her to craft compelling arguments, briefs, motions, and other legal documents. Jessica has won awards for her legal writing, including the David Roberts Prize in Legal Writing. She has created FamilyWatch, a monthly digest of Ontario Court of Appeal child and family decisions, which is widely read among the family law bar. She is also a past editor of a family law textbook and past contributor to the Ontario Family Law Reporter.

Oral Advocacy Skills: A great lawyer has excellent public speaking skills and is comfortable presenting oral argument. Jessica has extensive public speaking experience. In addition to regularly appearing in court, she has taught undergraduate business seminars at the University of Alberta and trial advocacy workshops at the University of Toronto. Prior to becoming a lawyer she delivered over one hundred presentations to youth and adults across Alberta on the subject of post-secondary planning.

Negotiation Skills: Lawyers in any situation need to explore all potential avenues for resolving disputes, including methods that do not involve litigation. Jessica believes in resolving her client’s problems as quickly and efficiently as possible. She has always been interested in the art of negotiation. While in law school, she founded a negotiation competition and has continued to hone these skills as a practicing lawyer.