Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Lawyer joins Queen’s Prison Law Clinic

After years of serving clients at a range of Ontario institutions, the Queen’s Prison Law Clinic (QPLC) has proven to be a rewarding – and challenging – place to work.

[Moiz Baig]
Moiz Baig, right, meets with David Lepofsky, chair of the AODA Alliance. (Supplied Photo)

A recent addition to the QPLC team, lawyer Moiz Baig comes from a background of private practice with people’s rights foremost on his mind.

“While I was in private practice, I exclusively served clients with disabilities regarding legal battles they had with government decision makers, insurance companies, and private individuals,” he says. “Some of my clients had been involuntarily detained at psychiatric facilities, limiting their freedom in a manner very similar to imprisonment. People with disabilities have also historically been excluded from many aspects of society – and people sent to prison are by definition excluded from society. So some issues and the ways to advocate for their legal rights are similar, even though the legal framework and decision makers are different.”

One of the draws of clinic work was the opportunity to work in an experiential learning environment – for Mr. Baig, another way to give back.

“Having been a clinic student during law school and a summer student at another specialty legal clinic, I know the challenges and rewards of experiential learning,” he says. “In many instances, no one else is on the side of the clients we serve at the Queen’s Law Clinics, so I would like to instill in students the value of the work we do here, and try to inspire them to use their experience with the clinic as a springboard for a career in social justice.”

Among Mr. Baig’s springboards into public justice has been meeting David Lepofsky, Volunteer Chair of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Alliance at Queen’s Park.

“He’s a lawyer with the provincial government and an inspiring public speaker,” Mr. Baig says. “Mr. Lepofsky is the reason why public transit vehicles in Ontario must have an audio announcement of the next stop, so that people with impaired vision know when to exit.

“I hope to bring about meaningful change, the way he has, for people who have been excluded from society.”

This article was first published on the website for the Faculty of Law at Queen's University.