The Advisory: Volume 8, Issue 2, April 2010

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Welcome to New Benchers

The Law Society of Alberta welcomes Harry Van Harten as elected Bencher and Amal Umar as appointed public representative to the Benchers.

Harry Van Harten is a a Calgary lawyer practising in the areas of criminal, child welfare and family law. He was admitted to the Alberta Bar in 1987.

He has practised criminal defense along with child protection law for 21 years. He currently practises with the firm Van Harten Foster Iovinelli Joshi.

Over the years Harry has volunteered with such organizations such as: Student Legal Assistance at the University of Calgary, Calgary Legal Guidance, CBA, Woods Home Exit Program Outreach, the Elizabeth Fry Society in Calgary, and Citizens for Public Justice, among others. He has also volunteered as an instructor for the Legal Education Society of Alberta and CPLED.

Harry’s work passion is representing of children and youth, and ensuring a process of fairness for parents whose children have been apprehended by children’s services.

Amal Umar earned a B.A. (Social Science) from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota and a M.A. (Political Science) from American University of Beirut.

She brings expertise in the areas of equity/ human rights and social justice issues, community development and facilitation, and organizational development and governance.

Amal Umar is involved in such organizations as: the Calgary Foundation; Immigrant Access Fund - Micro Loans for Internationally Trained Immigrants; Coalition for Meaningful Employment of Internationally Trained Immigrants; Conjoint Faculties Research Ethics Board at the University of Calgary; Calgary Task Force on Cultural and Racial Diversity; United Way of Calgary; Coalition for Equal Access to Education; Alberta Advisory Council on Women’s Issues; Review Panel on Human Rights in Alberta; and the Dignity Foundation among others.

Amal Umar has been awarded: the YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Community Service; the Haider Dhanani Achievement Award from the Government of Alberta for outstanding service in developing programs that serve newcomers and their communities; the Canada 125 Anniversary Award from the Government of Canada for Community Work; and the Deputy Minister’s Award from the Department of Canadian Heritage.

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