Executive Director

Marion Overholt, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B. (Windsor), of Osgoode Hall,
Barrister-at-Law

Marion has practiced law in Windsor and Essex County for over 30 years. She is the Executive Director of Legal Assistance of Windsor and Community Legal Aid. She was a staff lawyer at Legal Assistance of Windsor for many years and has represented clients in public law benefits practice while training law students in the practice of poverty law.
She is considered an expert in public benefits law and is often called upon to speak and write about this area of law. Over of the years she has been a board member of numerous community agencies and social justice initiatives including the Downtown Mission, Unemployed Help Centre, Windsor Coalition against Poverty, the Welcome Centre, the Windsor Social Justice Coalition and Project Ploughshares and Pathway to Potential. She is a past chair of the Provincial Community Legal Clinics Steering Committee on Social Assistance. She has been served on a number of United Church committees at both the national and local levels, including a ten year term on United Church Judicial Committee.
For ten years Marion was the Social Justice Representative on the Windsor and District Labour Council Executive Board. This is the first time that a labour council anywhere in Canada has had a non-union representative sit on its’ executive. She recently chaired the Ford/CAW local 200 Worker’s Adjustment Committee. She currently serves on the Advisory Board on Mental Health for the Legal Aid Ontario Board of Directors, in addition to serving on the 672 Mental Health Court committee and the Human Services Justice Coordinating Committee Co Chair for Windsor Essex.
Marion was the recipient of the Law Society of Upper Canada Bicentennial Award of Merit, the 29th Charles E. Brooks Labour Community Service Award, the 2007 recipient of the Elementary Teacher’s Federation of Ontario award for Women Working in Social Activism, the Canada 125 Commemorative Medal and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Council of Canadians 2015 Activist of the Year Award.

Staff Lawyers

Johanna Dennie, B.A., J.D.

Johanna Dennie joined LAW in August of 2015 and provides representation and supervises students in the areas of Immigration and Refugee Law. Johanna is a graduate of the University of Ottawa Law School. She joined LAW after summering and completing her articles in Toronto with the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic, a specialized clinic which provides free legal, counselling, and interpretive services to women who have experienced violence.

Anna Colombo, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.

Anna Colombo joined LAW on February 1, 2016. Anna is a graduate of the University of Ottawa Law School. Anna has several years of clinic experience as Review Counsel at the University of Ottawa Community Legal Clinic. She has taught Landlord and Tenant law at the University of Ottawa. Anna supervises Landlord/Tenant and Criminal Injuries Compensation Board matters.

Maria Salman, B.A. (Hons.), J.D.

Maria Salman joined LAW in April of 2016. Maria is a graduate of University of Ottawa Law School. Maria was called to the Bar in June 2015. She articled with the Ministry of the Attorney General, Victims and Vulnerable Persons Division. She has previously worked with the University of Ottawa Community Legal Clinic and the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario. Maria supervises Social Assistance and Employment Insurance matters.

Social Work Staff

Shelley Gilbert, B.S.W., R.S.W.

Coordinator of Social Work Services
Shelley graduated from the University of Windsor School of Social Work in 1989. She joined Legal Assistance of Windsor in 1993 as a staff social worker. During this time she was responsible for supervision of law and social work students as well as direct service of clients in need of advocacy, counselling and contact with other services in the community. Shelley became the Coordinator of Social Work Services in 2001 and currently is responsible for the creation and coordination of LAW’s community development initiatives.

Marcel Trepanier, B.S.W., R.S.W.

Social Worker
Marcel joined L.A.W. in May 2006. He brings to the Clinic over thirty years of Social Work experience in Child Welfare and servicing the at-risk of homelessness population. He has also been active as a trainer in child welfare issues and the development of programs and services for the at-risk of homelessness population.

Maureen Thrasher, B.S.W., R.S.W.

Anti-Human Trafficking Project Coordinator
Maureen obtained a degree in Social Work/Women’s Studies in 2011 from the University of Windsor. She worked in domestic violence for 4 years until starting at LAW in March of 2015.

Katie Baltzer, M.S.W., R.S.W.

Indigenous Justice Coordinator
Katie Baltzer is a graduate from the University of Windsor. She obtained her bachelor of social work and women’s studies degree in 2015 and her master of social work degree in 2016. Katie is Métis and works at LAW as the Indigenous Justice Coordinator. This position combines both her passion for social justice and her aspirations to work with the Indigenous community.

Service Coordinator

Laura Pratt

Laura joined Legal Assistance of Windsor in 2014. Laura is a graduate of St. Clair College’s Legal Assistant program, and has since obtained extensive experience in her field, with a focus on the provision of efficient and effective legal services. Laura’s background with the CAW, CUPE, and a municipal government helps reinforce her commitment to social justice and access to justice in general.

Support Staff

Catherine Farnham

Catherine has been with LAW since 1998. As Support Staff, she opens and closes files, maintains statistical records, deals with word processing demands, provides staff and students with assistance in creating and printing documents, and in general, shares a wealth of practical knowledge about our services and operations. She is key to the smooth running of LAW, and its well-functioning work environment.

Intake Worker

Sarah Whalen

Sarah joined LAW in November of 2016. She graduated from the Law Clerk program at Fanshawe College in 2009. Sarah has previous experience in private law firms and most recently as a Court Clerk and Court Reporter in the Superior Court of Justice. As the Intake Worker she is the first point of contact for individuals seeking assistance from LAW and is responsible for the assessment and assignment of new intakes or making a suitable referral where necessary.
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