Bio

Michelle maintains a broad practice, providing strategic support to clients in the areas of litigation, labour law, public law, human rights, and professional regulation/discipline. She provides results-focused advice to a diverse range of clients, and takes a pragmatic approach to dispute resolution.

Michelle has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario and at various administrative tribunals. She has also represented clients in private mediations, arbitrations, professional discipline proceedings, quasi-criminal regulatory proceedings, and on appeals. Her prior experience at a leading international law firm involved complex civil disputes, commercial arbitrations, and fraud recovery.

Michelle volunteers with The 519’s Pro Bono Community Legal Clinic, Pro Bono Ontario’s Free Legal Advice Hotline, and the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies. Her pro bono representation of individual clients has included strategic litigation for access to accurate identification documents, interventions supporting non-normative families in custodial disputes, as well as appellate work for prisoners.

Michelle received her JD from the University of Ottawa in 2014 and summered at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association before clerking at the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench in Calgary. Prior to law school, she earned her Master of Arts degree in Political Science at the University of Alberta.

Education

  • Call to Ontario Bar, 2016 (Eligible in 2015)
  • Call to the Alberta Bar, 2016

  • University of Ottawa, JD, 2014 (Cum Laude)

  • University of Alberta, MA, 2010

  • University of Alberta, BA(H) 2009 (High Honours)

Memberships

  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers
  • Canadian Civil Liberties Association
  • The Advocates' Society

Accolades

  • DLA Piper LLP - North America Pro Bono Award Nominee
  • University of Ottawa Faculty of Law - Legal Writing Fellowship
  • Raven, Cameron, Ballantyne & Yazbeck LLP - Award for Highest Standing in Human Rights Law in Canada (2014)
  • Canadian Political Science Association - Jill Vickers Prize for Best Paper in Gender and Politics (2011 - with Lois Harder). https://cpsa-acsp.ca/prizes/jill-vickers-prize/2012-jill-vickers-prize/
  • Edmonton Pride Week Committee - Sheryl McInnis Pride Award for academic achievement and community involvement (2010)
  • University of Alberta - Jason Lang Scholarships for Superior Academic Undergraduate Achievement
  • University of Alberta - Academic Scholarship for Superior Academic Undergraduate Achievement

Related News

News/20 January 2021

Modernization of Civil Litigation Process in Ontario

Michelle Thomarat writes in Lexology

News/30 June 2017

Ontario puts off writer's quest for a non-binary birth certificate

Province working on developing a gender-neutral option, but must first conduct a policy review

News/1 February 2012

Parentage Law in Canada: The Numbers Game of Standing and Status

Michelle Thomarat writes in the International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

News/17 May 2011

The Law and the Parent: the Numbers Game of Standing and Status

Michelle Thomarat with Lois Harder presents at the CPSA

Related Events

Event/May 24, 2011

Neoliberalism, Family Diversity and the Limit of Parental Status in Canada

Michelle Thomarat Presents at Manchester Metropolitan University

Michelle Thomarat presented the workshop titled “Neoliberalism, Family Diversity and the Limit of Parental Status in Canada” on Political Economy and ...