Excellence in Law: Sandy Thomas

Sandy Thomas -- NewThe commitment of lawyer Sandy Thomas, is demonstrated in her professional and community engagements.

A counsel with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) in Toronto, where she has practised criminal and constitutional law since 1994, she willingly shares her knowledge with those around her.

Although Thomas specializes in prosecutions under the Income Tax Act, Excise Tax Act, Excise Act, Customs Act, and Criminal Code, she has sat on numerous panels related to her practice, discussing matters with her legal colleagues, students and community organizations.

The founding president of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL) and member of the Advocate’s Society has organized and participated in mock trials in the area of criminal law at many schools.

Her community involvement includes establishing, alongside her family, the Dr. Ferdinand Alexander Thomas Award for a Grade 8 student at Brookview Middle School in 2007.

Thomas has fundraised for the York-Westview Partnership and the Youth Association for Academics, Athletics and Character Education (Y.A.A.A.C.E.).

The York-Westview Partnership is a cooperative project of the Toronto District School Board’s Westview family of schools and the Faculty of Education, York University.

The project operates in 23 schools in the Jane/Finch community and offers programs designed to increase access to post secondary opportunities for first generation students living in the university neighbourhood.

Y.A.A.A.C.E. is a grass roots organization dedicated to the empowerment of young people in the Jane-Finch community of the GTA.

In 2012, Sandy and her sister, Beverley Thomas-Barnes, established the Dr. Ferdinand and Mrs. Emelda Thomas Award at York University in honour of their parents.

It is presented to a student entering first year at York University who graduated from a school within the York-Westview Partnership.

She is a member of the board of directors of the Jazz Performance and Education Centre (JPEC) and sits on the board of directors of Leave Out Violence (LOVE).

Thomas is the recipient of several awards, including the Visions of Justice Award; the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL) Award of Excellence (2006); the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) Lincoln Alexander Award (2009); the Sickle Cell Miracle Network’s 2010 Humanitarian Award; and the Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) Heads of Prosecutions Committee’s 2010 Humanitarian Award.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Music from York University and her Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers University, School of Law (Camden).

Thomas is also a former assistant counsel to Governor Thomas H. Kean of New Jersey.

Sponsored by: Benjamin Law.