SJD Student, Faculty of Law
“This financial stability also allows me to volunteer and engage with all of the different talks and events that U of T has to offer”
Kate Mitchell knows a lot about the law—and about how scholarly research can make the case for change.
Currently studying for her SJD (Scientiae Juridicae Doctor, a doctorate in law) at the University of Toronto, the Halifax native also already holds a JD from Queen’s University. And before that, “a bachelor of arts from Dalhousie, a master’s of public administration from Queen’s, and a master of laws at UCLA.”
Mitchell’s current focus is “how we can ensure the rule of law within prison walls. Although prisons have transformed from systems in which officials had basically unfettered discretion into rule-based systems in which prisoners have rights, many harsh practices remain.”
“My comparative study, looking at both Canada and the United States, explores that transformation, and I think more importantly, why we’ve failed to ensure that prisoners are treated in a humane and dignified manner. And, what a system would have to look like to ensure such treatment.”
“This fellowship has given me financial stability,” she says, “which also allows me to round out my studies: volunteering with Pro Bono Students Canada, and engaging with all of the different talks and events that U of T has to offer. It’s just a great community, so that support has meant everything to me.”