Alumnus Howard Levitt supports graduate research and Indigenous initiatives at U of T Law
University of Toronto alumnus Howard Levitt (LLB 1977), the most widely quoted authority on employment law in Canada, has made a $1-millon gift to the Faculty of Law.
The gift includes $250,000 designated towards doctoral student funding, helping attract the best and brightest legal scholars to U of T.
“Howard and Pamela Levitt’s support for rising stars in academia, Indigenous programs and our historic place on campus, is truly unique and inspiring,” said University Professor and Dean Jutta Brunnée, James Marshall Tory Dean’s Chair.
An additional $500,000, matched by the University to create a $1-million expendable fund, will support co- and extra-curricular programming led by the Indigenous Initiatives Office (IIO) at U of T Law, including Indigenous student recruitment, teachings by an Elder-in-Residence, and student participation in the Kawaskimhon Moot, a consensus-based, non-adversarial moot that incorporates Indigenous legal traditions alongside federal, provincial and international law. The new fund will also support early career Indigenous law scholars, for post-master’s and post-doctoral fellowships at the faculty.
I am proud to contribute to U of T Law. It has immensely helped me – all of the major opportunities in my lifetime and career flowed from the path it set me upon.Howard Levitt
Levitt’s gift aligns with a recently renewed commitment from Norman and Gay Loveland to endow a new chair in Indigenous Law with both gifts expanding the IIO’s research, education and outreach pillars.
The remaining funds will be used to beautify the historic footprint of Falconer Hall at 84 Queen’s Park. The project will be set for completion during the construction of U of T’s new Centre for Civilizations, Cultures and Cities (CCC) located next to Falconer at 90 Queen’s Park.
In recognition of their generous giving to the faculty, the front lawn will be named the Howard and Pamela Levitt Square at Falconer Hall.
“This remarkable gift by the Levitts, for which the faculty is deeply grateful, will have a wide and lasting impact.” said Brunnée. “It will help us, as Canada’s top law school, to remain competitive alongside our international peers.”
“I am proud to contribute to U of T Law. It has immensely helped me – all of the major opportunities in my lifetime and career flowed from the path it set me upon,” says Levitt.
Howard Levitt is the most widely quoted authority on employment law in Canada
A recipient of the Governor General’s Award for Community Service and Citizenship, Levitt practices employment law and labour law in Toronto and throughout Canada. He has appeared as lead counsel in more employment law cases in the Supreme Court of Canada and at more provincial Courts of Appeal than any lawyer in Canadian history. He has been the lead counsel in thousands of employment law cases, acting as counsel in over 50 trials, appeals, judicial reviews and other hearings annually, in addition to acting as chief spokesperson for numerous collective bargaining negotiations in a variety of industries as the labour and employment lawyer for many of Canada’s largest corporations.
“Growing up in Hamilton in my day, anyone politically engaged became absorbed by issues of labour/employment law. There are historic moments in Hamilton’s history – the 1946 Stelco strike for example – focused on labour management issues,” says Levitt.
“When I graduated, these new fields of employment law and wrongful dismissal were just beginning. Everybody was justifiably fearful of suing their employer because they would never get another job – and they were right, suing then was debilitating to one’s reputation.”