Canadian Lawyer

September 2022

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 15 of 51

FEATURE 14 CROSS EXAMINED "He propelled our journey toward a law school because you do need champions who believe in the vision, and he certainly was a champion" Julia Shin Doi, Toronto Metropolitan University school. He says he has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions. "My time at Western law was absolutely transformational.…There's no point in my life when I have not been connected to that law school." In his pensions practice, Frazer says his favourite element is the advisory work, where he helps companies plan their employees' retirement. "I like to work with people to plan. I like to think about all the details that will happen when you're not doing what you're doing anymore." When Frazer started a family with his wife, they had trouble conceiving, and interacted with the medical system to seek help. This connection to the health system and his work on pensions made him reflect more broadly on how Canada manages the ageing process. "We do a lot of research on ageing from a financial perspective, and we do a lot of research from a health perspective, but we never really had an institution that looked at ageing from a combined perspective." So, with his interest in post-secondary education, Frazer decided to help create the National Institute on Ageing at Ryerson University (now Toronto Metropolitan University, or TMU). The institute has "a lot of research funding to analyze these things. [We] work with different academics and industry leaders to propose innovative ideas to change how people think about retiring." Frazer also became the chair of the board of governors at Ryerson, guiding the univer- sity for a decade. The ageing institute, which might have been enough of an achievement for any busy lawyer leading a university board, was not enough for Frazer. He says he also had a vision for a new kind of law school, which others at Ryerson shared with him. "He propelled our journey toward a law school because you do need champions who believe in the vision, and he certainly was a champion," says Julia Shin Doi, general counsel at Toronto Metropolitan University. "One of my fondest memories from my time at TMU was the opportunity to be part of the team that saw the creation of the Lincoln Alexander School of Law and building connections to build awareness and support for what was once just an idea," says Frazer. With an instrumental role in launching an institute and a new law school, which Frazer calls his "passion projects," he left his role as chair with an indelible mark. Frazer continues to contribute to post-sec- ondary education, most recently becoming the chancellor of Ontario Tech University. He says he did not want the role to be that of "someone who shows up twice a year and hands out degrees," and instead he is "engaged in making students' lives better." Frazer says it is a good match because he is particularly interested in helping students who are the first in their families to go to university, and "Ontario Tech has more first-generation students than any other school in the province." Undoubtedly, his energy will continue to open opportunities to young students who, like him, grew up in modest circumstances. RESEARCH AND EDUCATION Mitch Frazer has held leadership or founding roles at the following educational institutions: The Lincoln Alexander School of Law: the newest academic faculty formed at Toronto Metropolitan University. Its first cohort of students started in September 2020. National Institute on Ageing: a Toronto Metropolitan University think tank focused on the realities of Canada's ageing population. It was founded in 2016. Ontario Tech University: a public research university emphasizing science and technology and located in Oshawa, Ontario. It was founded in 2002.

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