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December 19, 2017

Eleanor Wiebe receives the prestigious Manitoba Bar Association’s 2018 Distinguished Service Award

The Manitoba Bar Association’s 2018 Distinguished Service Award will be presented to K. Eleanor Wiebe, Q.C., a recently retired partner who practised law at Fillmore Riley LLP for 34 years, for her distinguished and impressive legal career, including her many contributions to the legal profession and the wider community.

Eleanor has not only contributed to the legal community in Manitoba, but she has also travelled to Southeast Asia to teach lawyers in Laos and Cambodia. Eleanor helped lawyers develop skills in evolving legal systems.

Her trips to Southeast Asia were a part of Canadian Bar Association-sponsored program that received funding from the Canadian International Development Agency to help strengthen the legal communities in other countries.

“I have practised alongside Eleanor for 30 years. She exemplifies how lawyers can share their legal knowledge, volunteer their time and make a positive impact on access to justice," said Anita Southall, a partner of Fillmore Riley. “Lawyers like Eleanor, who give back, do not seek recognition. They are an inspiration to others. The consistent reaction of persons hearing this news is telling: Well-deserved Eleanor!”

Eleanor’s exceptional teaching skills were recognized when she won the Barney Sneiderman Award for Teaching Excellence in 2015 at the University of Manitoba. Eleanor is a sessional lecturer at the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Law who has taught courses in wills and succession since 2009. The Barney Sneiderman Award for Teaching Excellence recognizes faculty members’ outstanding contributions to teaching at the Faculty of Law.

Eleanor was also instrumental in helping establish the Legal Help Centre in Winnipeg’s inner city. The Legal Help Centre of Winnipeg, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that was set up by community volunteers working together with faculty and students from both the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba. The Legal Help Centre works to increase access to legal and social service systems for lower-income residents in Winnipeg by providing referrals, legal help and public legal education and information.

“The Distinguished Service Award is presented to a member of the Bench or Bar who exemplifies the ideals of service to the legal profession and the community,” said Stacy Nagle, Executive Director of the MBA. “Eleanor’s many contributions to the legal communities here and abroad have had a far-reaching impact.”

Past recipients include many Manitoba Court of Appeal judges. Supreme Court of Canada judge The Hon. Justice Marshall Rothstein and Senator Murray Sinclair are recent recipients.

“Eleanor is a leader as a professional woman. She has demonstrated that it is entirely possible to balance a busy private law practice with volunteerism and motherhood. Eleanor has also been a thoughtful mentor to many young lawyers," said Anita.