Who we are

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Celeste Shankland

Celeste is a lawyer and entrepreneur with a long-standing dedication to the rights of refugees and migrants. Prior to entering the practice of refugee and immigration law in 2013, Celeste was a supervising lawyer at a fast-paced walk-in legal clinic in Montreal, Quebec where she provided services in the areas of tenancy and poverty law, largely to newcomers to Canada.

Celeste has worked in various capacities with numerous organizations, in Canada and abroad, including the Refugee Rights Unit in Cape Town, South Africa; the National Centre Against Violence in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders); the Canadian HIV/Aids Legal Network; the Disability rights access centers at Concordia and McGill Universities; and at several legal clinics in Montreal. Celeste also founded and ran a charity Ping Pong tournament in Montreal for 5 years benefitting local non-profit organizations, and she co-founded Place at the Table in 2016, a private refugee sponsorship group that has brought two Syrian refugee families to settle in Canada.

Celeste is a member of the Law Society of Ontario; the Legal Aid Ontario refugee and appellate panels; the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers; and the Refugee Lawyers Association of Ontario. She holds a post-graduate certificate in Refugee and Forced Migration Issues from York University in Toronto; Bachelor degrees in Civil law (BCL) and in Common law (LLB) from McGill University Law School in Montreal, where she graduated with the highest standing in Human Rights Law throughout the program; as well as a Bachelor of Arts with Honours from Concordia University in Montreal.

Celeste is proficient in French and works closely with interpreters and translators from around the world to provide services in other languages.