Ultra Vires


In Memory of Jamal Howlader: The Jamal Howlader Bursary at U of T Law

New bursary established in memory of exceptional student and friend

Jamal Akim Howlader, a 2020 graduate from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, passed away suddenly on November 5, 2020. Students and staff of U of T Law, family, and friends are all deeply saddened by his passing. To commemorate him, the Jamal Howlader Bursary was established.

Jamal was an exceptional student. In high school, Jamal succeeded in the gifted program. He later graduated from the University of Western Ontario in the Medical Sciences program with top marks and was admitted to U of T Law. 

At the law school, he was involved with Downtown Legal Services, primarily working on employment law matters and providing legal advice to low-income community members. Jamal also served as a senior editor for the Faculty of Law Review and a peer mentor in the Law in Action Within Schools (LAWS) program. Upon graduating, he began articling with Rotfleisch and Samulovitch P.C. 

Denna Pourmonazah Jalili (4L JD/MBA), a friend and classmate of Jamal, described him as “comforting,” “calm,” and “easy-going.” Jamal left a lasting impression on his peers and will be remembered for his hard work and kindness. 

Shortly after his passing, Jalili organized a fundraiser on GoFundMe.com to create a Faculty of Law bursary in Jamal’s name. He decided to start the fund after many individuals, including those who had never known Jamal personally, asked to donate money to pay their respects. Jalili points out that Jamal “was a big community guy,” emphasizing Jamal’s commitment to helping others and mentorship. The bursary is an opportunity to honour Jamal’s legacy of promoting community support, by providing financial aid to low-income law students. 

In order to establish a named bursary at the University of Toronto, at least twenty-five thousand dollars must be raised. As of January 2021, $27,415 was raised. The excess money will be invested in U of T’s endowment to collect interest. The interest amount is to be matched every year by U of T and will be added to the fundraiser amount to form the bursary.  The bursary is intended to exist in perpetuity and to support U of T Law students with demonstrated financial need and academic excellence.

Jamal is deeply missed and fondly remembered. As Jalili stated, “If you take yourself out of your blinders […] you will leave yourself a beautiful legacy, and that will outlast your time here.”

If you are interested in donating, please visit Jamal’s GoFundMe page

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