Jan Goddard entered law school with an interest in working with elderly people and their legal issues. She felt even then that their rights, and discrimination against them, were subjects the law had failed to consider, let alone address. But over 30 years ago the term ‘elder law’ did not exist.
So Jan made her own path to the law practice she has today. Along the way, she served for 10 years as counsel at the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee in Ontario, obtained a certificate in gerontology from Ryerson University and a mediation certificate from Osgoode Hall Law School, and founded and developed the law firm of Goddard Gamage LLP.
In 2020, Jan was selected by her peers to receive The Award of Excellence from The Trusts and Estates Section of The Ontario Bar Association. She was also chosen as Lawyer of The Year 2020, Trusts and Estates, Toronto by Best Lawyers in Canada. She has been recognized by Best Lawyers annually, 2009-2023.
The expertise Jan has developed in her chosen fields has led to her being a frequent presenter at continuing professional development programs in Ontario, a regular participant at the bi-annual Canadian Conference on Elder Law, a Distinguished Fellow of the Canadian Centre of Elder Law and a sought-after volunteer on committees and advisory groups. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, Jan co-directed the Elder Law Certificate program at Osgoode Professional Development. In 2015, 2017 and 2019 she co-chaired The Canadian Conference on Elder Law in Vancouver. Jan was a member of the Advisory Group to the Law Commission of Ontario’s major project on Legal Capacity, Decision-making and Guardianship.
Jan’s previous experience working in government and policy development has helped her develop skills in explaining complicated legal matters to her clients in simple but meaningful language. She now serves as a navigator for her own clients in planning for their futures or trying to resolve messy situations.
Jan is a spouse, mother, daughter, sister, community volunteer, friend and valued professional colleague of many, and these roles inform her as she works with clients of all ages and backgrounds, seeking to understand their needs and help them find their own paths through the many challenges life throws at us all.
Jan is a graduate of the University of Toronto Law School, and completed her undergraduate degree at Queen’s University. She practices under the name Jan Goddard Professional Corporation.
- Intensive Negotiation Certificate Osgoode Professional Development, 2014
- Intensive Mediation Certificate Osgoode Hall Law School, 1999
- Certificate in Gerontology Ryerson University, 1996
- Bar Admission Course Law Society of Upper Canada, 1986
- Bachelor of Laws University of Toronto, 1984
- Bachelor of Arts Queen’s University, 1981
- Recipient of The Award of Excellence from The Trusts and Estates Section of The Ontario Bar Association in 2020
- Chosen by peers as Lawyer of the Year 2020, Trusts and Estates, Toronto: Best Lawyers in Canada
- Selected by peers for Best Lawyers in Canada, 2009-2022
- Founder of Goddard Gamage LLP, chosen five times by Canadian Lawyer magazine as one of the Top Wills, Trusts and Estates boutique law firms in Canada, including for 2021-2022.
Publications and Presentations
- “IS MY WORK DONE? Consideration of the Question of When Section 3 Counsel’s Role is at and End”, Your Comprehensive Guide to Section 3 Counsel Under the Substitute Decisions Act, Ontario Bar Association, October 26, 2020
- “Powers of Attorney for Personal Care: Through the Pandemic and Beyond”, 23 Annual Estates and Trusts Summit, Law Society of Ontario, October 8, 2020
- “Bridging the Gap: Elder Law for Everyone”, co-chair, 2019 Canadian Elder Law Conference, November 14-15, 2019
- “Public Appeals: A Practitioner’s Guide”, 22nd Annual Estates and Trusts Summit, Law Society of Ontario, October 17, 2019 (paper co-authored with Brittany Miller)
- “Passing of Accounts Relating to Guardianships: A Day of Reckoning for Guardians of Property and Their Lawyers”, 21st Annual Estates and Trusts Summit, Law Society of Ontario, October 10, 2018 (paper co-authored with Jessie Lamont)
- “Guardianship and Powers of Attorney: A Primer”, Certificate in Elder Law, Osgoode Professional Development, February 14, 2018 and February 12, 2019
- “Capacity – Overview of the Law”, University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine Annual Retreat, December 6, 2017
- “Coming of Age: Elder Law in Canada and Its Future”, co-chair, 2017 Canadian Elder Law Conference, November 2-3, 2017
To view the entire list of Jan's past publications and speaking engagements please review her C.V.
- Co-Chair, Canadian Elder Law Conference, 2015, 2017 and 2019
- Distinguished Fellow, Canadian Center for Elder Law
- Member of Project Advisory Group, "Legal Capacity, Decision-Making and Guardianship" Project, Law Commission of Ontario
- Ontario Bar Association and Canadian Bar Association