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.
Jan has been honoured by The Best Lawyers in Canada as the Best Lawyer of 2020 in the field of Trusts and Estates in Toronto. She has been recognized as among the best Canadian lawyers in this field every year since 2009.
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
- The Best Lawyer, Trusts and Estates, Toronto: The Best Lawyers in Canada, 2020
- One of the best lawyers in Canada, Trusts and Estates: The Best Lawyers in Canada, 2009-2021
- Goddard Gamage LLP chosen four times in the past decade by Canadian Lawyer magazine as one of the Top Wills, Trusts and Estates boutique law firms in Canada, including for 2019-2020
Publications and Presentations
- “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
- “Capacity – Overview of the Law”, University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine Annual Retreat, December 6, 2017
- “Media - Are Your Lawyers on the Media’s Speed Dial?”, moderator, Ontario Bar Association, October 19, 2017
- Certificate in Elder Law, co-director and presenter, Osgoode Professional Development, April 5, 20, 26, May 3, 10, 2017
- “What is an Elder Law Practice?”, Ontario Bar Association, November 16, 2016
- “Estate and End of Life Planning – Legal, Medical and Ethical Considerations”, panel discussion, 19th Annual Estate and Trusts Summit, Law Society of Upper Canada, November 4, 2016
- Certificate in Elder Law, co-director and presenter, Osgoode Professional Development, April 5, 12, 19 and May 3 and 10, 2016
- “The Annotated Guardianship Application”, co-chair, Law Society of Upper Canada, February 25, 2016
- “The Journey of Ageing - The Law and Beyond”, co-chair, 2015 Canadian Elder Law Conference, November 12-13, 2015
- “The Intersection of Law and Medicine in Long-Term Care”, Ontario Long-Term Care Physicians Annual Conference, October 25, 2015
- “The Substitute Decisions Act at Twenty”, 18th Annual Estates and Trusts Summit, Law Society of Upper Canada, October 7, 2015
- “Mentorship”, Ontario Bar Association, September 16, 2015
- “Family Law and the Elderly Client”, co-chair, Law Society of Upper Canada, June 9, 2015
- “Questions about Elder Abuse (and Some Answers)”, The Six-Minute Estates Lawyer 2015, Law Society of Upper Canada, May 6, 2015
- Certificate in Elder Law, Co-Director and Presenter, Osgoode Professional Development, March 24, 31, April 16, 30 and May 13, 2015
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
- Senior Volunteer, WoodGreen Community Services and the WoodGreen Foundation, one of Canada’s leading social service agencies, 2004 - 2019