Buhler is one of four women to be honoured with the award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to improving Saskatchewan’s justice community, at the organization’s 2018 dinner and fundraiser on May 17.
“Receiving this recognition is a huge honour for me,” said Buhler. “The Elizabeth Fry Society has been on the forefront of prison advocacy and justice work for women and girls in prison for many years, and so many incredible people are involved with the organization.”
Buhler’s research is centred around access to justice and she has been involved in a number of collaborative research projects with community organizations on the front lines of social justice advocacy in Saskatoon.
One such project, The High Costs of Calling: Telephone Access in Saskatchewan’s Correctional Centres, identified the negative impact of barriers to regular telephone access on prisoners, caused by factors such as high fees and technological issues. Buhler worked on the project with a research coalition of Saskatoon-based community organizations that directly support Saskatchewan prisoners, called “Project Access”, which includes the Elizabeth Fry Society and Community Legal Assistance Services for Saskatoon Inner City (CLASSIC).
“It feels meaningful and important to work on initiatives that grow out of community priorities for justice,” Buhler said.
Since joining the College of Law as assistant professor in 2010, Buhler has done exemplary work in community-engaged scholarship and teaching. She is heavily involved with CLASSIC, which provides legal services to underprivileged communities in Saskatoon, and has previously held the position of executive director and supervising lawyer with the organization. In addition to teaching legal ethics and access to justice at the College of Law, she coordinates the college’s clinical law program, which allows students to take on client files at CLASSIC for a full term and gain academic credit.