London woman who drowned in Grand Bend remembered as passionate lawyer

Joyce Thomas, 36, of London.
Joyce Thomas, 36, of London. T. Harry Hoffman & Sons Funeral Home

A London woman who drowned over the Civic Holiday long weekend is being remembered as a passionate lawyer who advocated for Indigenous communities.

Joyce Thomas, 36, died as a result of drowning in Lake Huron at Grand Bend on Sunday, August 4.

READ MORE: London woman dead in possible drowning near Grand Bend: OPP

After receiving an honours degree in philosophy from Western University in 2006, Thomas went on to get her juris doctor from the university in 2009.

She was called to the Ontario bar in 2010 and the Nunavut bar in 2015.

In January 2018, after working at a number of firms in London, Thomas opened her own law firm, called Thomas Litigation.

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Thomas’ passion for serving the community led her to mentor law students and volunteer with London’s Community Legal Services and Neighbourhood Legal Services.

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During the course of her education and career, Thomas notched several achievements, including the Foundation for the Advancement of Aboriginal Youth and the Murray Award for Outstanding Advocacy.

Thomas also served on a number of boards and associations, including the Ontario Bar Association and the Better Business Bureau, and was co-chair of the Southwest Region Women’s Law Association.

She was also the incoming southwest region director for the Ontario Bar Association.

Thomas advocated for access to justice and is remembered as being very proud of the work she did.

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In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for memorial donations to Community Legal Services or Neighbourhood Legal Services.