Author Archives: james struthers

Faculty Spotlight: Mary Liston

Mary Liston joined the Allard School of Law in July 2009 after visiting during the 2008-09 academic year. Prior to her appointment at UBC, she held a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Ethics at the Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto. She completed her doctoral work in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto, having already received an M.A. in Social and Political Thought at York University, an LL.B. from the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto, and an Honours B.A. in English Language and Literature at the University of Western Ontario. As a graduate student, she received a number of prestigious awards including the Peter Russell/Ontario Graduate Scholarship in the Department of Political Science and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Scholarship for her doctoral work. Her doctoral thesis, “Honest Counsel: Institutional Dialogue and the Canadian Rule of Law,” constructs a theoretical model of a democratic rule of law from a close reading of Canadian jurisprudence in public law, with a particular focus on constitutional law and administrative law.

Professor Liston teaches administrative law, legal theory, and public law. Her work in administrative law has been cited by the Supreme Court of Canada. She is a co-organizer of UBC’s Law and Society Speakers Series as well as a member of the Law and Society Advisory Board at UBC.

Professor Liston takes an interdisciplinary approach to her research. Her recent research projects include an analysis of legal and moral import of the duty to consult and accommodate in administrative law, a case study of the BC Representative of Youth and Children as an example of the integration of inquisitorial and adversarial models within the administrative state, and the function of apologies in Canadian public law.

What is your Non-Law Dream Job? Either head gardener at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew or neuroscientist—can one be both at the same time?!

What is your favorite movie or book? The Big Lebowski (but you can see one of my favorites in my office: Down  by Law). Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf for a favorite book.

What is your favorite judicial decision and why? It is a tie between Roncarelli v Duplessis, because it still has the best judicial articulation of the principle of the rule of law anywhere, and The Secession Reference because it is one of the most eloquent judgments ever written by any court in the world. In terms of significance, two recent Supreme Court decisions must be mentioned: Tsilhqot’in Nation and Carter.

Getting Involved at Allard School of Law: Law Games

Incoming 1Ls,

Oh man. Words cannot describe the deep and profound love I hold for this magnificent event. Seriously, trying to convey with mere words the indescribable feelings I have for this handful of days would be like trying to learn the LSAT by pantomime. So I shall merely describe it with the hope of imparting a sliver of its majesty unto you 0Ls.


Law Games takes place at the beginning of every new year. Nearly every law school in the country makes a team. Teams range from under ten people to 20 people for some schools (usually western ones), and 50-70 for others (Western, McGill, UofT). Every team is housed in one hotel. During the day, sports are played (or not, this isn’t Soviet Russia, do whatever you want). If you’re into sports, then you’re in luck because every athletic activity under the sun is available. There is also the occasional talent show.


At night, we have pub crawls, formal dinners and club nights (I know, I hate clubs too, but I make an exception). To further conceptualize, think about Law Games like the Amish view Rumspringa. For a brief stint, you can escape the humdrum melancholy of CANS and exams to partake in an event so wonderful and discordant with the values of society that it would make Dionysus himself blush. But instead of 1-5 years; its five days, and instead of becoming Amish again for the rest of your life, you return to life as a lowly law student (maybe an Amish law student?) until next year.


So, to reiterate, approximately 700 Law Students, who are newly free from exams, get together for a week of sports and the occasional party. I think you can manage the mental bout of connect the dots on your own.


This year, Law Games is being hosted by UQAM. Not ideal, but hey, Montreal for New Years (as a former McGillionaire, I can vouch for how great NYE is there). As no stranger to thrift, I can appreciate that the distance and expenses might be overwhelmingly unappealing at first blush. However, we do a lot of fundraisers and manage to procure sizable donations which bring down the cost substantially. For instance, last year we only needed to cover the cost of flight, food and beverages.


If you’re even remotely interested, I recommend signing up for Law Games on clubs day, or at the very least attending one information session. Look forward to it, and get excited 0Ls!

Very truly yours,

Scott Whitley, 2L

Faculty Spotlight: Professor Graham J. Reynolds

Graham J. Reynolds teaches and researches in the areas of copyright law, intellectual property law, property law, and intellectual property and human rights. Prior to joining the Allard School of Law in 2013, Graham was an Assistant Professor at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University, where he was the Co-Editor in Chief of the Canadian Journal of Law and Technology and a member of Dalhousie University’s Law and Technology Institute. The recipient of an award for excellence in teaching, Graham has completed graduate studies at the University of Oxford, where he studied on a Rhodes Scholarship, and has served as the judicial law clerk to the Honourable Chief Justice Finch of the British Columbia Court of Appeal. Graham is currently completing doctoral studies in law at the University of Oxford. The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation supported his doctoral work, which focuses on the intersection of freedom of expression and copyright in Canada.

Non-law dream job: Member of the National Hockey League’s Winnipeg Jets

 Favourite movie: Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums (2002)

 Favourite judicial decision (and why): Laugh it Off Promotions CC v. South African Breweries International (Finance) BV t/a Sabmark International and Another (CCT42/04) [2005] ZACC 7 (27 May 2005). This decision by the Constitutional Court of South Africa is one of only a small number of decisions to both robustly engage with the intersection of intellectual property rights and freedom of expression, and to hold that intellectual property rights should be interpreted in a manner consistent with freedom of expression.

Getting Involved at Allard School of Law: Pro Bono Students Canada

PBSC LogoHello Class of 2018!

Welcome to the law school community! We are the Program Coordinators for PBSC UBC and are excited to meet you! You must be curious to know what life at law school is going to be like. You probably have already been inundated with a lot of information on various extra-curricular activities, and possibly feel overwhelmed with how you’ll fit everything into your 1L schedule. Well, we’re here to tell you that law school is about building community and doing meaningful work. We both have been involved with PBSC since day one of law school and have loved every minute of it! Just like us, you’ll have the opportunity to gain meaningful legal experience while giving back to the community, and along the way meeting some fantastic people!

PBSC Group Shot

From left to right: Rana Hazarat, Wayne Robertson (Executive Director of the Law Foundtaion), Yusra Khan, and Nikki Gershbain (National Director of PBSC) at the PBSC National Training Conference in Toronto

Through PBSC, Rana volunteered with CHIMO Community Services in their “Outreach and Advocacy Program” that provides support to residents, immigrants, and refugees. She had the opportunity to independently conduct client intakes on issues such as employment and family law to name a few. It was a fantastic opportunity to gain practical legal experience and work under an organizational framework whose values align with hers!

Yusra volunteered with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA), an organization dedicated to fighting for the civil liberties, human rights, and democratic freedoms of all people across Canada. Her placement involved monitoring civil liberties issues in British Columbia and writing blogs on court decisions and news updates. She had the opportunity to attend the CCLA Rights Watch Conference in Toronto, where she received specialized training and had the opportunity to meet students from other law schools.

One of our placements last year was with the Woodlands Class Action Lawsuit. Nine students assisted class members to make applications under a class action settlement, which the Province agreed to in 2009. This case was covered in the news (link), and if you’re eager to learn more, one of our students Rav Sidhu has provided an in depth testimonial about her experience below!

If you have any questions at all, feel free to email us at, call us at (604) 822-8009, or visit our website at We also have Facebook and Twitter!

Enjoy your summer!


Rana Hazarat (2L) and Yusra Khan (3L)


Testimonial from Rav Sidhu:

PBSC volunteer on the Woodlands Class Action Lawsuit

What year are you in and in what area of law are you interested in?

I am currently starting 3L in the fall and the area of law that is of most interest to me is corporate/business law.

What made you decide on PBSC over other extra-curricular options?

I initially decided to get involved with PBSC for numerous reasons. One of course being the ability to help those in need. We are fortunate individuals who with the capability, education and the platform of law to help those who may not be as fortunate. Secondly, I thought it would provide meaningful legal experience. This has turned out to be very true.

Where was your placement, what was your role, & what would a typical day look like?

My current placement is at Klein Lawyers, a law firm in Vancouver that predominantly handles motor vehicle files and class-action lawsuits. My day-to-day involves reviewing large files, including medical documents and nurses notes, to assess whether a viable claim can be made under the Woodlands Class Action lawsuit. This has helped hone my skills of being efficient in reviewing files while looking out for what is truly important and critical to the file. This placement also involves writing memorandums relating to the assessment, which enabled me to practice my legal writing skills beyond the classroom setting.

Has your experience with your placement taught you something new or substantial that you may not have been exposed to otherwise?

Since my placement was in a law office, I have also had the opportunity to see how a law office works and actually interact with lawyers and staff. This was a distinct feature of the PBSC placement that I do not believe other volunteer/extra-curricular opportunities would provide. Furthermore, as a student, the fact that it is flexible was key in my decision in continuing with PBSC. This placement has been very amenable and sensitive to the student workload balance. The fact that it is a year-long project still however, allows you to envision the end goal and keep yourself motivated to reach it while working on it throughout the year.

Would you recommend PBSC to other students, and if so why?

I would highly recommend PBSC to any student. While any extra-curricular that provides legal experience is great, what I’ve liked about PBSC is that if you do the work, you are going to make a difference in the legal circumstances of an organization or an individual. I would also say that even if the experience does not tie explicitly with your end goals for law (e.g. for me, being a corporate lawyer), you will gain experiences and skills that will help you no matter what trajectory you ultimately decide to go with in your legal career.

Faculty Spotlight: Janine Benedet

Our very own Associate Dean of Academic Affairs has also clerked at the Supreme Court under fellow UBC Alumnus Justice Iacobucci, earned her LLM and SJD from the University of Michigan, practiced labor law for a number of years in Toronto, is a member of the Ontario and BC bars, is a seasoned instructor in the areas of criminal law and procedure, labor law, legal ethics, and the law of sexual offenses, and is currently performing reform-related research in the law’s treatment of capacity and voluntariness to consent in sexual offences. AD Benedet also intervened on behalf of a number of organizations in the Bedford case, which struck down Canada’s prostitution laws as unconstitutional, leading to the reform seen in Bill C-36.

What’s your non-law dream job? Muppeteer

What’s your favorite movie? Brazil

What is your favorite judicial decision and why? Janzen v Platy Enterprises (1989) SCC, because it recognizes that sexual harassment in employment is a practice of sex discrimination.

Getting Involved at Allard School of Law: LSLAP


Hello Class of 2018!

Congratulations to all incoming 1Ls on being accepted to Allard Hall! My name is Emma Wilson, and I’m the PR Director for the Law Students’ Legal Advice Program (LSLAP). I hope you will consider volunteering at LSLAP in September. I found that my time spent at LSLAP turned out to be the defining experience of my first year of law. Many of my fellow LSLAPers are sure to say the same.

LSLAP is a great place to volunteer for several different reasons. First of all, it gives you the chance to experience real file work from day one. You’ll be working in a wide variety of practice areas, both criminal and civil. Real files mean real clients, and you’ll learn how to work one-on-one with clients and how to manage your files, both invaluable skills for all lawyers to have. You also get to work directly with the program’s two full-time supervising lawyers and learn from their wealth of experience. If your file goes to trial – an exciting prospect in itself — you will also have the benefit of being mentored by one of LSLAP’s volunteer supervising lawyers right up to and during the date of the trial.

The other great thing about LSLAP is that you are the one with the ultimate control over your workload. You can choose to attend extra clinics or take on transfer files, or simply to work on the files that you receive during your assigned clinic. There is no set number of hours that a student is expected to commit to LSLAP. Rather, this depends on what you can personally handle and what you really want to work on.

As well, LSLAP is a great social environment to be in, especially during your first year. It’s one of the best ways to make connections and get to know your fellow law students, from 1Ls to 3Ls. I know that I appreciated this a lot, especially since the first year of law school can be a very daunting experience.

Volunteering at LSLAP can also lead to a summer job, as we hire back 10-15 students each May to work full-time for us over the summer. This means doing paid legal work full-time for four months, which is an opportunity few first year students have.

The final reason why you should volunteer for LSLAP is that the contributions you will make as an LSLAP student are an invaluable asset to the community. Affordable legal representation is very difficult to come by in BC. As an LSLAP student, you’ll be helping marginalized people by providing legal advice and representation to those who cannot otherwise access or afford it. You’ll also be providing a service to the court by reducing the number of self-representing clients appearing at courts and tribunals.

At LSLAP, you will get to do real legal work, learn from experienced lawyers, get to know your fellow students, and perform invaluable community service. And, you might even get a job out of it. For all these reasons and more, I hope you decide to give LSLAP a try in September!


Emma Wilson, Director of Communications



Read more about LSLAP on their website:

Welcome Email

Dear Class of 2018,


First and foremost, congratulations on your acceptance to the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia! It’s no easy feat, and you should be proud of yourselves for the achievement. I’m James Struthers, the 2015 Orientation Coordinator, and a soon to be second year law student (2L) here at the Allard School of Law. It feels like just yesterday I was getting this email from Rachel Lehman, the 2014 Orientation Coordinator, and having just finished my first year, I can say with confidence that the coming year will be challenging, but will also be stimulating, exciting and rewarding.


#AllardOrientation2015 is mandatory, and will take place during the day between Tuesday September 1st and Friday September 4th, with optional events taking place Sunday August 30th through Friday September 4th. I want to make sure that you are all up to date and informed as things progress this summer. I’ve included below a few things you might want to concern yourself with over the next few weeks.


Staying Connected:

  1. To ensure that you are receiving all the important information you need, confirm that UBC has your current email address (Click this to take you to the SSC contact info page). Once you begin classes, you will be accessing information through the UBC Student Services Centre (SSC) online.
  2. Check out the Peter A. Allard School of Law Orientation website for everything you will need to know about Orientation Week, 1L and interesting information about faculty, upper year students and extracurricular activities. The website will be continually updated throughout the summer, so be sure to check back often.
  3. If you are a Facebook user, join the Peter A. Allard School of Law Class of 2018 Facebook group to find updates about Orientation Week and to connect with your classmates. If you do not wish to join Facebook, you will not miss any information about our academic program. All important information will be emailed to you from the Admissions Office and/or posted to the Orientation website. That being said, Facebook is a major channel of communication within the student body, and though some students choose not to register, if you would like to stay informed regarding sports, clubs, LSS and other events, deadlines and opportunities, it is suggested that you register and join the Class of 2018 group.
  4. We here at Allard Hall have risen up and out of the Stone Age, and onto Twitter. Follow us here to get quick updates on information going on the Orientation Website and other useful links and law-related re-tweets.
  5. Throughout the summer, and during Orientation Week, make sure to use the #AllardOrientation2015 hashtag on your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts. This will make reminiscing and connecting with one another a whole lot easier, and help us keep track of online participation and interact with you during Orientation Week.


Summer Icebreakers:

Every year, the Allard School of Law holds Pre-Orientation Icebreakers in cities across Canada so you can meet some of your new classmates before school begins. These casual meet-and-greets will be hosted by upper-year Allard Law students. We are currently looking into hosting Icebreakers in Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal. Keep an eye out for an email with more information soon! If you are not currently living in one of these cities but would like to meet some future classmates, just email me with permission to release your contact information to other incoming students in your area and we will try to match you up.


Orientation Week 2015:

Orientation Week is a favorite of both incoming students and upper years, and it provides the most effective and informative introduction to everything the school has to offer, a number of opportunities to make new and lasting friends, and meet faculty, staff and upper year students who can be instrumental in your success at Allard Hall and beyond. You wouldn’t want to miss much, even if it wasn’t mandatory. This year’s Orientation Week will be held Tuesday September 1st to Friday September 4th. The week will consist of a variety of introductory lectures from notable faculty members, informative presentations from guest speakers from the Vancouver legal community, and other fun group activities and evening events. These sessions will help students to prepare for the upcoming academic year, while highlighting the wide range of extracurricular opportunities offered at Allard Law. In addition, the Mature Students’ picnic in Stanley Park and a brand new series of events called Vancouver Adventures (Stay tuned for a blog post with more details) will take place on Sunday, August 30th and Monday, August 31st respectively. These are optional events.


First Year Courses:

All 1Ls are automatically enrolled in first year courses in July, so you don’t have to worry about online registration. You can check out the first year timetable with course sections here. Note the schedule is subject to change! You will receive your individual schedule and class section assignments later at orientation. Your professors will supply syllabi during Orientation Week with textbooks listed, and booklists can also be accessed online via your SSC account. Textbooks will be available at the UBC Bookstore or through the Used Book Sale that is organized by our Grad Committee in September.


Access and Diversity:

Students who may require accommodations while at law school should ensure they contact UBC’s Access and Diversity Office and Kaila Mikkelsen, Assistant Dean of Students at Allard School of Law (


If you have questions or need some advice at any time throughout the summer or 1L, please don’t hesitate to ask me! I am happy to help with anything. You can contact me by email at, by direct telephone on weekdays at (604) 827-3552, or on the Class of 2018 Facebook Page.


For now, enjoy a fun and relaxing summer and I look forward to meeting you in September!


Your 2015 Orientation Week Coordinator,

James Struthers

Faculty Spotlight: Professor Anthony Sheppard

Doing us proud as an Allard Alumnus, Professor Anthony Sheppard has straddled the lines of academia and practice throughout his 45 year career as a lawyer, during which he has authored a pair of major publications, provided expert testimony in foreign courts, and practiced as both a tax lawyer and a prosecutor. Professor Sheppard currently teaches Taxation, Real Property and Equitable Remedies.

What is your non-law dream job? Comedy writer.

What is your favorite movie or book? My Cousin Vinny.

What is your favorite judicial decision? Delgamuukw v British Columbia [1997] 3 SCR 1010 – this was a landmark case on claims of First Nations’ title in BC.

Getting Involved at Allard School of Law: UBC Law Review


First and foremost, we would like to welcome you to the community of the Allard School of Law. We hope you are enjoying your summer and are looking forward to an incredible three years as a JD student. As you may already know, clubs and extracurricular activities abound at Allard. As a 1L student you will be able to find a group that perfectly suits your interests. And, if those interests include writing, editing, or being involved in a publication, you may find the UBC Law Review Society to be a perfect fit.

What is the UBC Law Review?

We are a society that publishes one of Canada’s leading peer-reviewed legal journals. We publish three editions of the UBC Law Review per year, which include independent articles, book reviews, and case comments. We also publish the Table of Statutory Limitations, a resource used by over 1,000 legal practitioners throughout the province.

The UBC Law Review Society is comprised entirely of students, who edit all of the submissions and manage the business of the Society. Faculty advisors, some of whom have served on the UBC Law Review Board themselves, offer direction and help to facilitate the publication of the UBC Law Review.

How do I get involved?

As a 1L student, you can get involved in the UBC Law Review by applying to be an assistant editor. Our assistant editors play a very important role in the Society, as they verify the sources and assess the legal arguments of submitted articles, and edit these articles for proper citation style and grammar. As an assistant editor, you would receive formal training about citation style, as well as informal training and mentorship from an associate editor. You will undoubtedly find this training helpful when it comes time to write your first law school paper.

The UBC Law Review will be accepting applications for assistants in September 2015. If you are interested in applying, keep an eye out for us at Clubs Day (which will take place in September) or send us an email at

What is the time commitment like?

The time commitment is quite small. As an assistant editor, you would be given two assignments per term. These assignments take about one day to complete, but as you will be given two weeks to work on your assignment, you are in total control of your pacing. You will also be invited to attend a few Law Review socials during the year, but of course, these events are entirely optional.

What does involvement in the UBC Law Review look like after 1L?

Nearing the end of your first year, we will put out a call for applications for Board of Directors positions. As a Board member, you would take on a bit more responsibility and would also provide input as to which articles should be published in the UBC Law Review. Board members are also eligible to receive two course credits per year that will count towards their degree requirements.

We encourage you to visit our website if you are interested in joining the UBC Law Review. On our site you will be able to view abstracts of recently published articles, which will give you a great sense of what kind of work you would be reading and editing as an assistant editor.

If you have any questions about the UBC Law Review in the months leading up to Orientation Week, feel free to email us at We look forward to meeting you in September!

Connor Bildfell – Editor-in-Chief, Editorial

Rachel Lehman – Editor-in-Chief, Administrative


Faculty Spotlight: Professor Emma J. Cunliffe

Professor Cunliffe is a published author, decorated researcher and instructor and is involved with the graduate studies program here at the Peter A. Allard School of Law. Her research focuses on wrongful convictions, and the psychological and cultural forces behind legalistic decision making in Canada.

Non-Law Dream Job: Park Ranger

Favorite Movie: Ghost Dog

Favorite Judicial Decision: Carter v Canada BCSC

Why? It’s an extraordinary testament to the capacity of a thoughtful trial judge to come to terms with difficult moral, scientific and legal questions in the face of an overwhelming body of conflicting evidence.

Follow Professor Cunliffe on twitter: @emmajcunliffe

Read more about Professor Cunliffe here.