Category Archives: Getting Involved at Allard School of Law

Getting Involved at Allard School of Law: The Law & Business Society


The Law & Business Society is a great forum for networking with the main players in Business Law in Vancouver. As an elected member of the Law & Business Society, you get the opportunity to work with one or two predominantly Business Law firms to organise an event for your classmates to attend. Not only is this a fantastic way to meet lawyers and get to know some Vancouver firms, it is also generally a pretty fun night!

Whether it’s a champagne tasting, speed networking, or a firm-sponsored cookie break, the events put on by the Law & Business Society help new law students break the ice and get comfortable talking to lawyers working in the field of Business Law in Vancouver. Don’t feel like you need to have a business background or even necessarily want to one day practise Business Law in order to run for this position or attend our events! Stay tuned for events put on by the Law & Business Society through Facebook. If you have any questions about the Law & Business Society, don’t hesitate to e-mail me at Oh, and welcome to Allard Law! It’s going to be a (mostly) wonderful year.


 Alia Bandali

Getting Involved at Allard School of Law: Allard LSS Legal Buddy Program

Allard LSS Legal Buddy Program


As incoming 1Ls, the transition to law school may be a bit overwhelming and one way to help ease the process and make a new contact outside your 1L peers is to sign up for the Legal Buddy Program. By doing so, you will be matched with an upper year law student who can offer you great advice on life within and outside of Allard as a law student, as well as the all important information on the best CANs out there. You will certainly hear a lot about these areas during the great Orientation Week events, so your Legal Buddy will only add to this by offering more insight into their own academic, social and/or career experiences thus far.

The initial meet-up between 1L and upper year Legal Buddies will happen within the first few weeks of school, with details to be shared in the Weekly Bulletin, on social media and via e-mail from the organizer. So if you would like to sign up, please send a few lines about yourself to the Allard LSS Ombudsperson, Catriona Dooley, via e-mail:

A few helpful things to include for matching purposes would be: where you grew up, what school & program you last attended, any interesting past jobs/careers, what brought you to law school, and anything else you would like to share. You will have until Monday, September 7th, to send in your information for the matching process and should expect an introduction e-mail shortly afterwards.

Getting Involved at Allard School of Law: The Law Revue

The following was originally posted in the 2014 Orientation Week Blog….It was just too good not to share.

Law Revue 2014


We open in a disheveled living room, strewn about with scripts, papers, textbooks, and a copy of the McGill Guide flung into one corner. OUR HERO sits on the couch, dressed in sweatpants which have clearly not been washed in some time and a sweat-stained Orientation t-shirt. In front of OUR HERO: a laptop.


OUR HERO: I have never worked so hard in my life for so little. Undergrad was so easy, and now it’s all I can do to keep up with readings. Also, my hangovers just get worse as I get older. Why did I ever choose to do this? (Life is a bleak void from which there is no escape but death, etcetera, etcetera)


Messenger application chimes. 


OH: A message from my upper-year legal buddy! [Reading aloud] “Saw your status update about not bathing in a week and thought you could use a laugh. Check out this video from last year’s Law Revue.” That’s so thoughtful!


We fade out as a golden light emanates from the laptop screen, filling the room. Like, religious-experience golden light. Maybe some choirs of angels are heard. Real humble stuff here.


New scene: OUR HERO in the halls of Allard, running into UPPER YEAR LEGAL BUDDY. Huge contrast from the last scene: OH is dressed, washed, groomed, generally looking like a human being.


OH: Hey, thanks for sending me that video last night! It really cheered me up. Turns out that I really enjoy laughing at the same three in-jokes about the legal profession and how hard law school is!


UYLB: No problem! Man, we really do work and play hard, right?!


OH: Ha! ha! ha! You are so right!


UYLB: Say, the clubs fair is on right now. Let’s go over and check out the Law Revue booth! [Turning directly to fourth wall.] Like so many of my colleagues, my greatest regret from last year is that I kept talking about writing something for Law Revue, and then I never did. This year for sure I want to be involved!


OH: Gee, [name of UYLB—something unisex? Taylor?], I don’t know. Even though I’ve chosen a profession in which public speaking is crucial, I don’t think of myself as a good performer.


UYLB: Don’t worry about that! You should have seen some of the chumps they put on stage last year. Besides, the Law Revue always needs people behind the scenes too! Last year they kept asking for writers, singers, people with technical experience—even people who were willing to shoot videos or help with sound recording.


OH: I can’t do any of that stuff, but I think I’m funny. People love my Nikos Harris impersonation.


A Law Revue director appears in a puff of smoke.


LAW REVUE DIRECTOR: I’m sorry, did someone say they do a great Nikos Harris impersonation? Here, sign this piece of paper without reading it.


OH: Okay!


LRD: Great! We’ll see you in March to be in three skits we’ve written about Nikos. It’s a minimal time commitment; we only need you for weekend rehearsals and two evening performances on the following Monday and Tuesday.


OH: That’s it? And then I get to put it on my resume?


LRD: That’s it! Also we will feed you and give you lots of beer, and all your friends will tell you how funny you are.








All actors turn to fourth wall, smile broadly, give big thumbs up.




No, but seriously, here’s our pitch:


Before you graduate, lose your sense of humour, and start billing clients in six-


minute intervals for glorified research work, join us at the Law Revue to make good, clean, light-hearted fun of the legal profession! (Please.)


The UBC LAW REVUE is Allard Hall’s yearly variety show, as written and performed entirely by law students. We meet several times throughout the year to write skits and songs, then perform the show over two nights in early March. Previous performers have described the process as “easier and more fun than I thought it would be,” “a completely minimal commitment,” and “I learned a lot?”


We are always looking for people to write, perform, shoot videos, edit footage, record songs and more. We pay in beer and Valuable Extracurricular Experience.


Law Revue 2014

Don’t want to participate? Join us for one of two performances in the early spring! Beer, wine and cider are sold during the show. All proceeds go to a charity chosen by the cast at the end of the year.


Want to know more? Find us on clubs days (just follow the trail of glitter and recycled jokes) or email us at

Getting Involved at Allard School of Law: The Canadian Journal of Family Law

Welcome to the Allard School of Law and the beginning of an exciting three years! We hope you’ll enjoy the stimulating environment and great company as much as we have. There are a lot of opportunities to get involved in the Allard community and to supplement what you’ll be learning in your classes, and all of them will add to your experience. If you’re interested in family law or writing and editing, we hope you’ll consider joining the Canadian Journal of Family Law.

The CJFL is a biannual interdisciplinary journal that publishes English and French academic articles on a broad range of family law issues. It is a peer-reviewed journal and is edited by the student staff at Allard Law. It was the first family law journal in Canada, and the first volume was published in 1978 at Osgoode Hall. In 1982, the CJFL moved to UBC and has been here ever since.

As a 1L student, you can get involved by volunteering to edit, cite-check, and format submissions. You will be instructed in correct citation and style and work with the Senior and Associate Editors to ready the articles for submission. This is a great way to develop your legal research and writing skills before you have to write your first assignment. It’s also a great way to familiarize yourself with the current areas of debate and reform in the field of family law. There is no family law in first year, so if you think you might be interested in this field, getting involved in the CJFL will give you a head start.

Volunteer editors will be asked to edit or cite-check a maximum of two submissions a term. Each one should take less than a day to do and you will be given a week or two to complete them. If you are interested in becoming more involved, there are also opportunities to help with the management and publication of the Journal. The CJFL also has paid and credit positions that you can apply for at the end of 1L.

If you are interested in learning more about the Journal or getting involved, check out our website at or email us at

Good luck and we look forward to meeting you!

Zoe Suche – Senior Editor
Sania Ahmed – Business Manager
Miryam Burns – Associate Editor

Getting Involved at Allard School of Law: The Guile Debate

One of UBC’s annual traditions is the Robert H. Guile, Q.C. Memorial Debate. Created to honour trickster, celebrated lawyer, and UBC alumnus, Bob Guile, the Guile Debate is an annual demonstration of why UBC law students should not quit our day jobs.


Last year’s winners weren’t photogenic enough to take a photo….so here a picture of some past winners.

There are two nights, with tryouts in mid-November and the actual debate at the end of January. For the tryouts participants get a generic resolution, such as Be it resolved the ends justify the means, and are expected to demonstrate their wit and wisdom in a five minute, prepared speech. The tryouts are open to everybody in the law school and the night is an assortment of brilliance and poor choices. Four finalists are chosen by a panel of local lawyers and professors, and the finalists are generally those people that were the least embarrassing and tried to make an argument that was funny, rather than those who just attempted stand-up comedy. Unlike the rest of life, puns tend to help, not hurt.

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 11.25.31 AM

Make no mistake: There are no shortage of hilarious and cringe worthy moments at the Guile Debate.

The finals are a grand evening with gowns, dignitaries, and refreshments. Notable judges have included the Chief Justice of British Columbia, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, the Chief Judge of the Provincial Court, as well as representatives from the Law Society of British Columbia, the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association, the sponsoring firm Dentons Canada LLP, and the Société Midgetté/Alliance of Little Lawyers (s.m.a.l.l.), which was founded by Bob Guile.

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 11.27.37 AM

The coveted “Most Dangerous Debater” award

Needless to say, before judges like these, debaters need to bring their A-game. Not only are they charged with the arduous task of entertaining a raucous crowd of law students hungry for dangerous and edgy humour, they must also please the well-mannered and prestigious judges with their wit and intellect.

Class Photo - Guile

Robert H. Guile, Q.C., Class of ’56, trickster


But if that doesn’t sound interesting enough, know this – there’s a big cash prize! Finalists receive $250, the winning team receives an additional $250, and the top individual speaker wins yet another $250. And if this all sounds like something only 2Ls and 3Ls do, last year’s debate featured three 1Ls in the final, with an all-1L team winning.

Still sound scary? It shouldn’t. All in all, the Guile Debate is a couple of fun evenings spread out in the year and is a great way to use our brains for something a little more fun. There are laughs, there are drinks, and there is a break from the daily grind.

Check out video of some of the past debates: here, here, and here.

Thanks to Spencer Keys for sharing this post.

Getting Involved at Allard School of Law: Centre for Feminist Legal Studies

                                         Welcome, Class of 2018!

CFLSMy name is Elizabeth and I am the current Student Coordinator at the Centre for Feminist Legal Studies (CFLS) at the Peter A. Allard School of Law.

The CFLS is a research centre that provides opportunities for students, scholars, and the wider feminist legal community to come together, build networks, collaborate on research, and exchange ideas. The work of the CFLS has been significant in ensuring that feminist and social justice issues remain visible at the Allard School of Law and that the law school remains connected to the larger community.

There are several ways that you can get involved with the CFLS as a new student:

The Weekly Lecture Series: The Centre hosts a weekly lecture series at lunchtime on Tuesdays covering issues related to feminism and the law. Last semester, our guest speakers included Dawn Fowler (Canadian Director, National Abortion Federation), Shelagh Day (Director of the Poverty and Human Rights Centre and Chair of the Human Rights Committee of the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action), Kasari Govender (Executive Director, West Coast LEAF), and many others. This fall, we can look forward to an opening lecture on September 22nd from Shulamit Almog, Professor of Law at the University of Haifa, whose research focuses on law and culture, law and literature, law and film, children’s rights, and feminist legal studies.

The Marlee Kline Lecture in Social Justice: In addition to our weekly lectures, the annual Marlee Kline Lecture in Social Justice takes place in the spring semester. Last spring, we were very fortunate to welcome Dr. Colleen Flood, Professor and Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, University of Toronto, who addressed “The Poverty of Health Human Rights in Canada”.

The Marlee Kline Room: CFLS1Located on the fourth floor of Allard Hall (room 424), the Marlee Kline Room is open Monday-Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm, to provide students with an informal study space and a fantastic lending library of feminist works and faculty publications. You can check out our collection online or in person. The Marlee Kline Room is also where the Centre’s student discussion group meets to hang out, catch up on current events with a feminist lens, and enjoy tea and cookies!

The Feminist Legal Mentorship Program: Last but not least, the Feminist Legal Mentorship Program connects law students with feminist mentors in legal careers. Past mentors have come from backgrounds such as tax law, human rights law, administrative law, family law, commercial law and legal ethics. Applications for the Mentorship Program will open in the fall.

To stay in touch with the Centre for Feminist Legal Studies, or for more information, you can visit us on our website, blog, Facebook or Twitter. You can email me at if you have any questions or to be added to our mailing list, and you will also find us on the Orientation 2015 schedule. We look forward to meeting you in the fall!


Elizabeth Cameron (2L)

Centre for Feminist Legal Studies Student Coordinator




Getting Involved at Allard School of Law: Illegal Beavers Rugby Club

The Illegal Beavers Rugby Club (not just a sports team).

This is a club you want to join. 


“But Scott!” Quoth the meek, bespectacled 0L. “I fear my bones are made of glass, and mayst they shatter into a thousand pieces upon contact with not more than an overzealous handshake!”

To this common position among 0Ls, I offer my humble opinion; since I, like you, am a natural born coward. Indeed, it took over a month before the Beavers finally swayed me to their ranks with promises of “networking opportunities” and “great CANS”. My concept of rugby at the time was dismal, and amounted to little more than a flurry of short shorts, broken bones and lost teeth.

I will never forget going into contact for the first time. In my head, working up to this moment, I believed that the force of a tackle on the field would be akin to a hurricane making contact with a small house, or a dog with a child’s sandcastle. But you know what? That is not what happened. I was able to get up, and continue playing a game – the rules to which I barely knew.

Now, if this anecdote doesn’t galvanize the lot of you into joining your nearest club and practicing up before September, then I have some additional things you ought to consider.

First: Being on the team is good, clean, family fun. We do several nights out, road trips and miscellaneous events. And it’s a great way to connect with upper years (which connects you to them juicy CANS).

Second: I would like to paint for you two word pictures, if I may. First, think of the archetypal rugby player. Those juicy quads. Those strong arms. The lean, mean, killing machine. Got him? Ok, now imagine the smartest people in your undergrad class. Those thick bifocals. That strong in-class participation. The lean, preen and overly keen. You know the type. Now, which one of the two would you expect to field a team that is entirely comprised of Law Students? Because that is your competition, and that is your team.

Third: No experience required! In fact, hardly any of us have much experience. Except our Coach – who will show you the ropes.

Fourth: If you are hell bent on avoiding contact altogether, I would still encourage you to come to practices. We practice twice per week at lunch for one hour. One practice will be oriented around drills, and will generally be non-contact. The other practice will involve purely fitness. That being said, Law school is very time consuming, and finding time for your health is difficult. Rugby practice is a great way to stay in shape during the year.

Fifth: Rugby is legitimately a great networking opportunity. Not just with upper years, but alumni as well. The importance of tricking an upper year into giving you their CANS cannot be understated. Trying to navigate law school without these CANS would be like trying to navigate the Pacific Ocean without a compass. And instead of water, the ocean is fire. And instead of sky, more fire.

Sixth: Scholies & Alumni – I’m no scientist, but I’m pretty sure that the only reason anyone has been successful ever is because of connections. We have a great alumni network, and we have them to thank for establishing two $1,000 Scholarships for current Beavers. Also, we’ve got Beavers all over the globe for those of you who want to work in Toronto, New York, etc.

Finally: This club is pretty low maintenance. We have 5 or 6 games throughout the whole year, and practice is optional (although highly encouraged).

Joining the Beavers was one of the best decisions I made in 1L. We had great team bonding, great trips, and great fun on the field. I highly encourage everyone to at the very least check out one practice.

See ya out there 0Ls!


Scott Whittley, 2L

Getting Involved at Allard School of Law: OutLaws

Hello, Class of 2018!

We are the co-chairs of UBC OutLaws, the LGBTQ+ student group at the Peter A. Allard School of Law, and we’d like to welcome you to the community and answer a few questions you might have about us.


What does OutLaws do?

OutLaws works to foster a supportive community for LGBTQ+ law students and their allies and to promote awareness of legal issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community at large.

That means, for starters, that we hold social events such as Cheers for Queers, a pub night for queer and allied faculty, staff and students, and we keep folks up to date with community news via our Facebook group, UBC OutLaws.

We also host events exploring LGBTQ+ issues in a legal context. Last January, we presented a panel discussion on trans* and genderqueer rights and the law, with speakers Spencer Chandra Herbert, MLA for Vancouver West End, and Adrienne Smith, Health and Drug Policy Advocate with Pivot Legal Society.

Lastly, we work to represent the interests of LGBTQ+ students in the community. For example, a representative from UBC OutLaws sits on the Executive of the SOGIC (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Conference) section of the Canadian Bar Association in BC to maintain connections with the broader queer legal community.

What’s happening this summer?

As some of you may know, following an October 2014 referendum in which 5,951 BC lawyers (74% of those who voted) chose to deny approval for Trinity Western University’s (TWU) proposed faculty of law, the Law Society of BC decided not to grant approval for the purpose of its admission program. Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk later revoked his approval for the law school. TWU then filed a petition for judicial review of the Law Society’s decision.

This is of interest to UBC OutLaws because TWU requires its students, faculty, and staff to sign a Community Covenant Agreement that, among other things, requires them to abstain from “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.”

UBC OutLaws believes that this requirement discriminates against LGBTQ+ people. We believe that LGBTQ+ students should have equal access to legal education and not face exclusion or discrimination on the basis of their gender or sexual orientation.

The exciting news is that UBC OutLaws has recently been given intervener status in TWU and Brayden Volkenant v The Law Society of BC as part of a coalition with QMUNITY and the OutLaws groups from Thompson Rivers University and the University of Victoria. This means we’ll have the opportunity to voice our concerns about how the outcome of this case will affect queer folks generally and queer students who want to attend law school in particular. The hearing starts on August 24th, so stay tuned!

How can new students get involved?

We encourage all LGBTQ+ and allied law students to get involved with OutLaws.

For updates on OutLaws events and other community news, you can join our Facebook group. If you have questions or would like to talk, please feel free to email us at  And be sure to look for the OutLaws Meet and Greet on the Orientation 2015 schedule — we look forward to meeting you!

Elizabeth Cameron and May Chan

UBC OutLaws Co-Chairs, 2015-2016

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

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.