UBC Asia-Pacific Law Club

Congratulations class of 2016!

We at the APLC are excited to welcome you to Allard Hall. Please read on to find out what our club is all about!

What is the UBC Asia-Pacific Law Club?

The APLC is a student organization at the UBC Faculty of Law that strives to inform members about legal, business, and political issues in the Pacific Rim countries, and to provide legal and social forums in which students and lawyers can interact. Today, the world is more interdependent than ever before as advances in technology facilitate the transfer of goods, money, ideas and cultures across national borders. This globalization has promoted the diversification of cultures in Vancouver as well as the extensive legal and business connections to countries along the Pacific Rim. The APLC was founded as a response to this increased demand for comprehensive social and cultural awareness in today’s legal and business environment.

That’s great, but why do I want to join?

One word: fun!

The ALPC hosts various events throughout the school year, including the annual Mentorship Dinner, which provides a rare opportunity for lawyers and students to socialize over dinner. In addition, we organize a series of Lunch Speaker Sessions throughout the school year, inviting lawyers to discuss interesting and relevant topics in relation to Asia Pacific Law. The APLC also hosted events and activities to promote general cultural awareness throughout the student body. For example, in 2013, students had fun receiving their lucky red envelopes (containing a sweet surprise) and learning about the traditions surrounding the Lunar New Year. We have also been able to provide students with a rare opportunity to learn about Japan, and to brush up on their Japanese, with Judge Sadaharu Kodama (Osaka District Court) and Judge Hiroyuki Minami (Saitama District Court).

Okay, I’m almost sold …

The Asia Pacific Law Club is a great resource for those interested in Asia-Pacific law. It is also an exciting forum for law students to meet lawyers, discuss career paths, and become informed about developments in law that affect, not only those interested in practicing law overseas, but also those interested in practicing law in Vancouver. We will be planning a lot of events this year, so keep an eye out for APLC announcements!

You can also join our distribution list by emailing aplcubc@gmail.com to keep up to date with our latest endeavors. Feel free to join our Facebook group, follow our Twitter, or check out our website!

Please stop by our table during Clubs Day and say Hi! We are looking forward to meeting you 🙂


Emsie Hung (2L)

Environmental Law Group

Hello incoming 1Ls, and welcome to UBC Law from your friendly ELG exec!

 Who We Are

The ELG is a student run group at UBC Law that aims to promote awareness of the legal aspects of current environmental problems. That was really technical, but don’t be fooled, we have lots of fun too! We host meetings a few times a year to assess what our members are interested in, both academically and recreationally, and the consensus sets our agenda for the upcoming year. Our meetings comprise the executive for that year and anyone who is interested in the ELG, so join us!


There are three events the ELG puts on annually, below is a quick summary of each, if you’re looking for more information check out our website.

Negotiation Competition

I had the opportunity to participate in this event last year, and it was lots of fun! This event takes place in November at Allard Hall, in which teams of two get the opportunity to negotiate against other teams on an environmental problem. It is also an opportunity to meet other students and members of the legal community, as we host teams from other Western Law Schools (last year we had some teams from UVic), while practitioners and faculty judge participants.


The Public Interest Environmental Law Conference is hosted annually in Eugene, Oregon. It’s a great opportunity to network with other environmentally minded students and professionals across many faculties, as each year it is the gathering place of more than 3,000 participants from across the world! As a group, the ELG supports members who are interested in attending this conference by applying for funding and planning transportation and lodging.

Careers in Environmental Law Panel

This event is co-hosted with the Career Services office, and offers students the opportunity to hear each speaker’s unique perspective on practicing environmental law, followed by an opportunity for questions afterwards.

Last year’s panelists included Jessica Clogg from West Coast Environmental Law, Rob Miller of Miller Titerle LLP, Brett Nash with the Department of Justice, and UBC Law’s own Professor Ben Richardson.

The Fun Stuff

However, here at the ELG we believe that all work and no fun makes for a poor law school experience, so on top of the great academic events we host, we do non-academic events too. Some past events include watching documentaries together, going on hikes, and snowshoeing. 

If you’d like to stay up to date with us before the start of the term (and throughout the year), check out our Facebook page, or visit our website where you can subscribe to our mailing list.

See you next week!

– Cassie

ELG Communications Coordinator

UBC Law Revue

If you are reading this, then that means you were accepted into UBC faculty of Law; for this Law Revue congratulates you.  Get ready for an exciting year of reading, networking, fawning over your professors’ accomplishments, engaging in spirited yet entirely tangential debates at 9 am, more reading, developing a devastating caffeine addiction, and then some more reading on top of all that.  I know what you’re thinking, random 1L (this is your official moniker now; don’t panic). You’re thinking, “Goodness gracious, that all sounds mighty fine but I do wish there were some creative outlet for me to release some stress through law-related whimsy.”  Well, good news, neophytes!  There is a creative outlet for you to release some stress through law-related whimsy: it’s called Law Revue.

Law Revue is an annual variety show in March consisting entirely of student-written and -performed material (featuring the occasional professor appearance).  It historically consists of a variety of performances, including song parodies, staged skits, music videos and the occasional live dance number.  It is traditionally a celebration of the most gifted legal minds engaging in the lowest-brow humour fathomable. Also, we make Stu dress up in gold lamé track suits in front of his peers:

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? This means we are looking for talented people such as yourselves to submit scripts/songs, join in writing sessions, and form the cast of what can only be called the event of the year*.

But enough about you, talented future Law Revue contributor; let’s talk about us.  This year, UBC has the distinct pleasure of having Law Revue co-directed by a power triumvirate that, in the words of Associate Dean Goold, “makes Caesar, Pompey and Crassus look like a pack of beastly gibbering half-wits”*.  We three be:

Kat Green: whether it is producing a prodigious number of scripts when she should be panic studying or allowing herself to be covered in sharpie tattoos for the sake of a cheap sight gag, Kat’s commitment to Law Revue is undeniable.  The only 2L director, Kat more than compensates for her inexperience with her razor-sharp wit and her scorching cynicism, the likes of which have never been seen outside of a nursing home.

Patrick Walker: a veteran of Law Revue, Patrick has been responsible for writing some of the most hilarious skits in the last two years.  Not content to merely crank out genius behind the scenes ala Aaron Sorkin, Patrick has also been seen on the stage, acting out his grotesque creations. Known for putting his money where his mouth is and his mouth where the whisky is, Patrick is truly a creative force to be reckoned with.

Stuart DC: is by far the most talented and attractive of the three. He also writes the blog posts. [Editor’s note: …and wears the gold lamé track suits.]

So if you have any interest in being a part of the glory that is Law Revue, please sign up at clubs days in September. Even if you are not comfortable writing or performing, we are still looking for Bartenders, Ticket Takers, Patrick Wranglers, Film Editors, Costume Designers, Professional High-Fivers, Personal Assistants to Stu DC, Whipping Boys, and People Named Steve. We can’t say that there will be free beer in it for you, but we also won’t say that there will not be.

We look forward to seeing you all at clubs days, have an irreverent year!

The L.R. Triumvirate


*These claims are not substantiated by research, facts, nor are approved by the FDA; Law Students’ Society; The Governments of Canada; or any reasonable person, living or dead. If you’re going to sue any of us for libel, please make it Patrick.



Student Perspectives: Interview with Wes Berger

Year of Law School: 2L


Age:  26


Hometown: North Delta, BC


What did you do before law school?

I graduated with a degree in honours history from UBC in 2010, and then spent two years trying to get into law school.  During that time I worked full-time as a server at a few different restaurants. 


What area of law are you interested in?

Definitely the business/corporate law side of things.  I think I have a good idea of a few different areas I’m not really interested in, but as for exactly what aspect of corporate law I’ll wind up doing, I’m not really sure.


A fun fact about yourself…

I am an expert on Vancouver’s drink specials.  Over the last few years, I’ve been to pretty much every bar in town; I actually run a website called VanCity Drink Specials.


What was your favourite part of Orientation Week?

It was all great, but for me, probably the banquet at Sage Bistro on the final night of the week.  It’s a nice spot, and it was great to see everyone all dressed up.  We were a good lookin’ bunch…


What was the best advice an upper year gave you when you started school?

Probably that you should make sure to always consider how your actions and words fit in with the type of person you want to be.  Ask yourself: “Can I own this when I’m asked about it in an interview?”  Bold or controversial can be OK, as long as you can own it.


What was the worst advice an upper year gave you when you started school?

It’s kind of the extreme of the previous one.  Someone told me to never relax, that whenever you’re around lawyers (even at a busy event), they are watching your every move… I really don’t think that it’s true, and believing that just makes you paranoid and awkward, and that’s not going to impress anybody.


What was your favourite part of first year?

Honestly, it was the people.  When I think of first year, I just think of all the friends I made, the people in my small group especially.  Just getting to know them, getting to spend time with them, and getting to watch everyone make it to the other side, that was the best.


What was the most challenging part of first year?

One thing I found really challenging was managing all the reading.  For the first while, in an effort to avoid long periods of reading any one night, I planned to do a little reading every night.  After a while, it became obvious that this was impossible, that you’ve got to take a night off once in a while.  For months, I didn’t realize this, and I was struggling to catch up, while also feeling guilty about taking a break.  Finally, I realized it was better to just accept that some nights I am going to be too tired to do tons of reading, and to just plan to do it on nights where I had more energy.  And to not feel bad about it.


What was your favourite social event in first year?

I had a blast at the Beaver’s Halloween Party.  Great turnout and everyone got down.


What would you do differently in 1L if you could go back now?

I would go back and take up a few of the offers from lawyers to drop them a line or to go for coffee.  You go to these receptions, you collect a few cards, then – for me at least – you get a little nervous and kind of chicken-out.  I wished I had just bit the bullet and sent a few emails.  What else are you collecting business cards for?


I also would go back and exercise in the period from mid-November through like January 1st.  You  have time, go for a run.


What extracurriculars would you recommend to 1Ls?

UBC Law has both a men’s and women’s rugby team.   If you’re into sports, even if you’ve never played rugby (I hadn’t), it’s a lot of fun and it’s good for the exercise (see above).  There are also a lot of fun events and opportunities to drink beer (more on that in a minute).


I also had a blast doing the Law Revue.  This is an annual variety show put on by the students to poke fun at all things UBC Law.  If you’ve got a flair for the stage, this is the thing for you.


What was your favourite class?  Favourite professor?

This is probably the toughest question on here, because I was lucky to have awesome Professors.  I’m into Contracts, which I really enjoyed, but Nikos Harris really lives up to the legend in Crim, and Professor Edinger’s Constitutional Law class was always very lively.



Any words of wisdom for the incoming 1Ls?

I alluded to this before, but, in all seriousness, there will be a ton of opportunities for you to drink in first year.  And a lot of the time, the drinks will be free, which if you ask me, is awesome.  The firms from Vancouver all take turns hosting events, usually after school, where you get a few drink tickets, some food, and a chance to meet the lawyers.   On top of these, there’s the slew of fun events put on by the Law Students’ Society, the Beavers rugby team, the Eagles hockey team, the Wine Club, The Law Revue……You get the idea.


Don’t get me wrong, I had a blast last year, and I’m not saying to turn down your drink tickets and just go home every time there’s an event.  Maybe just, before you cash in all the extra tickets someone left behind, remember, there’s probably going to be another party next week, with more free beer, so PACE YOURSELF! 

LSS Legal Buddy Program

The 2013 Law Students’ Society Legal Buddies Program is Here!

You will meet so many new people during the first few weeks of law school. There are countless 1Ls for you to get to know. Professors are also eager to meet you, too. In case that is not enough, the Orientation Week calendar is full of events designed to get you out and meeting your classmates.

But even after meeting fellow 1Ls, and attending all of the orientation events, you will still want to add at least one more name to the list of contacts you make: that of your legal buddy. Each year, 1Ls like yourself get matched with an upper year law student who can act as a resource during your transition to law school. Your legal buddy is there to offer law school advice, class/study notes, insight into career paths that you may both be interested in, and general knowledge about our Faculty.  It also doesn’t hurt that your legal buddy is likely to be social and eager to introduce you to other upper year students around school.

If you would like to take part in this program, please send me an email at ombuds@ubclss.com by Friday, August 16.  Feel free to include basic biographical information – age, hometown, undergrad degree, etc – and a SHORT note regarding legal interest areas or characteristics you would most appreciate in a potential legal buddy match.

Further information about where and when to meet your legal buddy will be announced during Orientation Week.

Enjoy your summer. I look forward to meeting you in September!

Michael Alty

LSS Ombudsperson 2013/2014

The Law Students’ Legal Advice Program

Hello incoming 1Ls!


This is Mark Dorner and Talia Magder, members of the Law Students’ Legal Advice Program (LSLAP) student executive. Welcome to the UBC Faculty of Law! We are sure you are all super excited and looking forward to ways you can put your legal education to practical use during law school. Here is a bit more about what LSLAP is and how you can get involved!



What is LSLAP?

LSLAP is a student run-organization that provides free legal advice and representation to low-income individuals.


LSLAP is a great program because it allows you to engage in real-life legal work while you are still a law student. Every year, our students draft legal documents, run trials, and attend hearings and tribunals. This might sound intimidating (or terrifying) but it is a great opportunity to get hands on legal experience as well as help make a difference in someone’s life.


LSLAP provides a lot of support to its students, with two in-house supervising lawyers overseeing your conduct of a file, volunteer supervising lawyers helping out a clinics as well as supervising student run trials. There are also many upper-year students who are happy to help you whenever you are stuck with a file or are unsure what to do next. We’re always around to help you out with file management and any questions you may have. Mentorship is a huge part of the program, and LSLAP is a great way to get to know upper-year students and seek guidance on filework as well as any other questions you have throughout law school.



How Does LSLAP Work?

Here’s a quick rundown of the program. Students sign up online in early September and are assigned to one of our many clinics throughout the lower mainland. Each student is assigned to a clinic that runs every other week, starting mid-September, for a total of 5 clinics per semester. However, we understand that law school can be busy, so it is up to you to decide how many clinics you want to attend. Some students attend only a couple of clinics per semester, while some students love it so much that they go every week!


LSLAP clinics are two hours long. Students meet with each client for 30 minutes to do file intake. Here you gather documents and interview the client. Afterwards, students make appointments with the supervising lawyers to determine the scope of work for the file. Sometimes, we can only refer clients to another organization or provide basic advice. Other times, we can go as far as representing the client at trial!


Here is an example of a typical file. Mark met with a client and took notes about his recent dismissal from his job. The client was unsure of his rights in the situation. After the clinic, he did some research on wrongful dismissal and employee rights. he thought that the client might be entitled to severance pay. He took his research to the supervising lawyer and discussed the file with her. She suggested that he help the client make a complaint to the Employment Standards Board. He drafted the complaint, got it approved by the supervising lawyer, and submitted it. Later on, he also drafted submissions after the employment standards officer requested more evidence. He will be doing the hearing for the complaint sometime over the summer.



Why Should I Join LSLAP?

If you want another reason to join LSLAP, how about a summer job after 1L? Every year, LSLAP hires about 14 students to be full-time summer employees. Employees are chosen in a job draw. Ballots for the job draw can be earned by attending at least 8 clinics, attending a distance clinic (e.g. Coquitlam, Surrey), or volunteering as clinic head. You also so receive extra ballots for certain types of work completed on files. 1L summer law jobs are rare, so the LSLAP summer job is a great opportunity to get tons of legal experience, meet new people, make some money, and have a fun summer. It also looks great on a CV to prospective second year employers!



How Do I Join LSLAP?

We hope to see you all at the Dean’s BBQ during Orientation Week! Please stop by our table for some goodies and more information about LSLAP. If you have any questions about LSLAP, feel free to send Mark an email at pr@lslap.bc.ca.


The Centre for Feminist Legal Studies

Hello 1Ls, welcome to UBC Law! 


My name is Andrea Glen and I’m a 2.5L (long story), as well as the student coordinator of the Centre for Feminist Legal Studies (CFLS).


Who are We?

CFLS is a research centre that works to increase the visibility of feminist legal issues at UBC and to promote collaboration between scholars and students at UBC and other universities, and members of the broader feminist community. The research of the Centre focuses on issues such as gender, sexuality, family law, sexual assault, reproductive rights, aboriginality, access to justice, poverty law, disability and more.

We are part of the Positive Space Campaign, and aim to foster a welcoming atmosphere for people of all sexual orientations where gender diversity is supported and valued.


In addition to our research activities, we offer lots of opportunities for students to get involved:


Weekly Lectures

We host a lunchtime lecture series on Tuesdays where feminist scholars and practitioners speak on a range of topics. Last term, the series featured Justice Donna Martinson of the BC Supreme Court (retired), Professor Lynda Collins (Co-Chair of the Centre for Environmental Law & Global Sustainability at U of O), Krista James (National Director of the Canadian Centre for Elder Law), and many others. Look for the CFLS Fall 2013 Lecture Series schedule to be released in late August!


The annual Marlee Kline Lecture in Social Justice takes place in January each year. This year, we were honoured to receive an address from prominent Métis rights lawyer Jean Teillet on “The Métis of the Northwest: Finding Justice for an Invisible People”. The 2014 lecture also promises to be exciting … details soon!


Marlee Kline Room

CFLS provides students with an informal meeting/study/hangout space as well as a lending library of feminist works and faculty publications. Check out our collection online or come peruse it in person! We also maintain a collection of topic files on a variety of different areas of the law. These files are a treasure trove of rare reports, conference proceedings and other documentation. Thumb through them if you are looking for an introduction to a new topic, or use them as a resource to deepen your research in an area of law.


Volunteer Opportunities

If you’re passionate about feminism, there are a number of opportunities to explore and express that through the Centre.


1) Writing blog posts.

We are currently in the process of switching from a hard-copy newsletter to a blog format, and will be looking for submissions throughout the school year. Submissions could include:

  • Write-ups of events or lectures (such as the CFLS lectures!)

  • Feminist critiques/commentaries of recent cases

  • Book reviews

  • Top ten lists

  • And more… please feel free to contact us with your ideas!

2) Assisting students in the Marlee Kline Room.

Sign up to hang out in the Marlee Kline Room during a set time each week and help students new to the Centre to navigate our system and find books.


3) Taking on a project.

Take on a library-related project or tell us your idea for organizing or improving the Centre.

Mentorship Program

The Feminist Legal Mentorship Program seeks to create a supportive link between women law students and women 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. They also came from a variety of situations such as Vancouver’s largest firms, government positions, sole practices, and alternative careers. We will be signing students up for the Mentorship Program in September.


How to Contact Us

If you would like more information about the Centre, you can visit us on our website, Facebook or Twitter. You can also email me at cfls@law.ubc.ca if you have any questions, if you would like to be added to our mailing list, or if you are interested in volunteering with CFLS next year.


You are welcome to visit the Centre in the Marlee Kline Room (Room 424) Monday-Friday, 0830-1630. We’re right at the top of the main staircase in Allard Hall.


Looking forward to connecting with you this fall!




Student Perspectives: Interview with Jessica Todd

Year of Law School:  3L

Age:  26

Hometown:  North Vancouver

What did you do before law school?   After completing my history degree at the University of Alberta I took a year off to work for the Vancouver Olympics and travel.

What area of law are you interested in?  I am definitely interested in environmental and natural resource law, but have found other areas extremely interesting as well. I haven’t figured out what I want to do yet, so the broader exposure I get the better!

A fun fact about yourself… I recently did the Tough Mudder and find the Grouse Grind “fun” 🙂

What was your favourite part of Orientation Week?   Meeting the people that are now some of my best friends!

What was the best advice an upper year gave you when you started school?  Maintain balance! Keep doing all the things that made you an awesome law school candidate – they will be much needed de-stressors when things get busy.

What was the worst advice an upper year gave you when you started school?   That I needed to find study groups as soon as possible. I like to study alone until right before an exam and then meet up to go over practice exams. In the end that worked for me. Don’t worry about doing what other people are doing, study like you did in undergrad but with a bit more intensity.

What was your favourite part of first year?   Being challenged and getting out of my comfort zone. I loved meeting so many diverse and amazing people and going through the ups and downs of all that is law school together!

What was the most challenging part of first year?   Finding balance – getting the advice is one thing and living it is another! It took me until about November to realize that I would burn out if it was all law all the time. It is refreshing and necessary to spend time with people who don’t know what a CAN is.

What was your favourite social event in first year?   Boat cruise – it was the first big social event of the year, and I’ve always been partial to being stuck on a boat with good people and good drinks.

What would you do differently in 1L if you could go back now?   I would have signed up for LSLAP. I was worried about overcommitting to extracurriculars (which you do need to be aware of) but I think the on-the-ground clinical experience would have been interesting.

What extracurriculars would you recommend to 1Ls?  I really enjoyed Legal Education Outreach (“LEO”) where you go into high schools and give presentations about law. I also loved being a member of the Careers Committee because you get to work with the Career Services Office who are total gems. The Hoop-Law Charity basketball tournament is a well-recognized, low commitment way to get involved. Lastly, join whatever groups interest you – they are a great way to find like-minded people! For me that was the Environmental Law Group – we went for hikes, watched documentaries, etc.

What was your favourite class?  Favourite professor?   Torts – Joost Blom is the perfect mix of knowledgeable, engaging and jovial.

Any words of wisdom for the incoming 1Ls?   You are coming to UBC because you are all awesome, skilled candidates who have what it takes to excel. Keeping doing what makes you great and remember that your life is not law school, law school is just a very cool part of the next chapter of your life!

Indigenous Law Students’ Association

Welcome UBC Law Class of 2016,


First, congratulations on being accepted into Law School, this really is a significant accomplishment onto itself.  UBC has a great program with a very active and engaged student body.

The Indigenous Law Students’ Association is one of the many opportunities for you to get more from your time at Allard Hall.  Our association is open to all members of law school and is focussed on providing opportunities to learn about indigenous laws and traditions, First Nation, Metis, and Inuit culture, and provide social activities for members in our group. 

Last year our executive was very busy with a very engaged speaker series on issues like sentencing for aboriginals, resource development on First Nation lands, careers in Aboriginal Law, and even a discussion on the Idle No More movement.

Our members attended the annual Indigenous Bar Association conference in Winnipeg, as well as the University of Victoria annual community conference.  Both of these included a variety of speakers on topics dealing with land claims, indigenous rights, water rights, legal orders and traditions, along with providing various networking opportunities with individuals and firms in the community.

Our social committee put on a wide variety of events last year that included getting teams involved in the UBC longboat race, trike race, putting on pub nights, the ugly sweater Christmas party, an art crawl, and a couple of movie nights for everyone to gather and blow off some of the law school stress.

The highlight of our year is the Indigenous Awareness Week, which was sponsored last year by Fasken Martineau, Mandell Pinder, and Alliance Pipeline.  The activities from this last year included an annual BBQ, a movie, speakers (former BC Lt. Gov Stephen Point and Jean Barnum), dance and musical performances by a variety of First Nation and Metis groups and of course the famous Indian Taco Day.

If you want to learn more about the association and see what our members have been doing you can go to our website at http://ubcindigenouslaw.com/ or email us at ilsa.ubc@gmail.com.



We hope you have a great rest of your summer and look forward to meeting you in September.

The Indigenous Law Students’ Association Executive

Frequently Asked Questions

…for Orientation and the First Few Weeks of Law School!

Hello incoming 1Ls! My name is Aicha (pronounced “eye-sha”) I’m a third year student (3L) and this year’s Orientation Assistant. If you’re anything like I was before 1L, you have a million and three questions about law school buzzing around in your head. I’ve compiled the following list of Frequently Asked Questions and Answers in hopes of helping silence that buzz!  If you still have questions after reading this post, please feel free to email me at studentservices@law.ubc.ca and I’ll be more than happy to help you out. Here we go!
What should I wear to Orientation?
First day: No suits required! Please dress in whatever casual clothing you usually wear. Keep in mind that we will be providing you with a fabulous Orientation t-shirt at registration and you’ll need to wear it for the first day.  
Rest of Orientation: Most people only wear the Orientation t-shirt on the first day, so dress as you usually would for daily life. No suits required!
Banquet: The banquet is NOT a formal event so sweeping ball gowns and sleek tuxes are unnecessary. This isn’t an event you need to buy new clothes for: just don some dress pants and a shirt, or a dress if you like, and you’ll be golden. And if you’ve got a tie, great! Pop that bad boy on and you’re more than ready. You can see some examples below of what’s been worn to previous banquets.
First week: You likely know this is coming, but I’ll say it again: no suits required! Wear casual clothing: you’ll be sitting in class, meeting people, and (hopefully) basking in the glorious sunshine during your breaks. No need to get fancy over here.
 Prior Banquets:
What should I bring to Orientation? Do I need to take notes?
There is no need to bring a laptop and you aren’t required to take notes during the lectures. That said, bringing a pen and a small notebook can’t hurt: the “How to Read a Case” lecture on Thursday, August 29 will be useful when you do start your readings, and you might find it helpful to take some quick notes. Most orientation events are purely informative and meant to introduce you to your peers and professors, and to give you a small taste of what ‘The Law’ and law school will entail.
When do I get my class schedule?
A general schedule will be posted on the UBC Law website (this schedule is subject to change), but your finalized schedule will be included in your beautiful, comprehensive, made-with-love Orientation packages. You’ll receive those bad boys at registration on the first day of Orientation. Be excited!
Can I get a list of my required textbooks? Where can I buy them?

All textbooks can be purchased at the UBC Bookstore, but there are a few reasons why you don’t need to worry about your textbooks or book lists just yet: you won’t know exactly which books you’ll need until you meet your professors and receive your syllabi. Also, the Grad Committee organizes a used book sale at the beginning of each semester, and this is a fabulous opportunity to get great deals on texts that you’d otherwise have to buy at full price. You’ll get more information about the used book sale during Orientation and the first week of school.

If you’re really anxious about your books despite my sage advice, you can try the UBC Bookstore Booklist tool to see what texts your professors have ordered. However, I wouldn’t go this route because you don’t need the books yet and can save money with the book sale, and because I can’t guarantee that the booklist function is accurate. You can find more information about the Booklist on the UBC Bookstore website.

 Do I need a suit in first year?
You do not need a suit for the first few weeks, but I highly recommend getting one for first year. It will come in handy during Wine & Cheese receptions, at networking events with firms, or if you plan on going to the court house (to observe a trial, or as a representative for LSLAP etc.). It does not need to be expensive; I bought my first suit at Sears!
Is it true that December exams ‘don’t count’?
Yes and no. December exams are ‘fail safe’, so if you do better in the April exams only that April mark will count. If you get a better grade on a December exam, it will count for 25% of your final mark in the course. I recommend approaching the December exams as if they do ‘count’, because then you will know exactly how well your preparation paid off. It allows you to modify your studying style for April if necessary, and that 25% boost doesn’t hurt if you really knock a December exam out of the park!
Should I take notes by hand or with my laptop?
You should use whichever method you’re most comfortable with, it’s all about personal preference. Most students do take notes with a laptop, but there are usually a few students in a class who stick it out old school and handwrite. I find using a laptop easier because it’s neater than my handwriting, I type faster than I write, and I find my notes easier to organize once I want to edit them for exam purposes. The downfall of typing is you can get caught up in trying to transcribe a lecture and then don’t actually learn as you frantically type away. Handwriting forces you to be concise and to get down the main points.  
Once school starts, keep an eye out for the Academic Success lectures offered by the faculty.  You’ll get a chance to hear from upper year peer tutors, and they’ll give you helpful tips on what study and note-taking methods worked for them.
Should I read anything law related to prepare for first year?
In the words of a wise man, “don’t worry, be happy.” Enjoy your summer before law school and read ‘for-fun’ books, climb a mountain, or frolic on the beach. You’ll have ample time to sequester yourself in the library during the school year so enjoy the time away from law things while you’ve got it. Grab some sun while it’s here, by November you’ll be your special shade of Winter White and will have forgotten what ‘sunshine’ is.
That being said, the UBC 2013 Orientation Guide does list some recommended books if you’re super keen to get a glimpse of law life. I didn’t look at any of them and I’ve managed to make it this far. Don’t worry, you’ll get to experience law school first-hand soon enough.
Do professors use the Socratic Method?
Most professors do not, but I had one use it in first semester of first year. Don’t panic! This was mostly to learn our names and he never tried to trick, trap, or embarrass anyone. When we were asked questions they were usually along the lines of ‘what were the facts’, and that’s easy enough to answer if you’ve done the reading. Don’t worry, no prof will Legally Blonde you in front of the class (I know you’ve seen that movie and know what I’m talking about).


Should I be worrying about law summer jobs and articling jobs already?
No! While there are summer legal employment opportunities after 1L, many of these jobs don’t have application deadlines until later in your 1st year (i.e. Term 2).  Focus on your studies and get involved with some of the activities, clubs, or communities that you’re interested in. The Career Services Office does a fabulous job of keeping us apprised of when and what we should be thinking about when it comes to legal employment. Enjoy your first year—and the summer before law school—because you will have plenty of time to think about your summer and articling job options later on in your law degree. If you’re thinking about non-law summer jobs in general, the same advice applies: you’ll get many opportunities to consult the Career Services Office about summer employment, and they are magicians when it comes to keeping us informed about opportunities that arise. Relax, enjoy your summer, and don’t yet worry about law jobs!


I hope you’ve found the above helpful! If not… oh look, a picture!




Orientation Assistant