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

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!

Student Perspectives: Interview with Kaleigh Milinazzo

Year of Law School: 2L

Age: 24

Hometown: Burns Lake, BC

What did you do before law school?  I completed a degree in Political Science & International Studies at the University of Northern BC. Following that, I took an action packed year off where I worked in municipal government, travelled South America and completed an internship at the International Criminal Court.

What area of law are you interested in?  Generally speaking, litigation, as well as aboriginal law, business law, international law, energy law and …the list goes on. A legal career offers many options!

 A fun fact about yourself… I’m writing this from Cape Town, South Africa where I’m currently working as a researcher for a legal NGO.

What was your favourite part of Orientation Week?  The “Student Perspectives” panel, where a few students shared their outside interests; a representative peek into the talent that exists at UBC Law.  It was reassuring to know that students found time to cultivate other interests during their time at Allard Hall. It also inspired me to pursue a non-conventional summer job.

What was the best advice an upper year gave you when you started school?  Some of those who are the most successful academically are those who take meaningful breaks

Legal reading, research and writing all require a high level of focus. Instead of spending 14 hours without moving from my desk, I planned breaks that enabled me to return to work and be more productive. This doesn’t mean refreshing Facebook every ten minutes. Instead, breaks I would recommend include: going to the gym, making a nice meal, and of course anything outside in Vancouver’s spectacular natural environment.  I went to a daytime show at the Commodore in the middle of exam period and I swear I did better on my exams because of it.

You can achieve much more on a day when you’re operating at 80% energy rather than 30%. While its important to work hard, find a balance where you make self-care a priority. Work smart!

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

“You don’t really need to start taking school seriously until February

First year increases in intensity as the year progresses.  In the fall semester you can expect a lighter reading load as you attend social events, get to know your classmates and simply get used to being in law school. During the second semester, the pace of work picks up quite a bit. If you were behind during the first semester, it’s going to be very challenging to catch up.

Importantly, this recommendation taught me to take advice with a grain of salt. Different things work for different people. Some people can be in cruise mode until the last minute and do well; others can’t.

Bottom line: stay engaged throughout the year. December exams offer a great learning opportunity in preparation for the more significant exams in April, so you should take them seriously.

What was your favourite part of first year? The feeling of accomplishment when it was all over!

What was your favourite social event in first year?  The boat cruise. Getting dressed up and going out with UBC Law… on a boat! As a newcomer to Vancouver, I loved taking in the night skyline of the city… on a boat! You should also not under any circumstances miss the Guile debate. Or Law Revue.

What would you do differently in 1L if you could go back now?  DefinitelyI would have stressed less. I should have believed the upper years when they said it was all going to be ok.  So save yourself some grief and believe us now.

What extracurriculars would you recommend to 1Ls?  Scope out the many options with an open mind. Its nice to balance your studies with something you enjoy that also informs your broader legal education. Or doesn’t. Do what interests you and have fun!

What was your favourite class?  Favourite professor?  That is one tough call. Who could definitively choose between Professor Sheppard’s spectacular Powerpoints and morning property class laughs … Professor Bakan’s engaging lecture style … Professor Elliot’s great SCC stories… or Professor MacDougall’s great sense of humour and mastery of the law of Contracts.. We have great profs.

Any last words of wisdom for the incoming 1Ls?  I’ve got several!

Engage with the community around you.  The social element of law school is a significant part of the experience. From firm recruitment events, socials, lunchtime lecture series, to club events and sports teams, there is so much to do! Take advantage of the incredibly collegial and inclusive atmosphere at UBC Law and get involved. Your time at Allard Hall will be that much better for it. Get to know those around you; there will definitely be a few life long friends in the group.

Pay attention in class.  Come prepared and stay engaged… why tune out and then have to go back and learn something on your own later, when the professor who sets the exam can teach it to you right then and there? Make the most of your time in class. You should also note anything unclear or confusing right away so you can resolve it with your classmates or professor.

Define success for yourself.  Law school is competitive. Its easy to get caught up in concerning yourself with how much time others spend studying, who has the most reading done or who has gone to the most firm recruitment events etc. You can’t predict your own success by comparing yourself to your classmates. So, don’t bother!  Instead, think about what you want to achieve during 1L and evaluate what it will take you to get there. For example, don’t panic if someone is in a study group and you aren’t in one yet… or never join one. You may be surprised to learn that sometimes, the person who studies 30 hours a week does better than the person who studies 90 hours a week. The experience differs for everyone. Focus on reaching your own goals on your own terms.

RelaxPlease try not to get too stressed out. Law school is challenging, but ultimately extremely rewarding. I loved my first year and I hope you will too.  You only get one shot at 1L, so dig in and enjoy it!  Best of luck!

UBC Legal Education Outreach

Hello Incoming 1Ls!

I’m Jessica and I’m writing you both in my capacity as President of the Legal Education Outreach club at UBC and as an incoming upper year (here to offer you some of the classic, often unsolicited and sometimes useless advice upper years love to dole out to 1Ls).

Firstly, we all have crystal clear memories of the overwhelming feeling of being in a new environment, surrounded by new people, and not knowing what in the world we were actually supposed to be doing or saying. So relax — not only are you still a summer away from starting an intense and rewarding experience, but when September rolls around you will be welcomed by empathetic, disarmingly charming and interesting people (I wouldn’t have agreed to write this blog entry if I couldn’t say this with absolute confidence). Fair warning, they will challenge you but they will also be willing to help you.

Secondly, congratulations!  What you’ve accomplished in getting into what is categorically one of the best law schools in the country is impressive. You’ve surely worked very hard to get here. Know that each of you has taken a unique path to law school. You all have different successes and failures. You wowed Admissions with what you have to offer. Now you can start sharing some of your experiences and begin giving back the moment you get to Allard by joining LEO.

What is LEO?

  • LEO is a program organized by law students for secondary students.
  • We are run through the Faculty of Law and funded by your Law Students Society, the Faculty Association, and the Law Society of BC.
  • We are an independent student initiative established in 2008.

LEO volunteers giving a legal education workshop to secondary students.

 What is our goal?

To help secondary students explore the study of law and encourage those who are interested in pursuing a path to law school. We specifically focus on connecting with students from schools whose student bodies are underrepresented in law schools and in the legal profession.

But why? 

Access to Justice.

There’s an access to justice problem in this country. This is an issue you’re going to have to confront from the moment you walk through the doors at Allard Hall. You may already be one of the many Canadians who has had to face it in your personal life. Even if you aren’t, you certainly care about someone who has. So heads up, it’s an issue of critical importance. You will hear about it at Orientation, the issue will present itself in nearly every course in 1st year, if you volunteer with LSLAP or PBSC you’ll be out in the community working to facilitate access, and once you are admitted to the Bar you will have a duty to protect the public interest in the administration of justice. (In BC under the Legal Professions Act.)

Canadian law schools have recognized they have a role to play in responding to this problem. Your own school of choice has made concerted efforts to welcome and foster a student body that increasingly reflects the diversity of the communities its graduates will actually be serving. (So make an effort to get to know your peers as soon as you walk through the doors at Orientation. Not only will this help reassure you that you do in fact belong here, but what you have to offer each other is of immeasurable value.) However, there’s still a long way to go in regards to access to legal education. If you join LEO, you will meet secondary students who don’t see law school as an option. This isn’t because of their intellectual abilities but is rather due to a variety of socioeconomic factors. That’s unfair and LEO is looking for volunteers who believe law school is only going to get better if it attracts an increasingly heterogeneous pool of applicants who feel welcome in law schools and as capable of entering and succeeding in the profession.

So how do we work?

We need volunteers. Lots of you. We connect with hundreds of students every year. It’s a numbers game, the more volunteers we have, the more students we can meet.

Now, if I’ve done my job, I’ve made LEO sound incredibly important. It’s something you can’t pass up getting involved in right?

But everything sounds so worthwhile! How will you have time to do it all? (you won’t)

Some good news, LEO is super low-commitment for our volunteers. Just sign up for the email list in first weeks of school if you think you might want to get involved. We host events at the Faculty and in the community. We’ll email you about them, if you can come great, if not you can catch us next time.

Most of our volunteers choose to do one of the classroom visits. This is a little more high commitment – you will donate a lunch hour (where we ply you with delicious pizza) and a few hours one afternoon or morning (an excuse to skip class with some of your new friends and you won’t have to beg or entreat your Prof or classmates to help you get back up to speed after missing class.)

I hope I’ve convinced you that LEO is one of those special win-win-win situations that will present itself in your life.

If you would like more information feel free to email our crack team at: ubcleoexec@gmail.com or visit us at: http://www.leo-ubc.com.

Please give it some thought. I look forward to seeing you at the start of the year!


Jessica Sheehan

President, UBC Law Legal Education Outreach

Student Perspectives: Interview with Trevor Simpson

Trevor (far right) and the guys at the LSS Boat Cruise – Safety first!

Year of Law School: Incoming 2L

Age: 22

Hometown: Qualicum Beach, BC

What did you do before law school?  I went to Vancouver Island University and finished a degree in Economics.

What area of law are you interested in?  Ah yes, the question with the elusive answer!  I suppose I’m interested in business law generally. I find the areas of natural resource development and mergers and acquisitions especially interesting.

A fun fact about yourself: I thought long and hard about this one, and the best I could come up with is that I don’t really like eggs (poached, fried, boiled, etc) unless they are smothered in Hollandaise sauce.

What was your favorite part of Orientation Week?  As corny as it sounds Orientation Week was about so much more than the events or the lectures. My favorite part about Orientation Week, in retrospect, was meeting the group of people that would end up being some of my closest friends (in law school or otherwise). That is not to say that I did not spend the rest of the year at law school meeting more of the incredible people that attend UBC Law, but I met the group of people that I am now closest with on the second or third day of Orientation.

What was the best advice an upper year gave you when you started school? The best advice I received in first year law school was actually from a first year professor. This prof told a group of us in our small group that it was important throughout the course of first year law (and probably law school generally) to find reasons and occasions to celebrate. While first year law was certainly the most rewarding and incredible year of my life, it came with a lot of hard work, its fair share of stresses, and moments of feeling overwhelmed.  Following this professor’s advice, I found that the best way ensure that you don’t get too caught up in the difficulty of 1L, is to celebrate and reward the moments in which you overcome that difficulty.  Did you just hand in a paper that was worrisome when you first started it? Take some time to have a drink with friends. Finish all of your readings for a class early? Go see a movie, or play a board game, or do whatever it is that you enjoy. Maintaining some semblance of a life outside of classes is essential to your health, and will ultimately lead to a fuller, more successful law school experience, and in my first year I found that finding reasons and occasions to celebrate was a great way to balance law school and life.

What was the worst advice an upper year gave you when you started school?  I received mostly great advice from my upper year friends, and found them all to be very encouraging and understanding (a legacy I hope to maintain as I move into upper year). However, I was told that I would have to prioritize my readings because it would be impossible to finish them all. This was certainly untrue (at least for me and most of the people I knew). Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely readings that can be “neglected” if need be for the sake of more important readings (for example, readings for a course that is based entirely on a final paper can often be “neglected” for readings from a course based on a final exam). However, it is entirely possible to finish all of your readings on a nightly/weekly basis, and still have time for the celebrating that I mentioned above.

What was your favorite part of first year?  The first two months of first year were definitely my favorite time. At this point, law school is still such a fresh and exciting experience. The sun still serves as an apparent feature of the Vancouver environment, which cannot be said in the November-April months. You’re still meeting new people, and getting to better know all those people you met in Orientation Week and in your small group. Other than getting used to the reading schedule and a paper or two, the months of September and October are without the significant academic challenges that occur later in the year. Overall, I remember this time in the year to be pretty carefree, sunny, and exciting!

What was the most challenging part of first year?  Without wanting to cause unnecessary stress and worry, it was definitely final exams. The law school does and excellent job at making sure that you are prepared for this time, and are as relaxed as possible, however this is still a time of the year where there is a lot of pressure to succeed, and that comes with some stress. That being said, it’s all worth it for the feeling of walking out of the last final exam, knowing you have completed one of the most challenging years of your education (and perhaps even of your life).

What was your favorite social event of first year?  It should be noted that each and every social event of the year will be touted by its sponsors as the “premier social event” of the year. This is untrue, despite how much you want to believe that the social events are just one prolonged climax where the latest event tops the previous. That being said, I remember the boat cruise as being a really great social event. I also thoroughly enjoyed the end-of-the-year party.

What would you do differently in 1L if you could go back now?  I think overall, I would want to worry less about the intermittent assignments from first year. While it’s definitely important to put time and effort into the assignments, they are not worth stressing too much over. I would want to go back and spend a little bit more time enjoying first year law, and less stressing over the smaller assignments.

What extracurriculars would you recommend to 1Ls?  As Treasurer of Legal Education Outreach (LEO), I feel I am obligated to promote this club over all else!  In all seriousness, I would recommend that you get involved in extracurriculars that you think will further a personal interest of yours, will be a rewarding experience, or will help you escape the routine of law school work. I was involved with LEO because I think it is a tremendously satisfying experience to go into high schools and get grade 12 students inspired about the law, post-secondary education, and law school.  I also joined the law school intramural basketball team, and had a great time meeting some upper year law students, getting exercise, and playing a sport that I love.

What was your favorite class? Favorite professor?  I loved Contracts, and consequently my favorite professor was my Contracts prof., Joel Bakan. It has been suggested to me by friends that my love of contracts and the professor who teaches it borders on weird, but I like to think they’re just jealous.

Any Words of Wisdom to incoming 1Ls?  Enjoy every second of first year law school.  It truly was the most incredible year of my life. Try and strike that balance between doing all the work that is asked of you, and taking time for yourself to be with friends, family, or loved ones. Take time to celebrate your accomplishments, or your new found friendships in whatever way you best like to celebrate. Don’t get too caught up in the stressful side of law school; step outside of that element of the experience to enjoy the other parts of the 1L experience.  Soak it all up, and I promise you that you will finish the year and be able to look back upon it as fondly as I look back upon my first year.

Illegal Beavers RFC

Hello Class of 2016!

Congrats to you all for being accepted to our illustrious school.  1L is not like anything you have really experienced in undergrad and for most (if not all) law students, it is no cake walk. As such, it is quite easy to get bogged down in your studies and forget that things like exercise, sunlight, fresh air, etc. are necessary for your life’s balance. The Illegal Beavers would like to extend you an opportunity to maintain said balance.

The Illegal Beavers RFC is one of the most established clubs in UBC Law. Last year, the Beavers represented the school against other western law schools including U of C, U of A, and UVic (and hope to add TRU to the mix next season). The Beavers were also pitted against the Vancouver Police Department, UBC Med, the Beavers alumni team, and the UBC junior varsity team.

A few Beavers at the Halloween Bash!

The Beavers also get involved with the school off the pitch. Last year, the Beavers hosted several of the most memorable parties of the semester, including the annual Halloween bash (which of course included a costume contest). From a community involvement standpoint, the team spearheaded a school-wide clothing drive for Big Brothers and Big Sisters and made a significant contribution to the law school’s Movember fundraising campaign. In fact, our current vice president raised more money than any individual in all of UBC last year. Playing for the Beavers affords you the opportunity to establish lasting friendships with your peers, invaluable connections with the upper years, and make contacts with several alumni who will be future employers and colleagues. The Beavers RFC has players with a wide level of skill levels and the executive is happy to help develop the skills of new players in our weekly optional practices.

Please feel free to contact us any time at illegalbeaversrugby@gmail.com with any inquires that you might have about our club. Rugby at UBC Law is a great way to meet other law students, take time off from schoolwork, and be part of a long standing school tradition.

Looking forward to seeing some new faces out on the pitch this fall,

Jaime Hoopes (2L)
President of the Illegal Beavers RFC

Pro Bono Students Canada

Hi Class of 2016!

We’re your friendly neighbourhood UBC Pro Bono Students Canada (PBSC) Coordinators!!  We know some of you might be feeling a little overwhelmed – and excited – as you are getting ready for law school. There is going to be a lot of information to absorb even before classes begin, but we really wanted to take the time to give you some information about a very important aspect of your legal education: giving back to the community.

There are a lot of opportunities to get involved at Allard Hall, and volunteering with Pro Bono Students Canada is one of them! To give you a flavor of PBSC, we’ve answered some commonly asked questions from students about our Program.


What does ‘pro bono’ mean?

Pro bono or pro bono publico (in Latin: for the public good) is when a lawyer (or law student) provides legal services for free in the public interest.  These services are hugely important to the community as a whole as they help ensure equal access to our justice system and the provision of high quality legal information and services to non-profit public interest organizations and to low and modest income individuals. Through student placements PBSC strives to help students recognize the importance of adopting a pro bono ethic early on in their legal career.

So, what does PBSC do, exactly?

Pro Bono Students Canada is a national, award-winning, student-run organization, with local chapters at every Canadian law school, which aims to provide pro bono legal services to various public interest associations and vulnerable members of our community.

PBSC helps to increase access to justice by matching law students with a wide range of public interest organizations in a wide variety of areas, including immigration, health, environmental, and sports law.  Last year we matched 67 volunteers with 23 organizations, so there is definitely something for everyone!  Student volunteers (you), under the supervision of practicing lawyers, then provide these organizations with a variety of legal services including research, creating public legal education documents, running legal workshops, and doing client intake. The result of this structure is a win-win-win situation: organizations benefit from the valuable work students provide, members of the community get access to high quality legal services they could not otherwise afford, and students gain research skills, networking opportunities, and the opportunity for one on one feedback from a supervising lawyer.

What kinds of students are involved in PBSC?

We welcome applications from all UBC law students. We expect to have an updated list of PBSC project descriptions available in August 2013 as we continue to develop placements through the summer. The deadline to apply for these projects will be in September 2013. More information and exact dates will be communicated as soon as they are available.

While some projects require Upper Year students, we recognize that First Year students have a lot to offer. When reviewing applications, we like to see students who are interested and enthusiastic about the projects. While research and writing experience is always an asset PBSC looks for a variety of specific skills when considering applications to ensure successful placements for both students and organizations!

Where can I find out about experiences of past students?

PBSC-UBC is starting to compile testimonials from past student volunteers on our website. Remember to check back later on in the summer for more information online! We are also more than happy to chat with you in person anytime (our contact info is below!).

Which organizations partner with PBSC?

Some of our partner organizations in the past include: Access Pro Bono, Canada Civil Liberties Association, Ecojustice, John Howard Society, West Coast LEAF, BC SCPA, Prisoner’s Legal Services, and more. The PBSC program is designed to assist organizations and community groups with public interest mandates that have unmet legal needs and we continually seek expand our placements to keep up demand.

What is the time commitment of a PBSC volunteer?

The PBSC volunteer time commitment is very manageable. Students volunteer anywhere from 3-5 hours per week, and no time commitment is required during the exam period.

What is the role of the Program Coordinators?

The Program Coordinators help to manage the day-to-day operations of PBSC-UBC. For example, we help to find placement opportunities for law students by connecting with organizations and supervising lawyers. We also strive to ensure that a PBSC placement is going smoothly for all parties involved by being available throughout the school year and by conducting periodic monitoring surveys. We love hearing from students, so feel free to contact us anytime! And consider applying for the 2014-2015 PBSC coordinator positions!!

Besides PBSC, how else can I get involved?

While we think that PBSC is an excellent opportunity for students to get involved at Allard Hall, there are many other ways to contribute as well and students aren’t limited in participating with only one.

Volunteering opportunities include, but are not limited to, executive positions in student governance, student clubs, editorial positions within law journals and the Law Students Legal Advice Program (LSLAP).

Last year, a very helpful blog post comparing the volunteer experience between the Law Students Legal Advice Program and PBSC, was drafted:

While we continue our work developing exciting projects and placements for you this summer we would love to hear from you and are happy to field any questions you might have! We look forward to meeting you all at our Lunch Launch during Orientation Week!

If you have any questions at all, feel free to email us at pbsc.ubc@gmail.com, call us at (604) 822-8009, or visit our website at www.pbsc.law.ubc.ca.


Beverly Ma (2L) and Michael Fitzmaurice (3L)

UBC LSS: President’s Welcome

Hello incoming 1Ls!

My name is Paul Kressock and I am the President of the UBC Law Students’ Society (“LSS”) for the 2013-2014 academic year. I want to begin by congratulating you on being admitted to the Faculty of Law. It is quite an achievement and is the beginning of an exciting chapter in your academic career as well as your professional life. I hope that your reading of this blog means that you are keen to begin and indeed you should be! Having recently completed my first two years at UBC Law, I can attest to the fact that law school is at once a challenging, stimulating, and fun experience, and I certainly hope you are looking forward to the coming year as much as I am.

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the LSS and to tell you a bit about what we do. The LSS is the student association at UBC Law and is charged with governing student affairs, organizing activities and events, and representing the student body to the Faculty, the University, and the legal community. By virtue of your enrolment in the JD program, you will be one of our approximately 560 members for the 2013-2014 year. The LSS operates by the efforts of volunteers, including officers of our Executive, Social, and Academic Councils who are elected by and composed of students of all years.

The LSS performs many functions within the law school and carries out the business of student government through its constituent committees:

  • The Executive Council of the LSS is concerned with student governance at the law school as well as its representation to the UBC Alma Mater Society, the UBC Senate, and external parties.
  • The Academic Council is concerned with issues that affect members as students and is the principal voice for students in the decision-making mechanisms of Faculty. Its officers sit on faculty committees that deal with matters like curriculum reform and admissions and serve as liaisons for students on academic matters. The Council also organizes opportunities for students to learn about course offerings and how to plan their degrees.
  • The Social Council is concerned with student life at the law school and co-ordinates much of the programming directed to students outside of class time. Its officers primarily deal with the planning of social events and the regulation and funding of the law school’s many clubs, teams, and student organizations. Student activities and events are often the means by which law students form lasting friendships with one another and socialize with practitioners from Vancouver’s professional legal community.

    UBC Law Trike Race! Organized by the LSS and Sponsored by Farris LLP.

The LSS is an important resource for students and its volunteers work to improve the student experience in the classroom and around the school. We also have a student Ombudsperson to address student concerns and to ensure an equitable environment for students. We strive to foster a community where students can get the most out of their legal education and enjoy one another’s company. For my part, I am looking forward to welcoming you into the law school community this September as part of the UBC Law Class of 2016. I assure you that if you come with an open mind and a willingness to engage your peers and all that the student experience has to offer, you are going to relish your time at Allard Hall.  And trust me – it’s worth it.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.

Take care and enjoy your summer,

Paul Kressock

President, UBC Law Students’ Society





Class of 2016 – Welcome to UBC!

First and foremost, congratulations on your acceptance to UBC Law!  You have successfully conquered a major hurdle (pat yourself on the back!) and are now ready to embark on this incredible journey.  The upcoming year is sure to bring intellectual challenge and rigorous academics, but will also bring more fun and inspiration than you can imagine!

My name is Darcy McKitrick, and as a second year law student and your Orientation Coordinator, it is my absolute pleasure to welcome you to the Faculty.  Although it is only May, I have already begun planning a fantastic Orientation Week for you.  It will be held August 27th – 30th, 2013, so mark your calendars!  I’m getting excited already.

What can you expect from O-Week?  Well, put your books away because this is one week that you can just sit back and enjoy the ride.  The week serves to introduce you to UBC Law and the legal community, the space you’ll be working in for the next three years, the esteemed faculty, academic program, extracurricular opportunities, upper year volunteers to help guide the way, and most importantly, to each other!

As we finalize details, I will be keeping you up to date with everything you can expect from O-Week and your first year at UBC Law.  To stay current, you can touch base with us in the following ways:

  1. ORIENTATION GUIDE:  This page of the UBC Law website is what I consider the O-Week Hub.  On this page, you will find links to the Blog and Facebook Group, as well as documents sent out by email, student schedules as they are finalized, and useful information about the Faculty of Law, UBC campus, and City of Vancouver.  The page is a little sparse right now, but will be chalk-full of great info as the summer progresses.  Find it easily by going to www.law.ubc.ca and clicking “Orientation Guide” under the Current Students Quicklinks tab at the bottom of the page.
  2. ORIENTATION WEEK BLOG:  This blog will be continually updated with posts from me about O-Week, as well as from other upper years on the MANY diverse aspects of the program, their personal experiences, advice, and insight into what you can expect from first year.
  3. EMAILS:  The Admissions Office will be emailing the incoming class periodically with important information.  Be sure to check your inbox!
  4. FACEBOOK:  For those of you using Facebook, the UBC Law 2016 group is a quick and efficient way to stay current with what is going on.  If you are not on Facebook and don’t wish to be, do not fret!  All important information will be accessible through the Orientation Guide on the UBC Law website and sent out by email as well.  The FB group is a fantastic social device, however.  I found it to be a useful way to meet peers-to-be, ask questions informally, and post responses.  You may even find your future roommate there!

Finally, if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas for future blog posts, please don’t hesitate to email me at orientation@law.ubc.ca.  If you would like to talk to an upper year student and ask advice or take a tour of the Law building, email the UBC Law Student Ambassadors at ambassadors@law.ubc.ca and someone will respond as soon as possible.

Very last piece of advice:  Enjoy your summer!  The best way you can prepare for the upcoming year is to relax, rejuvenate, enjoy friends and family, and have some fun!   Truly.  Come September, you’ll be rested and ready to tackle first year law.

Congratulations, and Welcome to UBC!

— Darcy