PBSC UVic welcomes our 2016-2017 Program Coordinators!

Hello All,

We are delighted to announce the 2016-2017 PBSC Program Coordinators: Bronwen Black and Jessica Li!
Bronwen will be working full-time during the summer to set up exciting placements for students for the 2016-2017 academic year. Jessica will join Bronwen in September to help run the program through to April 2017. We encourage those of you who are not graduating to consider volunteering again next year. We know that 2016-2017 will be another amazing year for PBSC UVic!
Cheers,
Jessica & Maggie

Access To Justice with The Honourable Judge Christine Lowe

12788770_10156686058990725_1452754951_oThe UVic Chapter of Pro Bono Students’ Canada was proud to help facilitate a lunchtime session with the Honourable Judge Christine Lowe. The session was organized by two PBSC volunteers on behalf of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association’s RightsWatch Project in conjunction with the International and Human Rights Law Association.

Over 75 UVic Students and faculty attended the lunchtime session where the Honourable Judge Christine Lowe outlined her experience with access to justice. The Honourable Judge Christine Lowe was appointed as Judge of the Provincial Court on August 4, 2015. Prior to appointment she worked as Crown Counsel in Victoria and Vancouver for 24 years. She articled with the BC Ministry of the Attorney General, and was called to the bar in 1989. She holds a BA in Criminology from SFU and an LLB from UBC. She has a particular interest in grass roots community based solutions to societal problems, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Restorative Justice.

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The Honourable Judge Christine Lowe presented to UVic students on February 24th, 2015.

If you enjoyed this lunchtime presentation, and would like more information on access to justice in BC and across Canada, check out the RightsWatch Blog or the TalkRights Portal. Or, if you’d like to be involved in planning further events like this for UVic Students, be sure to sign up next year as a PBSC Volunteer.

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PBSC Volunteers Jessica Wilson and Claudia Arrieta with the Honourable Judge Christine Lowe and UVic PBSC Coordinators Maggie House and Jessica Steingard (Pictured from right to left)

Lunchtime Presentation from the Honourable Judge Christine Lowe

PBSC Blog Event

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association – Pro Bono Students Canada RightsWatch Blog and the International and Human Rights Law Association are excited to present as a special guest the Honourable Judge Christine Lowe from the Provincial Court of British Columbia on Wednesday, February 24 to speak to us about her experiences and views on access to justice from her perspective as a prosecutor and now as a judge. Her presentation will be followed by a Q&A Session.

The Honourable Judge Christine Lowe was appointed as Judge of the Provincial Court on August 4, 2015. Prior to appointment she worked as Crown Counsel in Victoria and Vancouver for 24 years. She articled with the BC Ministry of the Attorney General, and was called to the bar in 1989. She holds a BA in Criminology from SFU and an LLB from UBC. She has a particular interest in grass roots community based solutions to societal problems, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Restorative Justice.

Everyone is welcome to join us in room 158 at lunch (12:00 pm – 1:00pm). Pizza lunch will be served.

Please also check out the CCLA-PBSC RightsWatch Blog and CCLA Talk Rights Portal for exciting news posts, discussions, and information on civil liberties rights and issues across Canada.

RightsWatch Blog: http://rightswatch.ca/
TalkRights Portal: https://ccla.org/talkrights/about-talk-rights/
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1680357498890459/

Dennis Edney’s Passionate Address to UVic Law Students Leaves Lasting Impression

Dennis Edney Addressed UVic Law Students - Photo Credit Jason Newton

Dennis Edney Addressed UVic Law Students – Photo Credit Jason Newton

Professor Donna Greschner, Program Coordinator Jessica Steingard, Dennis Edney, QC, Program Coordinator Maggie House, Dean Jeremy Webber - photo credit, Jason Newton

Professor Donna Greschner, Program Coordinator Jessica Steingard, Dennis Edney, QC, Program Coordinator Maggie House, Dean Jeremy Webber – photo credit, Jason Newton

 

 

Dennis Edney Delivers Key Note Address at PBSC UVic’s Launch Event

On September 30, PBSC UVic Chapter launched its 2015-16 program with a key-note address by Dennis Edney, Q.C., lead counsel for Omar Khadr. Mr. Edney spoke passionately about the grave injustices inflicted upon Khadr and the urgency of pro bono work in support of the Rule of Law. He received a standing ovation from the large audience of law students, lawyers and the general public.

Mr. Edney spoke of his journey to free Omar Khadr, an unpopular crusade in the eyes of political leaders and in fact, many Canadians. He also emphasized the importance of the rule of law and the purpose it serves in ensuring no person or government is above it. He posited: “Can you imagine an army of lawyers challenging the use of excess power? The world would be a better place.” Finally, Mr. Edney demonstrated that it only takes one person to change the life of another. He challenged the audience to take action, noting that “the greatest thing we have to fight is apathy.”

As a student group creating opportunities for students to provide legal information to marginalized communities, PBSC UVic is grateful for Mr. Edney’s role, not only in freeing Omar Khadr, but in inspiring young lawyers to take up a cause and commit to making a difference.

Hello From the Incoming 2015-2016 Program Coordinators!

Program Coordinators Maggie House and Jessica Steingard recently returned from a STELLAR Pro Bono Students Canada training conference facilitated by the National Office of Pro Bono Students Canada, stationed in Toronto.   If you are a current or incoming UVic law student, check back in late July to access the online 2015-2016 Application Form. We look forward to meeting you all in September! We can’t WAIT for you to see what we have in store.

 

Volunteer Appreciation Event

Attention wonderful PBSC volunteers!

This event is our way of thanking you for all your hard work this year! Get away from the library and come to YOUR Volunteer Appreciation Event @ Maude Hunter’s Pub tomorrow at 5pm. There will be plenty of food and free drinks for volunteers!

We’ll also be giving away awards and introducing our incoming 2015-16 PBSC coordinators!

There won’t be any speeches, lawyers, or panels, just fellow volunteers (and guests).

You can show up as early or as late as you want to and leave whenever you’d like!

As always, let us know if you have questions or concerns – we really hope to see all of you there!

 

 

PBSC UVic hosts three lawyers for its ‘Pro Bono in Practice’ event

1The University of Victoria Chapter of Pro Bono Students Canada (“PBSC”) hosted three lawyers on Tuesday, February 24th to speak about their experiences providing pro bono services. The ‘Pro Bono in Practice’“Not-A-Speech, Not-A-Panel, Not-A-Wine-And-Cheese” was a fun, informal, networking and information event, which allowed volunteers, other students and lawyers to sit down and discuss pro bono work over drinks and pizza.

2The event began with introductions of our three guests, Chris Considine, QC (Considine and Company), Samantha de Wit (Cook Roberts), and Darcy Golden (Golden & Golden). Chris Considine, a Victoria resident, is well-known for his long history of community involvement and his work on many significant cases, including Rodriguez v. Attorney General of British Columbia. Samantha de Wit practice s family law in Victoria, providing advice and helping to resolve issues relating to the breakdown of married and common-law relationships. Darcy Golden is an immigration lawyer whose work experience includes interning at the Together Against Poverty Society in Victoria.

1After helping themselves to pizza and drinks, volunteers, students, and guests settled throughout the student lounge. Groups quickly formed around the lawyers. Students wasted no time in asking the lawyers about their practice and how they integrated pro bono into their work. Conversation topics varied greatly between the groups. Samantha de Wit spoke about the oftentimes difficult nature of family law and the satisfaction of achieving amicable resolutions. Darcy Golden fielded questions about her recent experience articling and the transition from law school to practice. Chris Considine spoke about the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General) and his involvement with the case. He also took the opportunity to learn more about the students, asking them about their opinions on work-life balance and even about bill C-51.

As pizza boxes were stacked and glasses were collected, the evening came to a natural close. Chris, Samantha, and Darcy said their farewells and the students thanked them for their time and insight into pro bono and practice in Victoria. The event ended just as it began, relaxed and informal.

Jean Chrétien ‘flips his wig’ to highlight access to justice

Jean Chrétien has lent his name and experience as an ambassador to the second annual Flip Your Wig for Justice campaign, which seeks to improve access to lawyers and the justice system for the disadvantaged or marginalized.

The former prime minister joined wig-wearing members of his law firm, Dentons, to raise awareness for the campaign. Lawyers and other members of the legal community are being encouraged to wear the decidedly non-traditional legal wigs to increase awareness of the problems of access to justice and, through sponsorships, raise money for six Ontario-based organizations that are working to find solutions, including Pro Bono Students Canada.

Flip Your Wig for Justice also encourages legal professionals to get involved in pro bono work and to educate the public about how the legal system works.

Visit the Ottawa Citizen for the full article and interview with Chrétien.