Articling Students throughout CLAS History

Where are they Now?

List compiled by: Emily Zarychta, CLAS Articling Student 2020 – 2021

INTRODUCTION

Articling at CLAS is a unique opportunity to meld learning with social justice and systemic change. CLAS’ former articling students have taken a multitude of paths, from opening their own firms, to becoming respected decision-makers, to joining university staff! Many continue to provide legal services and advocacy at CLAS or other non-profit legal organizations like TRAC and Health Justice. Others provide powerful advocacy to their clients in union-side labour law, or private law firms. CLAS is extremely proud of its part in the formation and education of these brilliant minds.

DAVID MOSSOP, QC PUBLIC INTEREST ARTICLING FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM

The David Mossop, QC Public Interest Articling Fellowship Program at the Community Legal Assistance Society is renowned as one of the few articling positions that offer experience in public interest and poverty law. The Articling Fellowship began in 2006 and has continued to the present. The articling position includes rotations through the Human Rights Clinic, the Sexual Harassment Advice, Response, and Prevention for Workplaces Program, the Mental Health Law Program, and the Community Legal Program. The articling student’s work includes supervised administrative tribunal work, supervised court work, and support for staff lawyers on complex superior court matters, as well as assisting on test case litigation, working on systemic advocacy, and contributing to public legal education. This articling position is funded by a special grant from the Law Foundation of BC to enhance justice by supporting public interest law and to broaden public interest opportunities for articling students.

This fellowship is named after David Mossop, QC, one of CLAS’ first staff lawyers when CLAS became a society in 1971. He officially retired as a lawyer with CLAS in April 2014 after working on poverty law issues for over 40 years. He practiced in the areas of poverty, administrative, human rights and constitutional law, and represented clients at all level of courts, including up to the Supreme Court of Canada several times over his career. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1999 and elected as a Bencher of the Law Society of British Columbia in 2008. He was awarded the Social Justice Award in 1990, the Special Award of the Federated Anti-Poverty Groups of BC in 1996, and the Special Recognition Award of the Regional Immigrant and Visible Minority Women of BC in 1998. In 2015, the Law Foundation of BC named its annual articling fellowship grant after him in honour of his illustrious career and amazing contributions to access to justice in BC. Since his official retirement, David has continued to do part-time contract legal work for CLAS in the area of mental health law, so his incredible experience, knowledge & wisdom, which he is always eager to share, is still available to us all!

DAVID MOSSOP, QC

HERE ARE CLAS’ FORMER DAVID MOSSOP PUBLIC INTEREST FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM ARTICLING STUDENTS:

2006 – 2007

Kevin Love (he/him) was CLAS’ first full-time articling student. Kevin is now a lawyer in CLAS’ Community Law Program, working primarily in the areas of mental health and workers’ rights. Kevin has represented clients at all levels of court, both federally and provincially, including the Supreme Court of Canada. Prior to joining the Community Law Program, Kevin worked in CLAS’ Mental Health Law Program representing clients who were detained in psychiatric facilities under the Criminal Code. Kevin represents CLAS on a number of committees, including WorksafeBC’s policy and practice consultative committee. Kevin chairs the Workers’ Compensation Advocacy Group, which is an independent network of worker advocates throughout British Columbia. Kevin acts as the supervising lawyer for the First United Church’s legal advocacy program in Vancouver’s downtown eastside.

2007 – 2008

Kendra Milne (she/her) is the Executive Director of Health Justice, a non-profit dedicated to supporting human rights in coercive health care. Kendra is a lawyer whose career has been dedicated to using legal skills to create positive social change. She is especially interested in the intersections of health equity, human rights, and the social determinants of health. Kendra has worked on issues related to poverty, housing, human rights, gender equality, and mental health and substance use policy and community-based research. She has advocated in support of clients and systemic change before diverse audiences including parliamentary committees, United Nations committees, media, and decision-makers ranging from the Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal to the Supreme Court of Canada. Kendra holds a BSc and an LLB from UVic, she is an Adjunct Professor at the Allard School of Law at UBC, and she also sits on the board of RainCity Housing.

2008 – 2009

Devyn Cousineau (she/her) is a member of the BC Human Rights Tribunal.  Prior to her appointment, she served as Tribunal legal counsel.  Before joining the Tribunal, Ms. Cousineau practiced in the areas of human rights and administrative law for several years, representing complainants across British Columbia and appearing before various tribunals and at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada.  She is a frequent invited speaker on human rights and administrative law topics.

Ms. Cousineau holds a BA (Hon.) from McGill University and an LLB from the University of Victoria, where she received awards for academic achievement, oral advocacy and community service.  After law school, she clerked for Madame Justice Jo-Ann E. Prowse at the BC Court of Appeal and the Hon. Rosalie Silberman Abella at the Supreme Court of Canada.

2010 – 2011

Mike McCubbin (he/him) articled at CLAS under David Mossop, Q.C. from 2010 to 2011. The training, learning opportunities, and support he received from CLAS and its lawyers and staff, both during and after articling, was immensely beneficial to him in becoming a lawyer and developing his practice. Simply put, he wouldn’t have been able to do so absent his CLAS articling experience and he remains deeply grateful for it. Since being called to the bar, Mike established his own firm practicing litigation in a wide variety of areas. The compassion and understanding he developed for clients while articling at CLAS remains a core part of his practice approach and has served him well since his call to the bar. Mike now has a general civil litigation practice in the Comox Valley, including corporate-commercial matters, estate litigation, and administrative law as well as family law. He has acted for clients in a variety of matters, such as wills variation claims, trust litigation, employment law, passenger transportation vehicle licensing, and professional regulation. He has appeared at every level of court in British Columbia, the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal, and a number of administrative boards and tribunals. He is a member of the Canadian Bar Association and the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia and frequently presents at continuing legal education seminars.

2011 – 2012

Kaity Cooper (she/her) is General Counsel with the Hospital Employees’ Union (HEU). Kaity holds a JD from the University of British Columbia (2010), where she received the Law Society Gold Medal and Prize, and a MSt in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford (2019), where she received the Morris Prize for finishing top of her class. After clerking at the B.C. Court of Appeal, Kaity articled at CLAS in 2011, later joining the poverty law program as a staff lawyer. Kaity joined the legal department of the HEU in 2015.  Save for a placement in 2016 with the Gender Research and Advocacy Program of a non-profit in Namibia, Kaity has advocated for the rights of health care workers ever since.

2012 – 2013

Dante Abbey (he/him) is a lawyer in the Mental Health Law Program at CLAS, representing people with a mental disorder before the BC Review Board and the Mental Health Review Board. Dante completed his articles with CLAS in May 2013, and worked as a summer student at CLAS while completing his law degree at the University of British Columbia. Before articling, Dante worked as a tenancy and poverty advocate at different organizations in the Vancouver area, and was actively involved with the Law Students’ Legal Advice Program. After articling, Dante operated a private civil law practice focused on offering low-cost or legal-aid funded help in the areas of family, refugee, and administrative law. He has represented clients at the BC Supreme Court, BC Provincial Court, and a range of tribunals. He returned to CLAS in 2015. Dante currently sits on the board for PovNet as a CLAS representative. Dante enjoys running after-work Dungeons and Dragons sessions for fellow CLAS enthusiasts.

2013 – 2014

Juliana Dalley (she/her) is a Staff Lawyer with the Immigration and Refugee Legal Clinic where she is a passionate advocate for newcomers and individuals with precarious immigration status. Prior to joining the IRLC, Juliana worked as an immigration and refugee lawyer in private practice and at a legal clinic where she helped migrant workers with immigration and employment issues. Juliana articled and began her career as a Staff Lawyer at Community Legal Assistance Society where she helped clients with housing, income security, human rights, and employment issues. At CLAS, Juliana worked to advance the rights of migrant workers and represented migrant workers in legal proceedings to uphold their rights including before the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal. Juliana has appeared before all levels of the Immigration and Refugee Board, the Federal Court, the B.C. Supreme Court, the B.C. Court of Appeal and represented an intervenor before the Supreme Court of Canada. Juliana has also testified before and provided written submissions to House of Commons standing committees. Juliana clerked for Madam Justice Hansen at the Federal Court of Canada after receiving her law degree from UBC in 2013.

2014 – 2015   

Laura Johnston (she/her) is the Legal Director at Health Justice. She is a lawyer who has worked primarily in the areas of disability rights, mental health, and human rights. She has represented clients with many different forms of mental disabilities and substance use issues, as well as disability rights organizations, in administrative and constitutional law cases before multiple tribunals and levels of court in Canada. She has conducted research and law reform initiatives to improve access to justice, fairness, and Charter rights for marginalized populations. Before Health Justice, Laura worked for several different equality seeking non-profit organizations and clerked at the BC Supreme Court. Laura teaches Mental Health Law as an Adjunct Professor at the Allard School of Law at UBC and at the University of Victoria. She frequently provides education to legal and medical professionals on topics like the Mental Health Act, Adult Guardianship Act, and Health Care (Consent) and Care (Facility) Admission Act.

2015 – 2016

Zuzana Modrovic (they/them) – After graduating from UVic law in 2012, Zuzana spent 3 years working as a poverty law advocate at the Kamloops and District Elizabeth Fry Society. They articled at CLAS in 2015-2016, after which, Zuzana joined the Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre, first as an advocate, and later as a staff lawyer. Zuzana now runs TRAC’s Housing Law Clinic program, mainly assisting tenants with judicial reviews of Residential Tenancy Branch decision. In their spare time, Zuzana likes to brew beer (which they are reasonably proficient at), and climb rocks (which they are less proficient at but equally enthusiastic about.)

2016 – 2017   

Dylan Mazur (he/him) is the Director of Human Rights and Equity at Lakehead University. He worked at the BCCLA as Community Lawyer from 2017-2019. Dylan has over fifteen years of experience collaborating with diverse communities in Canada and Latin America on initiatives in the areas of human rights, mental health, and community development. Dylan articled at the Community Legal Assistance Society, where he represented clients at the BC Human Rights Tribunal and the Mental Health Review Board. Dylan also worked as the Summer Law Student at the Legal Department of the Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc in Kamloops.

Prior to articles, Dylan served as Executive Director of the Vancouver Association for Survivors of Torture. In Mexico, he collaborated with human rights organizations in Chiapas and Oaxaca to develop community-based psychosocial support programs for survivors of torture and political violence. In Guatemala, Dylan worked on the development of a knowledge exchange project between First Nations and Mayan communities to promote indigenous justice systems in Guatemala and British Columbia. He also collaborated with three coffee-growing communities in the Western Highlands of Guatemala to develop a community-owned and operated water, sanitation, and public health project. Dylan holds a Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Social Work from UBC.

2017 – 2018   

Isaac Won (he/him) is a lawyer in the Community Law Program. During law school, Isaac volunteered extensively with the Law Students’ Legal Advice Program, providing legal representation and advice to low income and vulnerable individuals. Isaac completed his articles with CLAS in May 2018 and has worked with the Mental Health Law Program and the Human Rights Clinic before joining the Community Law Program in 2020.

2018 – 2019

Abisola Omotayo (she/her) is an associate at PGS Law. She joined the firm in May 2020 after articling and practicing human rights law and civil litigation at CLAS. She prides herself on being a pragmatic and driven litigator and strives to achieve the best possible results for her clients. Abisola obtained her law degree from the University of Cambridge and holds a Master of Laws from the University of Toronto. She is passionate about access to justice and worked with Lawyers Without Borders during law school. Through her work with Lawyers Without Borders, she went to Torti Abajo, Panama, to provide pro bono legal assistance to rural landowners. She also worked at a non-profit organization in London, England, focused on providing access to justice for children after finishing law school. Abisola currently represents clients in both Supreme Court and Provincial Court proceedings and focuses her practice on family law and child protection law. In her spare time, Abisola loves to travel and cook. She speaks Spanish and conversational French and enjoys experiencing different cultures. She is also a passionate Arsenal fan and patiently awaits their Premier League success.

2019 – 2020

Alanna Tom (she/her) is a lawyer in CLAS’s Human Rights Clinic, where she assists clients with their complaints before the BC Human Rights Tribunal. Alanna articled at CLAS after graduating from the Peter A. Allard School of Law. Prior to beginning her articles at CLAS, Alanna worked as a Policy Officer for the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (Melbourne, Australia) on their Independent Report into Sexual Harassment and Sex Discrimination in Victoria Police. During law school, she did a full term as a temporary articled student at the Indigenous Community Legal Centre where she assisted Indigenous clients in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver on a wide range of legal issues including family law, wills and estates, child protection, and criminal law. Prior to law school and during her 1L summer, Alanna worked for the Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia.

2020 – 2021   

Emily Zarychta (she/her) is currently articling at the Community Legal Assistance Society under Kevin Love. After articling, Emily aims to continue her career in social justice law. She obtained her law degree from the University of Victoria in 2020. During law school Emily completed a term at the Law Centre, a clinical program where she represented clients at court and tribunal hearings. She also completed a co-op term at Atira’s Legal Advocacy Program as a legal advocate to women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, and at the BC Government. Emily contributed to the legal community during law school as a volunteer disability advocate at the Together Against Poverty Society, an Access Pro Bono volunteer, the Administrative Director of Access Pro Bono’s UVic chapter, and Pro Bono Students Canada researcher. Prior to law school, Emily worked for a Manitoban non-profit called Recycle Everywhere, where she occasionally donned a recycling bin mascot. She also volunteered as a crisis counsellor and facilitator for several years. In her free time, Emily enjoys board games, crafting, and succulents. She is looking forward to adopting a small rescue dog when the timing is right.

PARTIAL ARTICLES AT CLAS

In addition to the full articling program, CLAS has also taken on partial articling students. In most cases, these articling students split their time between CLAS and other non-profits or private law firms to fulfill their articling requirements, contribute to social justice, and gain varied experience.

HERE ARE CLAS’ FORMER PARTIAL ARTICLING STUDENTS:

1989 – 1990

Diane Nielsen (she/her) is the supervising lawyer of the Mental Health Law Program at CLAS, and has been with CLAS since 1990. MHLP was formed as a program of CLAS in 1977 to represent people with a mental disorder at tribunal hearings, court hearings and in law reform initiatives. During her employment with CLAS, Diane has represented people with a mental disorder at criminal and civil tribunal hearings, judicial review hearings, court hearings on test case issues and in law reform initiatives, including government initiated reviews of the amendments to the mental disorder provisions of the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act, and the British Columbia Mental Health Act.  She has also provided training, supervision and education for others in the area of mental health law.

2007 – 2008   

Alex Imperial (he/him) works for a public sector union handling workers compensation and long-term disability appeals. Shortly after arriving as immigrant from the Philippines, Alex was hired by CLAS as an advocate for the Mental Health Law Program. CLAS provided him with the much needed Canadian work experience in a field where he was able to apply his foreign education, skills, and experience while helping the disadvantaged. As a person of colour and a new immigrant, the chance to work with CLAS was precious. In 2007, Alex started articling with CLAS which provided him with a broader experience in social justice advocacy, which felt good! This experience opened doors for employment opportunities in government and the labour movement, and cemented his commitment to advancing social justice work.

“CLAS people are awesome and I am grateful to my mentors, colleagues, and support staff that made my time with CLAS a memorable and rewarding experience.”

2008   

Catherine Dauvergne (she/her) is the Vice-President, Academic and Provost of Simon Fraser University. Previously, she was Dean of the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia from 2015 to 2020, and prior to this Dauvergne researched refugee, immigration, and citizenship law as a professor. Dauvergne completed four-month special articles with CLAS in the summer of 2008 so that she could be called to the bar in time to make submissions in an important Supreme Court of Canada immigration case.

2019

Midhath Mahir (he/him) did articles with CLAS, a labour law firm, and an immigration law firm. Midhath is a legal advocate with the Mental Health Law Program (MHLP) at CLAS, and is qualified as a practicing lawyer in BC. Midhath represents people with mental disorders before the BC Mental Health Review Board. Midhath completed his articles at CLAS and was called to the Bar in 2019. While at CLAS, he worked exclusively with MHLP and represented clients before the BC Mental Health Review Board and the BC Review Board. After getting called, Midhath set up his own legal practice in downtown Vancouver. He also worked as the Legal Information Counsellor at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital at Colony Farms. He returned to CLAS and joined MHLP full-time in September 2020. Often, you might see him running or walking his beloved four-legged companion Lilly on the sea-wall.

2019

Lydia Chu (she/her) is an associate at Peck and Company. She split her articles, beginning at a criminal firm, spending three months with CLAS’s Mental Health Law Program, and ending at Peck and Company. She was called to the B.C. Bar in 2019 after graduating from the University of New Brunswick Faculty of Law, during which time she participated in the Laskin Moot and volunteered within the local community of Fredericton.

2020

Robert Patterson (he/him) articled with CLAS and TRAC, the Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre, in 2019, and was called to the bar in 2020. Robert joined TRAC as a Legal Advocate in August 2018 after graduating from UBC Law. During law school, he volunteered with the Law Students’ Legal Advice Program, assisting low-income clients with legal matters ranging from WorkSafeBC claims to a one-day criminal defense trial. Robert has advocated for tenants at the Residential Tenancy Branch and the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Robert is an avid reader and Dungeons & Dragons game master – rumour has it there was a secret CLAS D&D game running during his articling year…

2020

Debra Febril (she/her) did articles with Atira’s Women’s Resource Society and CLAS. She is now a legal advocate in CLAS’ human rights clinic. Debra is a member of the Nisga’a Nation, located in Northern British Columbia. She belongs to Wilp Bayt Neekhl (matrilineal family/house). Debra’s Nisga’a name is: Ts’its utsgu’um T’winhl Bahkl Sga’ahk. She received a BA Degree from Thompson Rivers University in 2009 and a Law degree in 2014. After law school she returned to her home Territory where she worked with In-house legal Counsel for Nisga’a Lisims Government. She also joined the Court Resources Team to support Nisga’a children in care, with a focus on ensuring they maintained meaningful connections to culture. Debra was the Ayuukhl Nisga’a department manager at Nisga’a Lisims Government where she was able to use some of her skills and training to support the efforts to protect, promote and preserve Nisga’a Language and Culture. She also had the honour to work closely with the Council of Elders. Today she enjoys the challenges presented to her, and the opportunity to help others through the lens of her lived experiences.

*A big thank you to everyone who contributed to this list.