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May Advocate 2017

THE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 5 P A R T 3 M A Y 2 0 1 7 413 Over the years students have become very aware of the fact that if they were not helping clients that come to the Law Centre, the outcomes for those clients would be far worse. Because of this, many students have been inspired by their work to follow careers in social justice. What has really made the Law Centre’s clinical program stand out is the orientation—the boot camp—which prepares students for work in the clinic. The first orientation, in 1980, was one week in length and dealt solely with trial preparation. Over the years Glenn created a rigorous, five-week orientation that teaches lawyering skills including interviewing, counselling, negotiation, mediation, trial preparation and drafting. These skills give law clinic students a huge advantage when applying for articles because they know how to prepare for trials and hearings. They know how to look at legal problems from a client’s point of view. And they are exposed to a breadth of different types of cases. The Law Centre’s caseload breaks down to thirty per cent criminal law, thirty per cent family law, twenty-five administrative law, ten per cent human rights, and five per cent representation agreements and wills. In 2013 the Law Centre moved to the Victoria Courthouse building where it co-located with the Justice Access Centre. It now houses five staff members with seven interview rooms, 17 student work stations and a reception area. Student are temporarily articled to members of the local bar and receive advice and assistance on the conduct of their files from their principals. Paul Pearson is an alumnus of UVic Law, practises criminal law with Mulligan Tam Pearson and teaches as a sessional instructor at the law school. He has also volunteered as a supervising lawyer at the Law Centre, so he has been involved with the Law Centre, and worked with Glenn Gallins, both as a student and as a practising lawyer. He had a lot of wonderful things to say about his experiences there: When you experience the Law Centre as a law student, you see why it is consistently described as the best thing students did in law school. While many students enter the program with a keen desire to put what they have learned at UVic to practical use, they soon realize the problems their clients face are very, very real. Without the calm guidance of Glenn Gallins, these problems could all too easily become overwhelming. Law students who have completed Law Centre are changed people, and carry with them life-long empathy for the persons in society who most desperately need the courageous protection of lawyers. The mutual benefit received by both law students and members of the public is a rare example of what can be achieved with a modest budget and strong support from both the university and the community. Well over a thousand law students and countless thousands of British Columbians have benefited from this pioneering and ever-adapting program.


May Advocate 2017
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