440 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 77 PART 3 MAY 2019
The Honourable Judge Jennifer Lopes
On October 22, 2018, Jennifer Lopes swapped one
set of gowns for another as she was sworn in as a
judge of the Provincial Court of British Columbia
with resident chambers in Surrey. Her career as
Crown counsel came to an end and her appointment
to the bench was the next logical step in a remarkable
career in public service.
Practising law was a path that Jennifer was destined to follow. There are
very few careers where advocacy is valued and you can use your voice (and
opinion) for the greater good. Jennifer was (and remains) passionate about
making a difference in the lives of others and about seeing the right thing
is done, no matter the situation. From humble beginnings growing up in
East Vancouver (back in the day when East Vancouverites had a reputation
for being the equivalent of the Greasers), Jennifer learned that the way to
make a difference in the lives of others was to listen, work hard and rise
to any challenge. Jennifer was, and is, the type of person who is true to her
word, approaches life with strong moral values and ethics, and works
to find the positive in any difficult situation. Above all, no matter what
Jennifer does, she always ensures it is the right thing.
Jennifer is no stranger to taking charge, a trait that will serve her well on
the Provincial Court bench where she will have to exercise this skill with
self-represented litigants and lawyers alike. When she changed high schools
in her final year, Jennifer did so to take charge of her education, knowing
that it was in her best interests and would help her excel. There she met her
soon-to-be lifelong best friend, Christine, in an English Literature class.
Christine recalls how she became drawn to Jennifer: “It was her bravery and
she was fearless. Despite being the new student, Jennifer was not afraid of
offering her opinion in class.” Those who have worked with Jennifer will
know that fearlessness is a trait she possesses. So, for the counsel who
appear before her, just know that Judge Lopes may have a few questions for
you and will not be afraid to move you outside of your comfort zone.
Following graduation from high school, her undergraduate degree and
her brief foray as a liquor store clerk, Jennifer made her way to UBC Law,
graduating in 1998. Her drive for excellence and her determination shone.
It was in the law school environment where Jennifer continued building
lifelong relationships and excelled in the law, while balancing the challenges
of being the mother of a young child. Jennifer went to law school