674 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 77 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2019
affirms that rehabilitation is possible, even in the most challenging circumstances.
It also led me to believe that the Law Society stood up for what is
in society’s best interest. The decision stated that my rehabilitation benefits
society as a whole. Also, my honest and candid testimony was not seen as
a threat but rather “a clear sign of integrity and honesty, and evidence of a
Most importantly, in my view, the decision noted that my past experiences
could be turned into “positive lawful fighting skills on behalf of worthy
causes”. I was granted admission to the articling program.
Given my past interaction with the criminal law, it was not obvious to me
that I would be admitted to the bar of B.C. However, the credentials panel’s
decision convinced me that the legal profession recognizes rehabilitation in
a meaningful way. Whereas I had previously been condemned for my past
conduct, this time I was afforded a new life and was not precluded from
admission to the Law Society.
As acknowledged in the decision, my rehabilitation is demonstrative of
good character and repute sufficient to be an officer of the court. I cannot
forget the support I received throughout the process from Law Society staff
and benchers, as well as lawyers from around the province. The respect
given to me by the Law Society affirmed that in spite of adversity in my life
and challenges during law school that sometimes felt like salt being pressed
into my old childhood wounds, my trajectory was worth it. I learned that
many people within the “system” do genuinely care about people and do
exercise appreciation for those of us who have to work extra hard to get past
the gatekeepers. Thankfully, and gratefully so, the professional legal community
was much more inviting than my previous experience with legal
Being welcomed into the legal community was only the beginning of how
the legal community has positively affected my life, both personally and professionally.
As seen in the credentials panel’s decision, my past brush-ups
(or collisions, rather) with the law and subsequent transformation have
resulted in longstanding relationships within the legal community.2 Though
I am not religious by any definition, my path is nothing short of a blessing
and miracle; or in the alternative, perhaps it is simply that I am a product of
chaos and my tenacity for survival allows me to fight a good fight.
ARTICLES AND FRIENDS
Shortly after the credentials panel’s decision, I began to article in a smaller
northern community. Luckily, I am a “northern boy” through and through
(albeit somewhat more educated and progressive than some of my home-