THE ADVOCATE 97
VOL. 78 PART 1 JANUARY 2020
By R.C. Tino Bella
Marlene Heather Scott, Q.C.
Marlene loved the good things in life: theatre,
singing, musicals, film and a daily Rogers’ chocolate.
But knowing this is only a small part of knowing this
intriguing and wonderful person.
One of two women in a class of 80 that graduated
from UBC Law in 1959, she set a high standard for
those who followed. Thirty-five years later her contribution
to the profession was recognized when she received the Georges
A. Goyer, QC Memorial Award for Distinguished Service.
Her practice and her roots were in New Westminster. She and her sister,
Jeanette, the James sisters, were among New Westminster’s vivacious
young women in the 1950s. Marlene had a good voice and her sister would
accompany her on the piano. She loved the stage and acted in the local playhouse
Never interested in sports, Marlene nevertheless took a summer job at
the New Westminster Parks and Recreation Department and found herself
designated a “sports director” at Hume Park. She researched the rules of
baseball and soccer, did the job and years later delighted in telling her legal
partners how she had “coached” young Mac Tyler (later a great New Westminster
lacrosse player and her legal partner) and taught him everything
What inspired her to go to law school? Her sister says that her friend
Linda Gates dared her, so Marlene, then a second-year arts student, met
with the dean of UBC Law, who told her to finish her arts degree first. Marlene
told him it was next year or never, and the dean grudgingly agreed to
accept her, on the condition she kept her marks up, but he predicted that
she would marry and not finish her degree.