THE ADVOCATE 263
VOL. 78 PART 2 MARCH 2020
By Julie Sloan*
THE RETIREMENT OF PROFESSOR GLENN GALLINS, Q.C.
It is difficult to overstate the impact Glenn Gallins, Q.C., has had on UVic
Law and its students. For more than 35 years he taught and mentored over
2,000 students at the Law Centre’s clinical program. His gentle guidance
and unshakable ethic of social justice left an indelible imprint on generations
of law school graduates.
The Law Centre, established in 1977, serves between 1,800 and 2,000 lowincome
clients per year and is the longest-running common law clinical
program in Canada. What started from humble beginnings in 1977 has
served over 80,000 clients in the Greater Victoria area and has become a pillar
of student education at UVic Law, thanks in large part to Glenn.1
Glenn has a favourite story to illustrate what it was like in those early
days. In the spring of 1978, a student named Tony Palmer (who later
became a Provincial Court judge and is now retired) showed up for his first
day at the Law Centre and on his desk was a pile of about 30 files. At four
o’clock that same afternoon, he went into Glenn’s office and said, “You
know, it looks to me like maybe we have a trial tomorrow.” And he was
right—it was a small claims trial. And it showed a glaring need to prepare
students for the work they would be doing.
What really sets the Law Centre’s clinical program apart is the student
orientation—the boot camp—which prepares students for work in the
clinic. The first orientation, in 1980, was one week long 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
* Julie Sloan is the communications officer at UVic Law.