1 Building the Environmental Law Bar | West Coast Environmental Law


Building the Environmental Law Bar

Every year in mid-August, it gets a bit quiet in the West Coast office. It’s the time when our summer law students head back to their respective universities, and a few weeks before the legal volunteers start arriving in the fall through programs like Pro Bono Students Canada, and later in the year through student placements from UBC, Osgoode Hall and Macquarie University. Students work closely with our staff lawyers, and we hope they gain insight into the practice of public interest environmental law that will inform their professional practice as lawyers. We greatly appreciate their fresh ideas and energy, and their contribution to our work – particularly our research capacity. In fall 2016, West Coast lawyers are also teaching an Environmental Law Workshop course at the UBC Faculty of Law.

West Coast Summer Law Students 2016 (left to right):

Alex Kirby, Sina Kazemi, Monisha Sebastian, Brianna Meyer

From testifying before parliamentary committees to working with Indigenous communities to revitalize their legal traditions, the work done at West Coast embodies this kind of broad and empowering vision of the law. It has opened my eyes to what the law can be, and what it can do. I am excited to bring this perspective to my future work as a lawyer.

  • Alex Kirby, 2016 Summer Law Student

Meeting the faces driving change in Canadian environmental law and bringing Indigenous law to the forefront of these discussions has given me a dynamic professional network to carry with me far beyond my final year of law school.

  • Brianna Meyer, 2016 Summer Law Student

I found myself in a room full of Canada’s leading experts on EA who were meeting to discuss opportunities for transforming environmental assessment in Canada, in light of the upcoming federal review of environmental assessment processes. While slightly intimidating at first, this proved to be one of the most meaningful experiences of the summer.

  • Monisha Sebastian, 2016 Summer Law Student

Our Access to Justice work is funded by the West Coast Environmental Law Association and the Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund Society