Peter A. Allard School of Law

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By Geoff Golda, 3L

This morning for me began like any other Thursday morning. Because I don’t have class on Thursdays, I allow myself to get up a little later than usual. I putz around the apartment for a while, turn on the kettle and grind some coffee for the French press. I have a number of readings to catch up on today, but they can wait until after my morning coffee and cigarette. Indeed, they can wait until after I play a few songs on the guitar. Maybe I’ll get breakfast before delving into them. Or read some of my novel.

In truth, I’m no stranger to procrastination. That jolt of motivation in the eleventh hour has been the backbone of a good many of my scholarly achievements. This semester has been generally different thus far, though. This semester I’ve been doing my readings before classes. This semester I’ve been attending my classes. This semester is my last, and out of some sense of needing to prove something to myself or just wanting to be the best me I can be while still officially connected to Allard Hall, I’ve been doing things right for a change. No, please reserve your accolades. I really haven’t done anything yet.

For whatever reason, I’m putting as many things between myself and getting onto my readings as possible this morning. I’m procrastinating in a way which is not unfamiliar, but which is uncharacteristic of my year thus far. New Years resolutions have a way of fading as January wears on, but in fact I’d never resolved to be a better student this semester. I just started doing it. As I look out onto the wet streets and bobbing umbrellas below, I realize that there is something else which has caused me to hesitate with respect to my routine. There is somewhere else that I should be.

Yesterday, our noble LSS President Andrea Fraser alerted me to the fact that she would be giving a speech at the surprise announcement in the Franklin Lew forum today. She wouldn’t tell me what the announcement was. This frustrated me. A law school is no place for surprise announcements. We require notice, so that we can adequately respond. Notice of “a surprise” in my eyes is akin to no notice at all. I realize after placing my guitar down this morning that I’m unreasonably irked by the whole thing. Not only that, but I’m irked by the fact that others don’t seem to be similarly irked. “Free lunch,” they assure me, dismissive of my indignance. As if the virtue of a free lunch could overwhelm the most egregious injustices.

No. Today I will not sit idly by in my apartment catching up with readings while whatever surprise announcement is made. Today I will be heard. Justice be done, though free lunch be served. I dress myself, step out into the rain, board the 44, plug in my headphones, and turn on some meditative sounds so I can calmly measure my approach.

I walk into Allard Hall on a mission. It’s 11:25. That gives me 35 minutes to determine what on earth is going on here before the official announcement ceremony begins. I begin by asking a few students, none of whom seem to know for sure what is going on. There is a rumour going around that Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin might be giving a speech – a most unlikely occurrence given that the Supreme Court is in session and moreover because there would be a number of people, including myself, who would have been exceptionally angry to have missed out on such an event. The more likely candidate regards a certain $30 million endowment to the law school by Peter A. Allard, and news that the law school would be renamed “Peter A. Allard School of Law”.

The gall! A surprise announcement that this man is able to throw incredible sums of money around and stick his name on whatever he likes? And we’re supposed to celebrate and be happy about this somehow? How perverse! Satisfied that this is indeed what is going on, I set about talking with students about what is about to take place. I throw a lot of choice words around, narcissist among them. One can’t just go throwing money about and expect the world to love him for it. Indeed, I will be taking my free lunch (I can’t speak to the chilli, but the pulled pork sandwiches were fantastic) and listening to what is to be said, but no, I’m not buying any of this, and no, I’m not happy about it.

Shortly before the actual speech portion of the announcement was underway, I got a moment to speak with Andrea Fraser about the whole thing. I made a number of the same comments that I had made to others that morning and managed to get in a little dig about how she, the strong minded and sceptical force of nature that she is, still somehow managed to be sucked into the whole thing. I wasn’t speaking as such in order to offend her, so much as to convey the general sense of losing faith in humanity that was welling up in my gut. If even the best of us are happy to live on our knees, well…

In any event, Ms. Fraser set to setting me straight. She told me that I had it wrong, that I shouldn’t be running my mouth as I had been, and that she’d hoped I hadn’t been spewing such non-sense around to others. I suggested she not be so hard on me, that indeed there were few among us willing to resist such gratuitous displays of extravagance, and that she might do well to take a page out of my book. That said, I agreed to hold my tongue until I heard what the Dean, herself, and Mr. Allard had to say.

Dean Mary Anne Bobinski stepped up to the lectern and encouraged the students, faculty, alumni, and others in attendance to begin filling the forum. Still skeptical, and eager to hear was was going to be said, I took a position in the front row near the center of the room. After a brief recap of the law school’s history and a warm introduction, with many a pause for applause, Peter Allard was given the floor.

To my surprise (!) and shame, the man humbly delivered a 12 page speech with hardly a word about himself or his achievements. Peter spoke about some of his inspirations, in particular U.S. Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Harry S. Truman, who he described as people who strove for causes which were beyond themselves as mere mortals. He talked about our mortality. He talked about some of the good things that had come out of our law school. He spoke of a hope for the future, of the courage that would be required of each of us to move this world on toward better things – in spite of the corruption and growing disenfranchised, which he also spoke of. He expressed lament over the sense of powerlessness that seems to have taken hold in the youth of today, but, with humility, he reiterated his sentiments about the power and the spirit in each of us to motivate change. To take care of each other. To live by the golden rule.

Andrea Fraser got up after him and, without having much advance notice of what would be taking place that day, was able to express from a students point of view what Peter A. Allard meant to us, and what the endowment would mean going forward. When she finished speaking, the forum was opened up, and guests were invited to champagne and sparkling water to celebrate the event. I stood in place dumbfounded for a moment, piecing back together the fragments of this unexpected day.

I decided, not being able to find each and every person I’d ranted to before the announcement in the ensuing chaos, that the best I might be able to do would be to apologize to Mr. Allard in person. I shook his hand, and he introduced himself (“Peter”) before I had a chance to do the same. I explained to him what I had done before the announcement, about the disparaging comments that I’d canvased the student body with. I told him that I now felt quite bad about the whole thing, and that I’d wished I’d heard him out before casting judgement on his actions. His response was as humbling as the speech he’d given before – he laughed, and told me that someone was bound to take such a shot at him. His magnanimity left me, as Andrea Fraser had described the effect of his gift in her speech moments before, breathless. He told me I wasn’t the only one to have had the thoughts that I did, and we started into another conversation, before we were all too quickly cut off by another group of students eager to make his acquaintance. I shook his hand once more, told him I was glad to have met him, and walked away with no more animus toward him or the school than that a detached autumn leaf might have for the tree that once bore it.

The Confusing Road to Allard Hall: One Step at a Time

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Seems like a 45 degree angle to me.

Warning: this article contains personal opinions about stepping-stones based on actual facts.

Written By: Dawid Cieloszczyk, 2L.

Do you ever feel like you’re taking steps in the wrong direction? Does the path to your destination seem like a nonsensical winding, side-ways, unevenly spaced, awkward series of motions? Because this, is precisely what the new steps leading to Allard Hall feel like.

Just look at them. I am doubtful that Allard changed its admissions standards to invite individuals with extraordinarily long legs, or who are generally comfortable walking sideways, AND have a high LSAT/GPA. With TRU and a possible TWU looming about, this scenario becomes frightfully more realistic.

Here’s the thing about ‘funny’ architecture. It’s just not very humorous at all. As a functional thing, ordinary people usually take pathways cutting through fields in order to save some time; effort is presumably reduced. “Yes, but we are absurd beings though”, says the existential architect. “We must embrace the futility of progress, and that straight, evenly spaced steps are simply le mainstream”. Can we rid ourselves of our fragile mental shackles and embrace the awkward path before us? For these steps are more than just slabs of rock, my dear friends. They are the burning in the loins, because you usually find yourself overextending to avoid taking 100 baby steps and mud on your shoes.

Could you imagine how complacent students would get walking straight to class, without navigating their footing oh so fanatically? It would be like Groundhog Day: every day is exactly the same. We can only shudder at such a reality.

There’s a popular theological argument called “Paley’s Ontological Argument”, in which a person walking by the beach discovers a watch, knowing nothing about it or where it came from. He/she can only be led to the conclusion that a watchmaker or intelligent designer was responsible for the complex gadget, and draws an analogy to an intelligent designer for the universe. When I look at these steps, my mind goes blank, because I only see the design part. Well.. yeah, at least they were designed.

Surely Allard Hall isn’t all about the schadenfreude, as a progressive institution of learning with all of these egalitarian values. Could this have really been done to watch your tortured friends attempt to shimmy across the field awkwardly? I guess we’ll never know..

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Just look at those failed footprints.

Allard Girl has all the juicy gossip

NAMES HAVE BEEN ALTERED TO PROTECT THE IDENTITIES OF THE PARTIES REFERRED TO. ALSO, MOST OF THIS ISN’T TRUE.

Hey there future lawyers. Allard Girl here, your one and only source into the monotonous lives of law students. Here’s the dirt you’ve all been waiting for…

 

x o x o

As the World Famous UBC Law Boat Cruise approaches, frantic 1Ls should immediately put aside their readings in order to secure a date. Believe me, having someone to wait in the bar line for you is much more important than trying to follow along with whatever Sheppard is saying. And if your eyes are on the 1L Nikos Harriss lookalike…make sure it really is him, and not Nikos himself: we’ve heard even Professor Bennedet has gotten the two confused once or twice.

x o x o

 

Not even one month into his time at Allard Hall, Kurtis Jonez is already under heavy scrutiny for shady dealings surrounding law school extra-curriculars. A fellow 1L in Scow, who wished to remain anonymous, reported that she saw him speaking to Brenda Shwabb the day before the race, and handing off an indistinguishable package.  The next day, Brenda purported to break her nose due to a mysterious “charades injury”, effectively eliminating her team from the hunt. Aubin Calverte, the captain of Brenda’s team, said after the fact: “I believed her at the time, but now that I think about it – really? Charades broke her nose?  Does she really think people believe that?”

 

Patrick Bobynn, the captain of the 5th place team, was also unimpressed. He said of the incident: “I put together a team of pretty girls and hockey bros and we don’t even break the top 3? That’s bush league. That bro Kurtis is a total duster.”

 

Kurtis also recently won the Blakes Plasma Car race, deepening suspicions that he has been bent on Allard Hall domination since day one.

 

Speaking of the Plasma Car race, it has been reported that multiple 2Ls were thrown out for creating their own Karaoke stage. When will they ever stop talking about “Houseboat”?

 

x o x o

 

If you’ve ever swooned over Malcolm Phunt’s dreamy hair (and we know that most of us have), prepare to be heartbroken. It was revealed to the Legal Eye by an anonymous but reliable source close to Malcolm that he has been wearing a wig since entering law school. Bald since birth, Malcolm reportedly used to wear a long, dark, dreadlocked wig during his “reggae phase” in undergrad, but ditched it for the more conservative strawberry blonde flow a week before orientation week in first year.  Other notable outed wig-wearers in Allard Hall include Brett Weningerr (1L), Blair McRadue (2L), and Patrick Wallker (3L). Patrick is apparently in the market for a new wig, as his current one is becoming a little threadbare.

 

x o x o

 

After the creation of the budget reform committee, it was expected that the budget process would be less controversial this year.  However, with Rochelle Colette in power, it has been rumoured that the Honey Badgers women’s rugby team has received sudden injections of cash.  Though no hard evidence has yet surfaced, there have been reports of questionable expenditures. E-tickets to Vegas in the names of Rochelle, Emily McKlintock, Lauren Reed, and Kaila Strung were left open on the screen of the LSS’ newly-purchased iMac. All four ladies were also spotted at River Rock Casino on Saturday, where Rochelle was seen pulling fistfuls of twenties out of her purse and slapping them down on the craps table, as Kaila drunkenly yelled, “I do what I want!”

 

Their arrogance has been noticed around the school as well, as they strut through the hall and make fun of “nerds” on a daily basis. When asked by a Legal Eye correspondent, a concerned Criley O’Crien, of the fiscally-responsible and equity-focused Illegal Beavers rugby team, had this to say: “I just don’t like how they hold themselves – they strut around Allard Hall like they own the place. We should motion to have their budget funding cut by half, because, like, they’re not being very nice.”

 

Strung and McKlintock, the Honey Badgers’ Co-Presidents, were unavailable for comment, but Reed stopped by our interview with O’Crien long enough to say, “Honey Badger don’t care. Honey badger don’t give a s*&t”, before kicking O’Crien in the knee-cap and stealing his lunch money.

x o x o

The race for the 2014-2015 LSS Executive is quickly heating up. Paul Kresock has a 100% attendance rate at the ever-exclusive “Brunch Club”. That is either a serious love for waffles, or a strong desire to be the first ever 4L(SS) President. Whatever his motive, he’ll face some serious competition from current 4L Andrew Diltz. Diltz, the only party-planner to guarantee a “no-line” entry, has already created his own boat cruise and joined the UBC Law Colour Run team. It is confirmed that there are unconfirmed reports that he is still living at Allard. Step your game up, Kresock.

x o x o

 

You know you love me.

xoxo,

Allard Girl

 

 

The Courage to Love: Fear and Unconditional Love

Fear and Unconditional Love
BY KEVIN TJIA, LAW II

What is the nature of man? John Donne once wrote, “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less.” This is some heavy stuff. Basically, John is just cribbing from when Michael Jackson sang, “You are not alone / I am here with you / Though we’re far apart / You’re always in my heart / But you are not alone / ‘Lone, ‘lone / Why, ‘lone.”

Thanks for that, Michael.

Law school can sometimes feel like an exercise in fear and loathing. And you will be somewhere around the topic of estoppel on the edge of sanity when the coffee finally begins to take hold of your addled brain. You’ll remember saying something like, “I feel the distinction between using estoppel as a sword and a shield is making me lightheaded; maybe you should explain again…” And suddenly there will be a terrible roar all around you and the sky will be full of what looks like a flock of robed judiciary, all swooping and screeching and diving around your seat. Okay. That’s enough.

It’s important to love people unconditionally. This is hard, though. Especially when you’re frantically competing against these same people to be ranked on a metric of, here’s a fact pattern riddled with grammatical errors and logical inconsistencies and you have 3 hours to justify your million-dollar legal career that potentially hangs in the balance. But the alternative is even more horrible—letting an island-woman drift aimlessly in the deep blue sea of law school without a friendly face to get her through the day.

Reach out and say hi to someone you wouldn’t normally have thought to talk to. Be kind. Don’t be quick to judge them. Learn to be comfortable in your skin. Speak up in class! Listen to what others have to say and try to relate to them and understand why they might have come to hold their position instead of jumping to quick antagonist conclusions. The more you can put yourself into a positive mental headspace by loving and accepting unconditionally the people around you, the better you’ll feel about every other aspect of your life. I’m being real and chill as heck here. Just ease up on yourself and others.

Meanness stems from insecurity and fear. So throw away your insecurities and your fears at the door of Allard Hall. The unconditional love that you can summon up the courage to give to the world will be repaid tenfold (if not by the world, then by me).

Brandon McCartney, alias Lil B (look up the etymology of alias), put it succinctly when he wrote, “We have a chance to build a world filled with Positive / Love / Possibility / Freedom, and / Self-acceptance.” He also wrote, “We all did weird stuff. Let it go.”

That stuck with me.

The New Musqueam House Post at Allard Hall

The Musqueam House Post in front of Allard Hall

BY CHRISTINA GRAY, LAW II

On March 20th, a group of about 70 faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends gathered in front of Allard Hall for a ceremonial affair to honour the newly raised First Nations Musqueam house post. Musqueam artist, Brent Sparrow Jr. was commissioned to carve this house post which depicts the human figure of qiyəplenəxʷ(Capilano). A number of representatives from the university, law school, and Musqueam Nation spoke about what this house post meant to each of them.

The ceremony started with the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Mary Anne Bobinski, thanking those that came to celebrate the house post. She also thanked those that helped get this project off the ground and continued with it throughout the years. The carving indeed represents the commitment and dedication of those who worked on it, but as the ceremony made evident, it symbolizes much more.

In speaking of the prominently placed house post, the Honourable Stephen Owen, UBC’s Vice-President, External, Legal and Community Relations, said that there is “no better symbol of strength of relationship.”

Dean Bobinski also remarked that the post celebrates the Musqueam leader, qiyəplenəxʷ. Although many people associate this name with the suspension bridge in North Vancouver, the Dean acknowledged that qiyəplenəxʷ “is widely recognized for leading the [Musqueam] people in defending their territory, laws, and customs.” In many ways this can be correlated with the types of work that students, faculty, and the Musqueam do today on this land when learning about and defending our legal values.

Cultural leader and band councilor, Howard Grant spoke on behalf of the artist, as is the practice with the Musqueam. Howard said that Brent was “honoured to carve this house post as a way of commemorating the institution and what they’re defending”.  The land where UBC stands has long been known as a place of defense for the Musqueam. In the past, this area was a strategic fortification site, known as q’ələχən, where Musqueam warriors and their families resided to protect the land from marauders.

Howard Grant also expressed Brent was thankful to the selection committee for choosing him to carve the house post as well as to those who were in attendance and witnessed the ceremony.

Musqueam Elder Larry Grant spoke in hən’q’əmin’əm’, a Coast Salish dialect, followed by an English translation. He welcomed the public to the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam people and highlighted that the Musqueam have never formally surrendered or given-up the territory upon which the university sits.

The house post may signify a reconciliatory relationship between the university and Aboriginal communities. As Dean Bobinkski explained in her speech,  “The figure recognizes the historic and ongoing relationship between the UBC Faculty of Law and the Musqueam people in the pursuit of Aboriginal justice and education.” This sentiment was echoed by Musqueam Councilor Wade Grant, who asserted that, “This post is seen as one that recognizes Indigenous laws and reconciling things that should have been done many years ago.” Counselor Grant reflected on the history of First Nations people being excluded from voting and higher education, but noted, the Musqueam now play a more integral part at the University.

The Dean also highlighted that the law school has long been seen as a leader in First Nations legal education. This year, the law school celebrates 30 years since the First Nations Legal Studies Program was launched, which was the first program of its kind in Canada. The Dean went on to say that the law school has been supportive not only of changes to the curriculum, but also in terms of research and the First Nations Legal Clinic. The Clinic allows students to gain practical experience by providing legal advice and services to First Nations clients in its Gastown office.

The ceremony also included a traditional Coast Salish blessing. Thelma Stogan, a respected member of the Musqueam Nation, who blessed the post using cedar boughs. She asked all those in attendance to pray in their respective fashion while she went around the post brushing it with the cedar boughs. Cedar boughs play a significant role with many First Nations people along the Northwest Coast, such as the Musqueam, who use it to bless and cleanse spaces and people.

The ceremony lasted only an hour, but this house post will stand in front of the law school for a lifetime. It’s open to all those that look upon Allard Hall and see the house post and to reflect on what it means, and the people upon whose traditional territory it stands.