Peter A Allard School of Law

Contact Us & Location

The Indigenous Community Legal Clinic is located in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver on traditional, ancestral and unceded Coast Salish territories.

Tel: 604 822 5421
Fax: 604 684 7874
148 Alexander Street
Vancouver, BC Canada V6A 1B5


Faculty / Supervising Lawyers / Staff

Mark Gervin (on leave) - Lecturer/Co-Legal Services Director

Member: Law Society of British Columbia

Mark is an alumnus of the Allard School of Law; he articled with Glenn Orris, QC and was called to the British Columbia Bar in 2000. A criminal defence lawyer, Mark has worked on and continues to work on murder trials across the province of British Columbia, in addition to many other criminal law offences. Currently, he appears regularly in the British Columbia Provincial and Supreme Courts both as defence counsel and as ad hoc Crown Counsel.  Mark also serves as Chair of the Criminal Law sub-section of the Canadian Bar Association’s BC Branch and is a founding member and Vice President of the Criminal Defence Advocacy Society (C-DAS). 


Mark Gervin

Salima Samnani - Co-Legal Services Director

Member: Law Society of British Columbia

Salima is a Kenyan Indo-Canadian Muslim immigrant. Her experience as a litigator and as a lecturer focuses on public law and civil law including family, child protection, and employment law. Salima’s research, areas of expertise, and advocacy focus mainly on access to justice, anti-racism, clinical legal education, and education for self-represented and underrepresented litigants. As a lecturer, she is passionate about implementing clinical legal education pedagogies that focus on trauma-informed, skills-based legal training from a feminist, anti-racist and decolonization perspective.

Salima Samnani

Vernon Black - Legal Assistant

Vernon Black is a dedicated Legal Assistant at the Indigenous Community Legal Clinic, where he utilizes his expertise to serve the Peter A. Allard School of Law. As a proud member of the Chipewyan Prairie First Nation from Treaty 8 territory, Vernon is passionate about giving back to the Indigenous community. He recently graduated with honors from the Indigenous Justice Program at the Native Education College, where he was also recognized as Valedictorian.

Prior to his legal career, Vernon amassed 20 years of experience as a chef, demonstrating his versatility and adaptability. His decision to change professions was driven by a strong desire to make a difference in the lives of Indigenous people. Despite his demanding work at the legal clinic, Vernon remains actively involved in his community as the owner of a popular local burger shop.

Outside of his professional life, Vernon cherishes his Dene roots and takes pride in promoting Indigenous culture and values. With a unique blend of legal expertise and a background in the culinary arts, Vernon is an invaluable asset to both his workplace and community.


Lisa Ramasami - Legal Assistant

Lisa is a dedicated Legal Assistant at the Indigenous Community Legal Clinic. Her journey in the legal profession started in Toronto, where she completed her Paralegal Diploma at Humber College, subsequently becoming a licensed Paralegal with the Law Society of Ontario. Since then, she has grown and contributed her skills to the in-house legal teams of companies in the Cybersecurity and Wood Products industry, focusing on corporate governance and commercial contracts, and in law firms such as Torys LLP and FCL LLP. Her diverse experience has given her a broad perspective on the legal landscape. With a strong foundation in legal knowledge and a professional approach to her work, Lisa takes pride in providing clients and students with the support and guidance they need in their legal endeavors.  

Apart from work, Lisa also loves to travel, try different cuisines and read. She strongly believes in advocacy and human rights.


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