As a leading public law school, the Allard School of Law has a responsibility to offer extraordinary academic programs, to conduct ground-breaking and solution-oriented research, and to create a form for public debate and discussion. Both public and private funds are necessary to build a vibrant centre focused on the future of the legal profession and the role of law in promoting a just, sustainable and prosperous society. The thoughtful generosity of alumni, law firms, foundations, corporations, and other supporters helps to ensure our continued success.
Watch a special video that highlights the impact of supporting our outstanding students and talented faculty members.
Linda (Class of ’86) and Peter J. Hull (Class of ’73)
In 2022, Linda Hull with the support of her late husband, Peter J. Hull made plans to support future Indigenous law students through an inspiring and generous estate gift of $1 million.
“When Peter and I first talked about setting up an endowment in our will for Indigenous law students, it was to encourage more Indigenous students to enroll by helping to offset the financial burden by way of bursaries,” shared Linda. “From our experience in the criminal court system, we felt that Indigenous lawyers can better understand and represent Indigenous people before the court.”
When asked about the impact she and Peter hope this gift will have on the future of the legal profession, Linda noted: “It is my sincere hope that Indigenous law students will benefit from this permanent funding which not only provides for bursaries but will support programs and activities at the Allard School of Law, directly impacting the academic success of Indigenous students.”
John C. Armstrong, QC (Class of ’64)
In 2021, John C. Armstrong, QC donated $100,000 to add to the capital of his existing endowment, the John C. Armstrong, QC Bursary in Law. This bursary was established in 2018 and has supported eight awards to date. With the addition of this $100,000 gift, the impact of his endowment is expected to triple on an annual basis.
A generous alumnus and supporter of the law school, Armstrong is an experienced estates and trusts lawyer. He established his firm, Armstrong Estate Law, in 2012. Based in Calgary, AB, Armstrong is active within his community, having served on a variety of charitable boards throughout his professional career.
”My hope is that this bursary makes a meaningful difference in the lives of everyday law students who are passionate about a career in law, but who face financial circumstances that could put that dream out of reach,” said Armstrong.
Ellen Mary “Penny” O’Donnell
In 2021, the estate of Ms. Ellen Mary “Penny” O’Donnell bequeathed a generous six-figure gift to support JD students who demonstrate financial need. This gift will go towards supporting law students through the creation of an endowment named in honour of Ms. O’Donnell’s foster brother, Mr. Bisham “Bishop” Karn Dharney.
Ms. O’Donnell was a box factory worker for 43 years, from the age of 16 until she retired. She passed away at the age of 88. Mr. Dharney was a Vancouver-based lawyer. He became a member of the Law Society of British Columbia from 1958 until his death in 2007, after a courageous battle with stroke and respiratory conditions. Neither Ms. O’Donnell nor Mr. Dharney were alumni of the Allard School of Law or UBC.
Honourable Judge David St. Pierre, the Honourable Selwyn Romilly (Class of ’66), Matthew Nathanson (Class of ’97), and two anonymous donors
In 2021, a generous donation from the Honourable Judge David St. Pierre, the Honourable Selwyn Romilly, Matthew Nathanson, and two anonymous donors established the Allard School of Law’s first-ever student award dedicated solely to supporting incoming Black Canadian JD students. The $225,000 fund, which includes a contribution from UBC, will support 15 incoming law students with their tuition and fees over the next five years.
The Hon. Judge David St. Pierre practiced criminal law as a partner of Cobb, St. Pierre, Lewis, Barristers and Solicitors before being appointed to the Provincial Court of British Columbia in 2009. The Hon. Selwyn Romilly was appointed to the Provincial Court of British Columbia in 1974 and elevated to the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 1995. He was the first Black judge named to any court in British Columbia. Matthew Nathanson is a criminal defence lawyer practicing out of downtown Vancouver. Together, with two anonymous donors they established this award to support Black students as they begin their legal education.
When asked what impact they hope this gift will have on the future of the legal profession, St. Pierre, Romilly and Nathanson shared this message, “A representative Justice system is a healthy Justice system. Recent events have brought into focus issues of racial inequality that must be addressed with more than just words. We hope this student award will provide a gateway to more Black voices being heard in the legal profession. More Black law students means more Black lawyers and more Black judges. This is an important first step towards real, substantive change. We are pleased to be able to play a part in propelling such change.”
The Honourable Grant Burnyeat Q.C. (Class of ‘73)
In 2020, the Honourable Grant Burnyeat Q.C. (LLB ‘73) donated $129,000 to support JD students who have demonstrated academic merit, have shown significant leadership skills, and face financial challenges that would prevent the start or completion of their law degree. This gift will go towards supporting 10 law students through an established award historically set up by Burnyeat to support the full cost of tuition for one law student on an annual basis.
“My hope is that these 10 awards will allow law students to take advantage of their time at law school and focus on their legal education without the burden of financial obligations placed upon them by this pandemic.” The Honourable Grant Burnyeat Q.C. noted, “I hope that my gift will encourage other gifts and that donors will consider increasing their gifts this year to meet the challenge of this difficult time. Now, more than ever, students need help and as an alumni community we should be encouraged to step up and support in whatever way we can.”
Roper Greyell LLP
In 2020, Roper Greyell LLP donated $100,000 in support of students. Half of the funds will be used to establish an endowed bursary in the firm’s name to allow the law school to actively seek out talented students who come from diverse backgrounds. This funding will be matched, dollar for dollar, by UBC’s Blue & Gold campaign for students. The balance will support the law school’s newly created Post-graduation Debt Repayment Assistance pilot program to support students in pursuing careers of their choice after law school, without the burden of debt impacting their choices.
“If we want to build for a better tomorrow, it’s important to invest in our students and provide the support they need,” said Michael Wagner, Partner, Roper Greyell LLP. “Our firm is proud of its long-standing relationship with UBC and we are thrilled to continue our support of the law school.”
Richards Buell Sutton LLP
In 2019, Richards Buell Sutton LLP (RBS) donated $250,000 to enable the law school to continue operating its Business Law Clinic over the next five years. The Clinic provides legal advice to local entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profit organizations. Students benefit from hands-on learning opportunities to develop practical skills while also learning about substantive areas of business law. This program will also strengthen the outstanding educational programs offered by the law school’s Centre for Business Law. RBS has had a special connection with UBC for 110 plus years, as their predecessor firm helped draft the original University Act, establishing The University of British Columbia in 1908.
"Our firm has had a long and rewarding relationship with UBC, and we are delighted to maintain our support through our contribution to the Business Law Clinic,” said Jeffrey J. Lowe Q.C., Managing Partner of RBS. “The Business Law Clinic is another example of the innovative approach of the Allard School of Law to legal education, which includes experiential learning opportunities for our future business lawyers.”
In 2019, Nancy Wiggs made plans to support incoming law students through a tremendously generous estate gift of $1 million. The Nancy E. R. Wiggs Scholarship in Law will be designed to attract the top JD students to the Allard School of Law. The award is especially designed to appeal to those that might be deciding between multiple offers from other law schools.
The name Nancy Wiggs is likely a familiar one for those who either worked or studied at the law school and UBC in the last 40 years. Nancy’s career at UBC began in the early 70’s, eventually culminating into the faculty administrator role at the law school - a position she held with dedication until her retirement in 2012.
“I knew exactly the kind of gift I wanted to make,” said Nancy. “One of my best friends is Elaine Borthwick, who is the admissions officer at the law school. We’ve known each other from the day I arrived here, and we’ve become very, very close over the years. I have spent years listening to Elaine talk about the need for more admissions scholarships. And I thought, that’s where my money can go. I hope that my gift will encourage other gifts. There’s quite a few faculty and alumni that make gifts, but it’s unusual for a staff member. I’m really proud of it, and I’m really thankful I was able to do it.”
Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP
In 2018, Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP donated $100,000 to establish an endowed award in honour of Jack Giles, Q.C. The award is available to students entering the JD program with preference given to students who have demonstrated a keen interest in advocacy through student government, community involvement or other activities.
After receiving his law degree from UBC in 1959, Jack Giles appeared for almost 50 years as trial and appellate counsel in courts throughout Canada, in virtually all areas of the law, as well as appearing before federal and provincial tribunals. Both in practice and through his roles in numerous professional and other organizations throughout his distinguished career, he was a leader in advocating a number of important matters, including access to justice, the rule of law, an independent judiciary, civility to fellow members of the Bar and the independence of the Bar.
“Our firm was looking for a meaningful way to pay tribute to Jack and the leadership he provided to the profession,” said Jeffrey J. Kay, Q.C., Managing Partner. “The award is a perfect fit as it will support law students who have a passion for advocacy and in doing so honour Jack’s legacy and commitment in this area. Jack’s commitment was expressed not only in his work for clients but also through the service he provided to the legal community and beyond.”
Lawson Lundell LLP
In 2018, Lawson Lundell LLP donated $450,000, of this $375,000 will establish a new faculty position, and $75,000 will provide funding for a $15,000 annual entrance scholarship.
Hiring in the area of business law is a strategic priority for the law school. The Lawson Lundell UBC Professorship in Business Law will expand the number of faculty members affiliated with the Centre for Business Law at the Allard School of Law. This position will enhance the Centre’s ability to offer outstanding educational programs to support students’ learning in business law and the advancement of business law scholarship through leading-edge research. In 2011, Lawson Lundell LLP established an entrance scholarship in the firm’s name, the first full-tuition scholarship supported by a law firm. The firm’s renewed commitment of this important award enables the Allard School of Law to continue to recruit the best and brightest students and to address the issue of access to legal education.
“We have always been impressed by the high caliber of graduates that come out of the Allard School of Law, and often look to this talented group of students to join our firm,” said Clifford Proudfoot, Managing Partner of Lawson Lundell LLP. “We are equally impressed with the law school’s faculty members and their passionate and innovative approach to teaching the next generation of legal professionals.”
Y. P. Heung Foundation
In 2017, the Y. P. Heung Foundation donated $150,000 in support of the RISE Women’s Legal Centre, a partnership between the Allard School of Law and West Coast LEAF.
The RISE Women’s Legal Centre opened in the spring of 2016. It is the first of its kind in BC and focuses on providing low income women in the Lower Mainland with much-needed legal representation in family law and related areas. This representation is provided by students from the Allard School of Law, under the supervision of a practicing lawyer.
“The Foundation and its advisors are proud to support a local program that helps women caught in the gap between being unqualified for legal aid and unable to afford a lawyer,” said Mr. Raymond Heung, Trustee of the Y. P. Heung Foundation. “We learned that the genesis of the name ‘RISE’ is the hope that clients will be able to rise above difficult times by advancing their legal matters to resolution and this strongly resonates with the mission of the Foundation.”
Ronald N. Stern (Class of ‘72)
In 2017, Mr. Ron Stern donated $500,000 to establish a new faculty position in the area of constitutional law. This funding will be matched by the investment income generated from the Allard Faculty Recruitment and Retention endowment.
Stern’s donation is made in honour of The Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin, P.C. Chief Justice McLachlin is the longest serving Chief Justice of Canada, and the first woman to hold that distinguished position. Chief Justice McLachlin graduated as the gold medalist in her class at the University of Alberta, and practiced in Alberta and British Columbia before joining the law school at UBC in 1974 as a tenured Associate Professor. After teaching at UBC for seven years, Chief Justice McLachlin began a meteoric rise through the judiciary. In April, 1981 she was appointed to the Vancouver County Court. Over the course of the next seven years, she was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia, followed by the British Columbia Court of Appeal, was subsequently appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and finally as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. On January 7, 2000 she was appointed Chief Justice of Canada by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.
“During my time at law school I was taught by inspiring and passionate professors who contributed to my understanding and appreciation for the law,” said Stern. “I am pleased to support the expansion of the faculty while at the same time paying tribute to the many outstanding contributions of the Chief Justice. My gift is also intended to assist the law school in moving to the next level as an educator and contributor to society.”
J. E. (Jack) Klinck, Q.C. (Class of ‘69)
In 2017, Jack Klinck donated $200,000 to provide $20,000 in annual bursary support for Indigenous law students over a ten year period. The awards will be available to students who are enrolled in the law school’s Indigenous Legal Studies Program and who meet the award criteria.
Klinck believes in the value of education and the power it has to change a person’s life and to be a catalyst for success. Coupled with his interest in reconciliation efforts to revitalize the relationship between Canada’s Indigenous peoples and other Canadians, Klinck chose to establish a bursary to support Indigenous students so they can go on to become leaders, making important contributions to the field of law and to society as a whole. His donation was made in memory of the founding Dean of the law school, George F. Curtis, OC, OBC, QC who served as Dean from 1945 to 1971.
“During my time at law school I was aware of the many students who required financial aid,” said Klinck. “My gift is intended to provide this kind of support to law students with the particular aim of ensuring the success of Indigenous students.”
Norton Rose Fulbright
In 2017, Norton Rose Fulbright donated $250,000 to launch and support a new Corporate Counsel Student Externship Program over the next five years. The program will place upper year Juris Doctor students in business law externships (for credit) with corporate and non-profit organizations in Canada . By combining classroom study and practical experience working in leading organizations, the learners gain industry insight and business acumen. This program will also strengthen the outstanding educational programs offered by the law school’s Centre for Business Law.
“Norton Rose Fulbright, through its recent merger with Bull Housser, has been a significant part of British Columbia’s business community for more than a century,” said Janet Grove, Managing Partner of Norton Rose Fulbright’s Vancouver Office. “It is our objective to develop students and young lawyers not just in law, but also in business. This new externship program is in direct alignment with our shared objective with the Allard School of Law, making its launch a natural extension of our longstanding partnership.”
“As one of the fastest growing global law firms over the past five years, we are committed to supporting the next generation of legal practitioners at the local, national and global level,” said Charles Hurdon, Managing Partner of Norton Rose Fulbright Canada. “In partnering with the Allard School of Law on this initiative, we are pleased to play a more significant role in the development of top practitioners in Vancouver, one of Canada’s fastest growing economies and business centres.”
Robert P. Pirooz, Q.C. (Class of ’89)
In 2016, Robert Pirooz donated $100,000 to enable the law school to continue to operate its Business Law Clinic through spring 2017. The integrated program provides students with an opportunity to develop skills in an academic and supportive environment. The Clinic provides business law advice to local entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profit organizations with limited financial resources. Pirooz chose to name the Clinic in honour of former law school Dean, Professor Mary Anne Bobinski. The 'Bobinski Business Law Clinic’ will bear Bobinski's name for the ensuing year.
“The Bobinski Business Law Clinic acknowledges that, as medical schools have always known, academic classroom study combined with applied clinical learning produces scholars with enhanced abilities beyond the classroom. This is the future of legal education as students are given a rare opportunity to observe, learn and apply business law” said Pirooz. “As an educational tool, the Bobinski Clinic exceeds the minimum hurdle rate I apply to investments. The collateral benefit of business law services made available pro bono to entrepreneurs, small businesses and non-profit organizations cannot be overstated. Each is fundamental to a robust economy, happy citizens and a healthy community.”