Indigenous Legal Studies (ILS) Academic Leadership Certificate
The ILS Academic Leadership Certificate is a non-mandatory yearly offering available only to Indigenous JD students. The aim of the certificate is to provide academic and leadership skill development and community building within the Indigenous student cohort.
It consists of weekly sessions alternating between academic sessions for the 1L Indigenous JD cohort led by Lecturer Lisa Martz, augmented with guest lectures by professors teaching first year law classes.
On alternating weeks, Leadership Sessions are organized for the entire Indigenous JD student cohort by the ILS Associate Director Lee Schmidt to foster community between and among the three years of law school. In addition, the ILS JD Mentorship program, which begins in the summer prior to commencing first year, and continues throughout the first term, pairs upper year Indigenous law students with incoming Indigenous law students for mentorship support and provides opportunities for mentors to gather over the summer group to foster community and inclusion. This program is organized with the assistance of an upper year Indigenous law student taking the role of ILS JD Mentorship Coordinator.
The Academic Leadership Certificate program also includes tutoring and coaching by an upper year student in the role of ILS Coach, who provides weekly group and individual tutoring sessions for Indigenous law students over the course of the academic year in person and online and creates and manages academic support content on the designated Canvas site for the program.
Previously funded with the generous support of the Lew Innovation Fund, as of 2020, we are grateful to the Law Foundation of BC for supporting this important offering.
Indigenous Law Students Association
The UBC Indigenous Law Students Association (ILSA) is a vibrant student organization, created by and for diverse Indigenous students and non-Indigenous allies at the Allard School of Law. Throughout the academic year, ILSA works with Indigenous Legal Studies to identify and organize events to encourage collegiality, facilitate mentorship and promote an understanding of Indigenous legal traditions, Indigenous issues, and how to incorporate this learning into the student and alumni experience. Elections are held for positions of president, vice president, treasurer and upper year representatives in late Spring, and secretary and first year student representative in September each year. Events include monthly meetings, the Sisters in Spirit vigil on October 4th, Christmas Food Hampers, and Indigenous Awareness Week each February in conjunction with Indigenous Legal Studies.
For more information, or to become involved, please email: email@example.com. Please ask to join the UBC ILSA Facebook group if you are interested in learning about the student group. You can also follow on Twitter.
Charlotte is Ojibwe and a member of the Animakee Wa Zhing #37 First Nation. Charlotte is a third year law student at Allard and serves on the ILS Committee as the ILSA Co-President. Charlotte holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Baylor University.
Abby (she/her) is both Filipino and Indigenous, with her family being from Lil’wat Nation. She is currently a second year law student at Allard and serves on the ILS Committee as ILSA Co-President. Abby has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Law and Society from the University of British Columbia, and a certificate in International Human Rights Law from Fordham Law School’s Leitner Centre for International Law and Justice.
Networking and Career Events
- ILS Alternative Career and ILS Alumni Speaker series are focused on career paths
- Annual ILS Networking Event with firms and governmental organizations represented along with ILS Alumni to meet and mingle with Allard's Indigenous JD students
- Informal mentoring opportunities are organized with the local legal community
- ILS co-hosts events including the popular Speed Mentoring Event with the CBA-BC Aboriginal Lawyer's Forum and local firms
- ILS works cooperatively with firms to co-host and sponsor Indigenous student attendance at banquets and conferences and to offer Indigenous students opportunities for summer positions
- ILS and CSO work collaboratively to bring in speakers of interest to Indigenous students and those interested in practicing Aboriginal law & to provide career services to Indigenous students
Cultural & Wellness Support
Cultural & wellness support consists of a combination of referrals, social gatherings and cultural workshops coordinated throughout the academic year. These include:
- End of term ILS Lunch Celebrations in December and April
- ILS Crafting workshops including drum making and beading
- Referrals and introductions to cultural supports, Elders, Indigenous counsellors
- One on one advising and referrals to knowledge keepers for ceremony attendance opportunities
- Opportunities to participate in smudging & ceremony and learning through peers
Indigenous Legal Studies (ILS) works collaboratively with the Indigenous Law Student's Association (ILSA) to support and provide opportunities for students to gather for circles and knowledge sharing opportunities for the ILS community and the greater Allard Community.
Indigenous Legal Studies is also connected with the larger Indigenous community at the University of British Columbia that finds its home at the First Nations House of Learning. Indigenous students are encouraged to attend the weekly lunches, one of which is historically hosted by ILS, as well as to join the Indigenous Collegiate.
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