University of British Columbia Faculty of Law

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Peter A. Allard School of Law
Coat of arms of the University of British Columbia
Motto Latin: Fiat justitia ruat coelum
Motto in English
Let justice be done though the heavens fall
Type Public Law School
Dean Mary Anne Bobinski
Academic staff
Students 600[1]
Location Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Campus Urban, Point Grey

The Peter A. Allard School of Law, is the law school at the University of British Columbia and one of the largest English language legal programs in Canada. The school offers a three-year Juris Doctor (JD) program and the graduate degrees of Master of Laws (LLM), Master of Laws Common Law (LLMCL) and doctorate (PhD) degrees. Among other things, the faculty has courses emphasizing Pacific Rim issues, business law, tax law, environmental and natural resource law, indigenous law, and feminist law.

Aerial view of Allard Hall in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada)


The law school's motto is: fiat justitia ruat cœlum meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."


The Allard School of Law is located at the University of British Columbia's Point Grey campus in the University Endowment Lands, just outside the city limits of Vancouver, British Columbia. Until May, 2009 the faculty was housed in the Curtis Building, named for the founding dean, George F. Curtis, who died on October 23, 2005. The Curtis Building has been demolished and replaced with Allard Hall, named after donor Peter A. Allard, QC.[2] which was constructed on the same land.


The Allard School of Law is currently ranked 5th in Canada by Maclean's 2013 Law School Rankings,[3] and 40th in the world and 3rd in Canada by the 2013 QS World University Rankings by Subject: Law and Legal Studies[4]


University rankings
Global rankings
Canadian rankings
Maclean's Common Law[5] 5

The Allard School of Law at UBC is recognized as Canada's second academic legal institution[clarification needed], and it followed in the footsteps of Dalhousie Law School (now Schulich School of law) and Harvard Law School. It was unique in offering a broad range of courses, including international law, taxation, labour law, conflicts of law, and municipal law in addition to the traditional black letter law classes.[6] UBC was one of the first schools in Canada to have professors utilize the Socratic method in teaching, pushing students to think critically of the cases they were expected to read.[7]

Courses in law were taught at UBC from its founding. However, UBC did not create a formal Faculty of Law until 1945; it did so in response to the large number of veterans returning from World War II requiring post-secondary education. Given special funding by the provincial government, the law school hired George Curtis from Dalhousie's Faculty of Law to serve as its first Dean. Within two months the faculty was educating its first incoming class. Due to a lack of infrastructure, the University secured army huts that had been used to house servicemen during the war to house the law school until a permanent structure became available.[8] The law school became the standard means by which prospective lawyers could become members of the bar, replacing the traditional approach that involved articling under an established lawyer in a relationship much like an apprenticeship.

In 1951, after the inadequacy of the army huts became apparent, the faculty received funding from the university to build its own permanent structure. This building became the first permanent structure for the faculty, and remained so until 1973. During this era, the law school pioneered the use of casebooks, collections of excerpts from legal cases designed to illustrate principles derived from judicial decisions.[9]

On January 22, 2015, UBC announced a transformational $30 million gift from law alumnus Peter A. Allard, QC. Allard’s gift is the largest gift ever to a Canadian law school. In recognition of his gift, the university renamed the law school as the Peter A. Allard School of Law.

Programs and research centres

Centre for Business Law

The Centre for Business Law provides a robust, interdisciplinary and empirical research environment for research and scholarship in business law and finance policy, focused on both domestic and international comparative law. The Centre offers outstanding educational programs in business law for J.D. students, enhancing the quality of students' learning experience by increasing engagement with contemporary business law issues. The Centre's goal is to become a focal meeting place to enhance the intellectual exchange among the business law community, including scholars, judges, financiers, business leaders, legal practitioners, in-house counsel, government policy-makers and community members.[10]

Centre for Law and the Environment

The Centre for Law and Environment seeks to establish a network of scholars and policymakers from a variety of disciplines, professions, and institutions throughout the world for the sharing of knowledge in the field of law and the environment. The Centre also provides a quality legal education that prepares students for a practice and a life as a lawyer that demands they be interdisciplinary, international, and attentive to indigenous issues.[11]

Centre for Asian Legal Studies

The Centre for Asian Legal Studies is the largest group of academics teaching and researching Asian legal issues in Canada. The Centre’s teaching and research activities focus on the law and legal culture of China (including Taiwan), Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia, with a particular emphasis on Indonesia and Vietnam.[12]

Centre for Feminist Legal Studies

The Allard School of Law is nationally and internationally renowned for its scholarship and teaching in Feminist Legal Studies. The purpose of the Centre for Feminist Legal Studies is to enhance the visibility of feminist legal studies at UBC and to strengthen cooperation in research, teaching, and graduate student supervision between scholars working within the faculty and elsewhere at UBC, as well as links and collaborations between scholars working in different university and community settings in British Columbia, Canada, and internationally.


  • Indigenous Legal Studies Program
  • Allard School of Law Innocence Project

Affiliated law reform organisations

  • British Columbia Law Institute
  • International Centre for Criminal Law Reform & Criminal Justice Policy

Allard Hall

On July 13, 2011 UBC announced a significant gift from law alumnus Peter A. Allard, QC in the amount of $11.86 million. Allard's gift is the single largest donation to the Faculty and one of the largest donations ever to a Canadian law school. Allard directed $9.825 million of his donation towards the construction of a new law building, which the university chose to name Allard Hall.[13] Private fundraising in conjunction with the Allard donation nearly $35 million, making the campaign one of the most successful private fundraising effort in history for a Canadian law school building. Of that amount, $21 million was allotted to the new building's $56 million cost.

The donation from Allard was also used to establish the Allard Prize for International Integrity and to create an online historical faculty archive, the UBC Law History Project. In addition, Allard also donated a sculpture by Native American artist Allan Houser entitled Legends Begin, which is displayed on the fourth floor Terrace Lounge in Allard Hall. Recently, Allard donated a number of art pieces by photographer Fred Herzog, who captured images of people and scenes of Vancouver's urban landscape in the 1950s and '60s.


UBC Law Review

One of Canada's foremost referred peer-reviewed law journals. The UBC Law Review's mandate is to stimulate debate and encourage discussion on Canadian and international legal matters through the publication of independent articles, case comments, and book reviews. Spanning over 50 years, the law review has a tradition of excellence that boasts many prominent judges, practitioners, and professors among its past members. First published in 1949, it was originally a collection of essays entitled UBC Legal Notes. In 1959 it officially became the UBC Law Review. In the tradition of the world's highest ranking law journals, the editorial process and business of the society is run by Juris Doctor students, while manuscripts submitted to the journal are peer-reviewed by renowned scholars with specialized knowledge of the subject matter.[14]

Table of Statutory Limitations

First published in 1955 as a section of the UBC Law Review, the Table of Statutory Limitations has since matured into an annual compendium of legal limitation periods of various statutes. The TSL is published by students at the Allard School of Law[15] and features the following:

  • All Canadian provincial and territorial Limitation Acts
  • Small Claims Court Rules
  • Supreme Court of British Columbia Rules
  • British Columbia Court of Appeal Rules
Annual Review of Insolvency Law

The only Canadian peer-reviewed journal dedicated to insolvency and bankruptcy law. This annual publication offers articles by scholars and practitioners on personal and commercial insolvency law.[16]

Canadian Journal of Family Law

First published in 1978, the Canadian Journal of Family Law is Canada's first family law journal. The journal is a biannual interdisciplinary journal that publishes both English and French academic articles on a broad range of issues related to family law. The journal is peer reviewed by an advisory board consisting of legal professionals and academics. It is produced by an editorial staff of Allard School of Law students.[17]

Masks: The Online Journal of Law and Theatre

An interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal based at the Allard School of Law. The journal focuses on the intersections of Law and theatre.[18]

UBC International Law Journal

The UBC International Law Journal is an online open access academic journal published by students at the Allard School of Law. The journal was initially created through the UBC International Law Society. The journal publishes exclusively student work, reviewed by students. The first issue was published in November 2008.[19]

Legal Eye newspaper

The Legal Eye is a newspaper published monthly by students at the Allard School of Law. Started in September 2003, the Legal Eye serves as a forum for reporting on news about the Faculty, broader legal community, case commentary, the occasional recipe, book/restaurant/film reviews, event reviews, and for recognizing student activities and achievements.


  • 1945 to 1971: George F. Curtis, OC OBC QC
  • 1971 to 1976: Albert McClean, QC
  • 1976 to 1982: Kenneth M. Lysyk, QC
  • 1982 to 1991: Peter T. Burns, QC
  • 1991 to 1997: Lynn Smith, QC
  • 1997 to 2003: Joost Blom, QC
  • 2003 to 2015: Mary Anne Bobinski
  • 2015 to Present: Catherine Dauvergne

Notable faculty

Notable alumni


  1. LSAC - JD: Canadian Law School Profiles. 2013. Retrieved 2014-04-30.
  2. "UBC Law Receives $11.86 Million Gift".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "2013 Common Law University Ranking". Maclean's. 19 September 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. Hevesi, Dennis (2009-05-30). "Thomas Franck, Who Advised Countries on Law, Dies at 77". The New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. Sands, Philippe (2009-08-23). "Obituary". The Guardian.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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