Indigenous Scholarship

The Law Society is pleased to offer a scholarship for Indigenous students enrolled in full-time legal studies in British Columbia.

The scholarship may be awarded to one student ($20,000), or divided equally between two students ($10,000 per student), at the discretion of the selection committee. The Indigenous Scholarship aims to enhance the representation of Indigenous lawyers in British Columbia by supporting their legal education.

Who is eligible?

The Indigenous Scholarship is open to Canadian Indigenous students who are enrolled in full time studies at the University of British Columbia, University of Victoria or Thompson Rivers University law schools.

What are the selection criteria?

The Credentials Committee will take into consideration:

  • academic standing;
  • positive social contributions, such as volunteer work;
  • the applicant's intention to practise in BC after completing legal studies; and
  • financial need. 

How to apply

A candidiate must submit a letter to the Law Society setting out the details of the applicant's academic career, social contributions, intention to practise in BC upon completion of legal studies, and financial need.

The application letter must be accompanied by: 

  • official transcripts of the applicant's academic career;
  • proof of enrolment in a law school in British Columbia;
  • two letters of recommendation from the applicant's law school (preferably one academic reference, and one reference confirming the applicant’s social contributions); and
  • proof of Canadian Indigenous ancestry, specifically, a photocopy of either a status, citizenship, membership, registration, or enrolment card issued by:
    • The Registrar of the Federal Government’s “Indian” Register;
    • A Band within the meaning of the Indian Act that has control of its membership list;
    • An Indigenous group under a modern land claims agreement;
    • An Inuit organization that is recognized by the Government of Canada;
    • An Inuit organization that is recognized by the Government of Nunavut;
    • One of the Métis Settlements in Alberta;
    • A provincial organization that is a member of the Métis National Council, which includes the Métis Nation of British Columbia, the Métis Nation of Alberta, the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan, the Manitoba Métis Federation, and the Métis Nation of Ontario; or
    • A Métis organization that is recognized by the Government of Canada.

A non-status First Nation person is required to submit a front and back copy of their parent’s Indigenous card and the student’s long form birth certificate or baptismal certificate. Both documents must list the student’s name and the parent’s name showing the link between the student and the parent.

The application letter (including the applicant's email address and phone number) and accompanying materials should be mailed to: 

Lesley Small
Senior Director, Credentials, Professional Development & Practice Support
Law Society of British Columbia
800 – 845 Cambie Street
Vancouver, BC  V6B 4Z9

What is the deadline for submission?

All documents must be submitted to the Law Society no later than April 30 of any given year.

For more information, contact the Senior Director, Credentials, Professional Development & Practice Support.

2023 co-recipients

Congratulations to Bailie Copeland (left) and Tara-Lynn Wilson (right), co-recipients of the 2023 Indigenous Scholarship.

Bailie Copeland is a member of the Métis Nation of British Columbia and is currently a 2024 Juris Doctor candidate at Thompson Rivers University Faculty of Law. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Athabasca University in 2021. Upon completing her law degree and being called to the bar, Copeland plans to practise law in northeastern BC to assist with bringing adequate legal representation to the rural north and to Indigenous Peoples. A long-term goal is to expand her knowledge of Indigenous law and agricultural law with a further focus on the environment and natural resources.

Tara-Lynn Wilson is from the Xen’ak’siala tribe located in Kemano, BC, and was raised in the Secwepemc territory of Bonaparte, where her mother is from. She is currently a 2024 Juris Doctor candidate at Thompson Rivers University Faculty of Law. Wilson’s plans include practising law in BC, focusing on Indigenous/Aboriginal law or criminal law, continuing her education by applying to the LLM program at Harvard Law School and, hopefully, becoming a judge.