The Law Society is pleased to offer a scholarship for Aboriginal graduate students in a field of law. The $12,000 annual award aims to enhance the retention of Aboriginal lawyers by supporting the development of Indigenous leaders and role models in the legal academic community. Retaining Aboriginal lawyers in the profession has been a key objective for the Society.
Who is eligible?
The Aboriginal Scholarship is open to Aboriginal students who are proceeding to a full program of graduate studies in a field of law. Candidates must be graduates of the University of British Columbia, University of Victoria or Thompson Rivers University law schools or be able to demonstrate a real or substantial connection to BC.
What is the selection criteria?
The Credentials Committee will take into consideration:
- academic standing;
- positive social contributions, such as volunteer work;
- whether the applicant intends to practise in BC after completing graduate studies;
- financial need; and
- importance or significance of proposed graduate work.
How does one apply?
A candidiate must submit a letter to the Law Society setting out the details of the applicant's academic career and proposed plans for graduate study.
The application letter must be accompanied by:
- official transcripts of the applicant's academic career;
- three letters of recommendation from the applicant's law school: one from the law dean and two from professors; and
- a photocopy of either a status or membership card or a formal letter from a recognized organization that can attest to the applicant's Aboriginal identity. The applicant must submit a letter of explanation if unable to provide one of these documents.
Aboriginal refers to First Nations (North American Indian, Status and non-Status), Metis and Inuit.
The application letter and accompanying materials should be mailed to:
Manager, Credentials & Licensing
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 March 31 of any given year.
Are there any conditions to the scholarship?
Students awarded the Aboriginal Scholarship will be required to provide a reporting letter to the Credentials Committee on the use of the scholarship and a copy of the relevant work.
The Aboriginal Scholarship will not necessarily be offered every year and, when offered, will be awarded only if there is a highly qualified applicant. The Aboriginal Scholarship must be used in the year it is awarded. The recipient may accept and receive other scholarships and awards up to an amount not exceeding the tuition of the graduate program in which the recipient enrolls, or such other amount as the Law Society Credentials Committee may determine.
Congratulations to Darcy Lindberg, winner of the 2015 Aboriginal scholarship.
Darcy Lindberg is of Plains Cree heritage, with family on his mother’s side from Samson Cree Nation in Alberta. He completed his Juris Doctor degree at the University of Victoria in 2012, and articled with Davis LLP (now DLA Piper LLP) in Whitehorse. He was called to the bar in both BC and Yukon in 2013.
After being called to the bar, Darcy operated his own sole practice for eight months, experimenting with a business model that combined mediation, consulting and legal services. He offered a flexible fee structure with the goal of helping populations that have traditionally been under-represented within the justice system.
Darcy then returned to Whitehorse to work at DLA Piper before deciding to return to the University of Victoria. He has been accepted to the Master of Laws program, starting in the fall of 2015, and plans to study the use of ceremony in traditional Indigenous laws. “A lot of communities have different legal traditions and it’s just coming to light how they interact with common law and civil law,” he explains.
Darcy’s career goals include working in social justice law and possibly teaching.