ALSS Executive

** 2017 ALSS ELECTIONS INFORMATION AVAILABLE HERE **

President – Joshua Abaki

Josh is originally from Kenya.  He did his undergrad degree at McGill in Microbiology and Immunology with a minor in Political Science—such a natural combination! Prior to law school, he served as a Research Assistant with the BC Centre for Disease Control and as a Youth Advisor. While at McGill, he also served as the Vice-President of the McGill Students’ Society and as a Senator. At Allard Hall, he has served as a clinician with LSLAP, Academic Council representative, Law Senator and played for the indomitable Torts Illustrated, the Allard Law Soccer team. If you play on an Allard Law team, you will have noticed that your team colours are blue. This is no coincidence. He is an avid Chelsea fan! That said, Josh is always willing to hear student opinion on how the ALSS can represent you better on issues you are concerned about, so feel free to stop him in the hallways or drop by the ALSS lounge for a chat, or send an email.

The President is the chair of the Law Students’ Society Executive and coordinates activities within the Academic and Social Councils. The President is also the primary representative of JD students at UBC and an advocate for your interests to the faculty, the University, and the larger legal community in Vancouver. Within the school, the President is charged with ensuring accountability in student governance and promoting an equitable and respectful student environment. Email Josh.

    Vice President of Academic Affairs – Megan O’Neill

Megan grew up in West Vancouver, BC and completed a degree in Hotel Administration at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Her four years in upstate New York were spent playing basketball and traveling around the Northeast. Megan returned to her hometown of Vancouver to study law and begin her legal career. Outside of law school, Megan frequently travels to Whistler on weekends to go skiing and is always looking for other Allard ski buddies!

The role of the VP Academic is to identify and represent the student perspective in academic and university affairs. Aside from being a member of the ALSS Executive, the VP Academic participates as a member of the Faculty Council, chairs the Academic Council, and participates in a number of faculty committees. The VP Academic also participates as a member of the Alma Mater Society’s VP Academic Caucus to fulfill their mandate across campus. Please contact Megan to discuss your concerns, suggestions, and feedback about any academic and university affairs.

    Vice President of Student Affairs – Madison Grist

Madison grew up surf-n-turf style, spending her first formative years in Calgary before moving to White Rock, BC. Before law school, she was a CFL Cheerleader, professional dancer, and biology researcher, having graduated from UBC with a Hons. BSc. in Biology. Outside of Allard, you can find her teaching spin classes at Spin Society. Madison is committed to helping students lead balanced lives and creating opportunities that allow them to connect.

The Vice President of Student Affairs’ (VPSA) primary role is to ensure there is ample opportunity to achieve the elusive work-life balance at Allard. This includes planning events such as the ALSS Boat Cruise, the ALSS Semi-Formal, the Guile Debates, and liaising with law firms to plan Friday Socials, which facilitate networking and foster community with legal professionals. The VPSA also chairs the Social Council and is the primary representative for all things fun around school. You can contact Madison with any questions, ideas, concerns or feedback regarding any of the ALSS Social events.

   Vice President of External Affairs – Alexei Paish

As Vice President of External Affairs, Alexei represents the Law constituency on the Council of Directors of the AMS, the society representing all UBC students. He can help you with any UBC related questions or concerns extending beyond Allard Hall. Alexei can also act as a liaison for any law students seeking support or interaction with the UBC student body as a whole. As a member of the ALSS Academic Committee and representative on the Law Faculty Council, Alexei would be happy to address any concerns related to academic issues as well. Please contact Alexei if you have any questions or concerns.

    Director of Finance – Jennifer Musyj

Jennifer is a 2L, born and raised in the Vancouver area. Prior to law school, she attended the University of British Columbia and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. In 1L, Jennifer was a member of the ALSS Social Council, volunteered with the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform at UBC, and volunteered with the Legal Education Outreach program. During her free time, Jennifer enjoys cooking and baking, dancing, going to the beach, and exploring BC with her pup!

The Director of Finance prepares the annual ALSS budget, and presents it for approval at the ALSS Annual General Meeting. The Director of Finance establishes and chairs the ALSS Finance Committee which oversees the budget process, and is also responsible for the disbursement of ALSS funds to student sports, clubs, and events. Last but by no means least, the Finance Director maintains accurate accounting for the ALSS Executive, the Academic Council, the Social Council, and all student sports and clubs. You can contact Jennifer if you’re interested in starting a club for the upcoming academic year, or if you have questions regarding the annual ALSS budget process.

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    Director of Communications – Sophie Marshall

Sophie grew up in Qualicum Beach, BC, but left the small town Vancouver Island life behind to attend university at UBC. She completed her undergraduate degree in Human Geography, having to spend most of her time explaining to people what Human Geography is. In her first year at Allard, Sophie was a member of the Women’s Caucus, a volunteer for Legal Education Outreach and played on Allard’s intramural volleyball team. She also represented Allard at Law Games as the captain of the inner tube water polo team (the most serious sport). Outside of law school, Sophie enjoys playing beach volleyball, hiking and reading, and she is an avid swimmer and reluctant triathlete.

The Director of Communications is responsible for communication between the ALSS and its members. The Director of Communications records and posts minutes of the Executive and Social Council meetings, maintains the ALSS website, and sends out the weekly ALSS Newsflash. Contact Sophie if you’d like to have an item included in the Newsflash, have information you’d like displayed on the screens in Allard Hall, or have any questions about anything in general.

    Director of Wellness – Elise Kohno

Elise was born and raised in Vancouver and did her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto where she double majored in Criminology and Sociology. Throughout 1L, Elise was actively involved in the Allard community. She was one of the first year representatives on the ALSS social council, volunteered for the Women’s Caucus, participated in the Legal Education and Outreach Program, attended Law Games, and was a member of Allard’s intramural soccer and volleyball teams. Elise is extremely passionate about the Allard community and treasures the bonds and friendships she has formed while at law school. When you can’t find her at the “Law-brary”, Elise spends her free time staying active and playing sports. She loves playing soccer, tennis, volleyball, and squash as well as running, hiking and yoga.

Elise is holding a new position this year as the Director of Wellness. Elise’s role includes organizing guest speakers and presentations, as well connecting the law student body with available online wellness resources. Please contact Elise with any concerns or opportunities regarding wellness around the law school. Elise also organizes intramural sports teams and social clubs under the ALSS. This includes liaising with team captains and club presidents to ensure that their interests are represented.  The Director of Wellness will plan a recruitment opportunity for students in September and in January. Please contact Elise if you’re interested creating a team or club. Elise is also your go-to for any questions about joining a club or team, or planning an event for your club.

    Ombudsperson – Erin Kotz

Erin is an international student from Baltimore, Maryland. She moved to Vancouver seven years ago to attend UBC for undergrad, and realized there was no place in the world she would rather be. She has adapted well to the Vancouver culture (i.e. regularly practices yoga, drinks everything out of a mason jar, participates in selective vegetarianism.) During her first year at Allard she held a placement with Disability Alliance BC via PBSC and was a chair of Law Students for Choice. In her free time Erin enjoys snowboarding, practicing yoga, hiking, and Tacofino.

As Ombudsperson, Erin is committed to ensuring all Allard Law Students are treated fairly, and looks forward to meeting with any student to discuss ideas on how to improve life at Allard Hall. The role of the Ombudsperson is to investigate student complaints, and to connect students with conflict resolution resources on campus. The Ombudsperson performs these duties in an impartial and confidential manner. At UBC, the Ombudsperson also works with the ALSS and Faculty Administration to ensure that Allard Law is a welcoming community for all students. If you have concerns or problems that are distracting you from your studies, send an email to Erin.

     Senator – Benjamin Fischer

Although Ben is from the mountainous interior of British Columbia, over the years he has become an avid road cyclist and encourages you to join the Allard Law Cycling Club. Prior to law school, Ben was the President of the UBC Nursing Undergraduate Society. He is also currently a member of the UBC Alumni Committee. Prior to being elected to the UBC Senate, Ben served as a former 1L Student Affairs Representative and subsequently co-Vice President, Student Affairs.

The UBC Senate is the University’s highest academic governing body. It is a legislatively created body under the University Act. The Senate is composed of deans, professors, students from all faculties, and is chaired by the President of the University. It meets on a monthly basis throughout the year, with its committees meeting on a regular basis as well. The Senate serves a number of functions, from approving new degree programs, to setting admissions policy for undergraduates, to granting honorary degrees. It also serves as the last avenue for appeal for students facing academic discipline or concerning their academic standing. If you’d like more information, contact Ben.

Director of Indigenous Affairs – Alexandra Scott

Alexandra is Métis, her family originating from Manitoulin Island. However, she grew up on the West Coast on Vancouver island in a little town called Cobble Hill. Prior to law school, she completed a Legal Office Assistant Certificate through Camosun College. She obtained a full time job at a boutique law firm, getting her first taste of a legal career. Wanting to take her knowledge to the next level, she completed her Paralegal Certificate online through Capilano University, and then a Bachelor of Arts in Justice Studies at Royal Roads University. In 1L, Alexandra was part of the Indigenous Law Students’ Society, volunteering for many events last year. She also volunteered through PBSC at Atira Women’s Resource Centre in their Legal Advocacy branch. Outside of law school, Alexandra can be found reading as many non-law books as she can, lifting weights at the gym and listening to metal.

The Director of Indigenous Affairs provides an indigenous voice and perspective within the Academic Council and the ALSS Executive. In this capacity, the Indigenous Affairs Director works with the ALSS to create cultural and social inclusion for indigenous students in law school, and to develop initiatives that foster non-indigenous students’ recognition and respect for indigeneity. Any student, indigenous or non-indigenous, should feel free to contact Alexandra about contributing to these goals.