By Patty Pitts
Last March, after a day of back-to-back interviews with six Canadian Supreme Court Justices and a flight home from Ottawa, UVic law student Christine Joseph was looking forward to sleeping late the next day. Instead, her ringing phone woke her up early.
“It was good news,” says Joseph in an interview from Vancouver.
On the other end of the line was Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin offering this year’s UVic Law Society Gold Medal winner a position as her clerk.
Joseph won’t make the move to Ottawa until 2008 after she completes a term as a clerk with the BC Court of Appeal in Vancouver in September.
Her road to the country’s highest court began in Alberta. Joseph was born in Edmonton and raised in Lethbridge where she graduated from the University of Lethbridge with a degree in political science.
“I decided to apply to the best law school. I did a fair amount of research and the only school I applied to was UVic as an early admission student,” says Joseph.
While at UVic she participated in the UVic Association of Women in the Law and wrapped up her studies with a term at the downtown Law Centre, the only full-time, clinical program offered by a Canadian law school. She describes the experience as “amazing. You learn so much about everything. You’re handed 40 files and they’re all yours. I did a criminal trial and a two-week human rights hearing.”
Spending the summer working at the law firm of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin puts Joseph in the same city as her husband after the pair spent a lot of time on BC Ferries for two and a half years. He hopes to be able to arrange a job transfer to Ottawa to coincide with her Supreme Court clerkship.
Joseph says she “loved every minute” of her time at UVic law, praising the “amazing” faculty who took time to prepare her for her Supreme Court interviews and helping her with her résumé.
“You wouldn’t see that anywhere else,” she says. “I’ll miss UVic immensely. I couldn’t have made a better choice.”