Message from a past Chair

  • November 13, 2018
  • Greg von Euw

When I started law school at Thompson Rivers University, I was immediately interested in the CBA. We were all members of the CBA by virtue of being enrolled at TRU; our CBA fees were included in our tuition costs. Over the next year, I started attending a lot of CBA events, and worked hard to teach my fellow students about the CBA, and the important work that it does.

In that same year, I became an interested member of a group of students who wanted to create a pan-Canadian organization to discuss and act on issues affecting law students and articling students. The following year, the CBA Law Students Section was formed. I became a founding member, and TRU’s representative to the Law Students Section. The year after that I became Vice Chair, and then Chair of the Law Students Section. I am now in the role of Past Chair, serving in an advisory position, ensuring that we have institutional memory, and helping the executive in whatever role I can.

Each year, the CBA Law Students Section has an in-person meeting for the executive to meet and plan the strategic direction for the following year. Since the Section is very new, over the last couple years this has worked as an opportunity to refine our governing rules, and continue with existing projects. I can say, without a doubt, that this year has the most excited and enthusiastic executive that has ever served the CBA Law Students Section.

The meeting kicked off well, with members meeting for dinner in downtown Ottawa. Those of the executive who were able to make it made quick friends, and began discussing the cornucopia of issues facing students. By the following morning at breakfast, these discussions were not only in full swing, but had turned to a number of the advocacy issues the Section had already started working on. Kanika Sharma, the current Chair, directed the meeting for the day, and had an agenda set, which included covering existing advocacy initiatives, as well as any new ones to be introduced. Ultimately, although several new issues were discussed, they were found to be part of the existing initiatives already undertaken by the Law Students Section.

This year the Law Students Section will be focusing on the following three issues:

  • Un(der)paid articling,
  • Student debt forgiveness, and
  • Articling conditions.

These three issues are intricately tied together. Though they deal with a number of problems facing law students and articling students in today’s legal marketplace, next-to-no quantitative research has been done on them. To that end, the CBA LSS is working with the CBA Young Lawyers Section, and the CBA generally, to address these issues, and gather quantitative data. Once the data has been gathered and trends examined, work on solutions and recommendations can begin. This work will take time, but will ultimately provide the backbone for any future recommendations and the conclusions that the CBA LSS comes to.

The day of meeting and greeting closed with a number of guest speakers who talked about their experiences in the field of law, as well as opportunities for young lawyers and law students. More than 30 students came out for an opportunity to meet the new executive, and to hear what our guest speakers had to say. Everyone was engaged and excited to hear about the work the Section was doing.

I have now served on the CBA Law Students Section for four years. I helped found the organization. I can say that for the first time since the organization was established, the Section is in a position to truly make a difference, and begin work on long term projects that may change the face of the legal profession.


Greg von Euw
Past Chair, National Law Students Section