The Amicus Program

The Amicus Team is here to help!

Amicus means "friend" in Latin. The Amicus Program is a unique UVic Law student support initiative that plays an active role in engaging, advising and supporting you during your law school journey. There are four overlapping components in the program: academic support, student support, counselling support and academic concessions and accommodation support. These components work in conjunction and collaboration with each other to ensure your overall success in law school. You can also access guides, links to useful websites and self-help information on our RESOURCES page. For recordings of Amicus program events and other Amicus program materials, see our RECORDINGS/MATERIALS page (login required).

We have also created a reading list of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) resources. 

You can contact any of the support program staff individually (details below).

We provide approachable and accessible services that enable you to develop your legal and academic skills in a supportive learning environment. These services are provided by upper year students chosen based on their desire to assist first-year students in succeeding in their studies and upon their success in first year.


All tutoring services are free and are provided by upper year students who achieved success in their first-year courses. The Amicus Tutors come from a diversity of backgrounds, and respond to your questions and help you identify ways to improve your legal skills. We offer study group tutoring as well as individual tutoring on a confidential basis. Tutoring is available throughout the academic year and it is best to access this service as soon as you think you may need assistance.

Fall Term Sessions

Learning legal skills is the foundation for academic success, and we provide large group sessions in October and November on the following skills.

  • Reading strategies for the study of law
  • Outlines
  • Time management
  • Exam preparation

Spring Term Sessions

In March the upper year students provide large group course review sessions in each of the first year courses to assist first year students with exam preparation.

Tim Richards

I joined the Law Faculty in 2005 and am currently an Associate Teaching Professor and Director of the First-Year Legal Research and Writing Program. My areas of teaching and study are legal skills education and administrative law with a focus on social welfare programs.

Since the fall of 2012 I have been the Coordinator of the Academic Support Services provided through the Amicus Program. The first year of law school provides many academic and non-academic challenges for most students. In response to this, my approach to providing the academic support services is that utilizing these services is simply a sensible response when facing the many demands of learning the complex knowledge and skills that law requires.

My work in the Amicus Program entails hiring the Amicus Tutors in September, organizing the Fall Term Study Skills sessions and the Spring Term large group course review sessions, and meeting with students to arrange the individual and study group tutoring that is available throughout the year.

I am a graduate of UVic Law, and prior to teaching here I worked for many years as a legal advocate with the Together Against Poverty Society (TAPS), representing people in poverty with their income assistance and employment insurance rights.

Contact Info:

Phone: 250-721-8185


Office: Room 236

Office Hours: 10:00-12:00 on Fridays. I am also available on a drop-in basis when I am not teaching.

Student Support Coordinator:  The Law Student Support Coordinator (LSSC) provides non-clinical support and guidance to all law students, with a focus on students in the JD/JID Program and students from equity-deserving groups facing systemic barriers while in law school.

Students can schedule in person or virtual meetings with Zubaida by emailing

Zubaida Khan

I am honored to serve as the Student Support Coordinator in the Faculty of Law.

I furthered my education at UVic as an adult learner, and shortly thereafter had the pleasure of working as a Life Coach with Indigenous learners.

In my role as LSSC, I work alongside members of the Amicus Team to ensure student success by providing them with the inter-societal and other supports needed in order to stay grounded. In doing so, I seek to create an inclusive environment that is spiritually, emotionally and socially safer for all, and where an awareness and understanding of the diversity of histories, backgrounds and communities is valued and respected.

Contact Info:

Office:  FRA  131e
Phone: 250-472-4761

Office Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Law school is challenging, personally and professionally. Christina Friesen will be available to assist all law students in dealing with any personal concerns that might impact your experience of law school. 

Christina Friesen, MSc

Hello, my name is Christina Friesen and I am very pleased to be the Amicus Counsellor. I have been a counsellor since 1994. I have worked in a variety of settings in the community and at UVIC.

My goal is to be a support and a resource to Law students. Law school is an intense and exciting experience of professional and personal development. Also, people have full lives that are continuing on while they study. My hope is to support the whole student as they navigate their time at Law school. My wish is to help students thrive and make the most of this incredible experience.

It is a great privilege to walk beside students on this journey. I look forward to meeting you!

Contact Info:

For law students to make their first appointment, please call the Health and Wellness Centre at 250-721-8563 and ask to make an appointment to see Christina Friesen at Law.


Academic concessions provide flexibility to students who face an inability to complete course requirements due to unexpected and unavoidable circumstances or conflicting responsibilities, such as illness or family care responsibilities.  In addition to academic concessions, a student whose academic performance is impaired by disability, chronic health issues or similar potential barriers may be eligible for ongoing academic accommodation through the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL).  A general overview of these supports is available here.

The front office student services team is here to help you navigate requesting academic concessions.  If you experience an illness, family emergency or other situation that may affect your studies, please contact Fran Blake, Coordinator, Academic Administration.  If your situation will affect your ability to submit an assignment or write an exam, Fran can help you navigate these processes.  You can phone, email or stop by the front office to speak with Fran.

If you are a student who is registered at the CAL, Yvonne Lawson, Manger, Academic Administration and Student Services, will be working with you and CAL to manage your accommodations throughout your time at UVic Law. If you have questions about accommodation or about your law program, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Yvonne.

Andrew Newcombe, Associate Dean, Academic and Student Relations, works with Yvonne and Fran on academic concessions and academic accommodation.  You can meet with Andrew to speak about any concerns you may have about your law school experience or to obtain advice on program requirements and course selection.

Fran Blake

Fran joined the law school in 2022.  In addition to being a Registered Massage Therapist, Fran worked for many years as the clinic coordinator for a college of massage therapy.

Yvonne Lawson

Yvonne has been with the law school and working with students since 1996 during which time she has been Admissions Officer, Career Development Officer (now Law Careers Officer) and Administrative Officer.

Andrew Newcombe

Andrew joined the UVic Law as a Faculty member in 2002 and was appointed Associate Dean, Academic and Students Relations in 2021.

Contact Info

Fran Blake

Phone 250-472-4793


Yvonne Lawson

Phone 250-721-8153


Andrew Newcombe

Phone 250-721-8149


We are located in the main reception office (Room 102). 

Office Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 to 4:30 (emailing to set up an appointment is recommended but not necessary if your situation is urgent).