The Amicus Program

Amicus Team photo
The Amicus Team: (L-R) Zubaida Khan, Yvonne Lawson, Christina Friesen, Tim Richards.

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 success, cultural support, personal support 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.

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 by email at . You can also contact us 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 academic standing in first year.

Tutoring
All tutoring services are free and are provided by upper year students who achieved success in their own first-year courses. Tutors 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

Since 2005 I have been a Senior Instructor 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. I am currently Chair of the school's Equity and Diversity Committee. 

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 challenges for most students. My approach to providing the academic support 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 organizing the Fall Term Study Skills sessions, the Spring Term large group course review sessions, and 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

Email:

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.

Cultural Support: In addition to providing cultural support to Indigenous students, the Indigenous and Cultural Support Liaison (ICSL) also provides support to all law students.  The ICSL supports students facing systemic barriers throughout their law school journey and works with the Equity and Diversity Committee on equity and social justice initiatives.  The ICSL can help to alleviate some of the stress related to the intensity of legal studies and seeks to create an environment that is spiritually, emotionally and socially safer for all students. 

Students can book zoom meetings by emailing lawcs@uvic.ca. 

Zubaida Khan

I am honored to serve as the Indigenous and Cultural Support Liaison.

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

As the Indigenous and Cultural Support Liaison, I work alongside the members of the Amicus Team to ensure student success by providing them with the inter-societal and other supports they need in order to stay grounded.

I strive to create an inclusive community where an awareness and understanding of the diversity of histories, backgrounds and communities of all students is valued and respected.

Contact Info:

Office:  Room 191 in Law Library
Phone: 250-472-4761
Email: lawcs@uvic.ca

Office Hours: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. (or otherwise by appointment)

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.

 

Accommodation may be possible if you experience an illness, family emergency or other situations, or to address significant disadvantages or difficulties from physical disabilities, learning disabilities, medical conditions or other special needs.

Yvonne Lawson

Yvonne Lawson 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. If you experience an illness, family emergency or other situation that may affect your studies, contact Yvonne. You can phone, email or stop by her office. If your situation will affect your ability to submit an assignment or write an exam, Yvonne can help you navigate these processes. If you are a student who is registered at the Centre for Accessible Learning, Yvonne will be working with you and CAL to manage your accommodations throughout your time at UVic Law. If you have questions about accommodation or the student support program (or anything else and you’re not sure who to ask) don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Contact Info:

Phone 250-721-8153

Email:

Office: Fraser 103

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).