Welcome to our new professors!

The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law is thrilled to announce and extends a warm welcome to our new faculty members. 

Robin Whitehead is joining the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law as Assistant Professor in the 2021/22 academic year. Prof. Whitehead is a doctoral candidate at the University of Ottawa. Her doctoral research focuses on police use of force against persons who experience mental health disability and addresses the challenges inherent in accommodating disability in the context of policing. 

Prof. Whitehead is a member of the B.C. bar and comes to us from an analyst position with the Library of Parliament. “Robin’s expertise in the law of policing touches on constitutional, criminal and tort law as well as human rights law, all areas that are highly relevant to preparing students for general practice in smaller centres, and adds to the Faculty’s expertise in Aboriginal Law” says Dean Jula Hughes.

Robin Whitehead

Phil Lord is joining the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law as Assistant Professor in the 2021/22 academic year. Prof. Lord holds a LL.M. from McGill. His areas of interest include business law where he brings expertise in financial services regulation, and his research engages employment and tax law and behavioural economics; as well as the interaction between law and new religious movements. 

Prof. Lord is a member of the Quebec and New York bars and clerked for Justice Martine St-Louis of the Federal Court. He has taught in the Legal Studies program at Carleton University. “Phil brings an impressive publication record in English and French, adding to the research profile of the Faculty. He has significant private practice experience and will contribute to the Integrated Practice Curriculum” says Dean Jula Hughes.

Phil Lord



LUCLS Director Appointment

RLRK The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law is pleased to announce that Rodi-Lynn Rusnick-Kinisky has been     appointed as the Director of Lakehead University Community Legal Services (LUCLS), effective May 1,   2021.

 Rodi-Lynn obtained her HBA in Psychology (First Class Standing) from Lakehead University and her   LL.B. from the Faculty of Law at the University of Western Ontario.  She has practiced law in her   hometown of Thunder Bay for the last 20 years. While her primary focus in early practice was in   corporate and commercial law, one of her main areas of expertise was assisting not-for-profit   corporations with their annual legal obligations and assisting with applications for charitable registrations.  Rodi-Lynn was always drawn to helping those in need.

Rodi-Lynn has been a part of the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law since 2013. She has been a Tutorial Leader in the Contracts course, a Clinical Instructor in Civil Practice, and a Contract Lecturer for Alternative Dispute Resolution. For the last five years Rodi-Lynn has been the Senior Review Counsel with LUCLS, where she developed and oversaw the civil law and administrative law aspects of the clinical curriculum. Rodi-Lynn has a wealth of experience instructing and mentoring law students in providing legal services to clients.  She values the need for a clinical education program at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law and the importance of providing access to justice to the community through that program. Rodi-Lynn has been the Acting Director of LUCLS since August 2020. 



Semie Sama Appointed Assistant Professor at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law

The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law is pleased to announce that Semie Sama has received a limited term appointment as an Assistant Professor, effective July 1, 2020.

Semie Sama has been a Postdoctoral Scholar with the Canada Research Chair in Human Rights and the Environment, where she researched legal and policy solutions to climate change, natural resource curse, land-grabbing, deforestation, among other environmental issues.   She holds a Ph.D. in law (University of Ottawa, Canada); an LL.M. in global sustainability and environmental law (University of Ottawa, Canada); an M.Sc. in ecotechnology and sustainable development (Mid Sweden University, Sweden); an M.Sc. in environmental governance (Stockholm University, Sweden); and an LL.B. (University of Buea, Cameroon).

Before her postdoctoral work at McGill University, Semie was a UN Global Environment Outlook 6 Fellow (during which she contributed to the Sixth Global Environment Outlook GEO-6: Healthy Planet, Healthy People). She also worked for the Centre for International Governance Innovation, Waterloo, as a Postdoctoral Fellow.

Dr. Sama has received numerous awards and honors, including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada Award, the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Scholarship, the University of Ottawa’s International Admission Scholarship and the Minister of Higher Education Honours Prize of the Government of Cameroon.

“Semie is a very welcome addition to our Faculty. The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law’s special mandate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law will get a wonderful boost from her teaching and research,” says Dean Jula Hughes. Welcome Dr. Sama!

Semie Sama

Congratulations to Professor Ryan Alford on the publication of his new book

Congratulations to Professor Ryan Alford on the publication of his new book entitled Seven Absolute Rights: Recovering the Foundations of Canada's Rule of Law. The book is his second peer-reviewed monograph and was published on May 21, 2020 by McGill-Queen's University Press, which also printed Professor Alford’s well-received "Permanent State of Emergency: Unchecked Executive Power and Demise of the Rule of Law" in 2017.

Seven Absolute Rights makes a significant contribution to the constitutional law literature by telling the story of constitutional rights and substantive principles of the rule of law from their British historical roots to foundational moments of Canadian constitutional history. Set against a current context of proliferating emergency powers, the idea that some core rights have stood the test of time as essentials even through extreme circumstances is compelling and timely.

The publisher notes that "Ryan Alford provides a gripping narrative of constitutional history, beginning with the medieval and early modern context of Magna Carta, the Petition of Right, and the constitutional settlement of the Glorious Revolution. His reconstruction ends with a detailed examination of two pre-Confederation crises: the rebellions of 1837-38 and the riots of 1849, which, as he demonstrates, provide the missing constitutionalist context to the framing of the British North America Act. Through this accessible exploration of key events and legal precedents, Alford offers a distinct perspective on the substantive principles of the rule of law embedded in Canada's Constitution."

"I am proud and pleased to see Ryan’s book published. The present moment calls for a careful rethinking of the boundaries of proportionality and balancing approaches to constitutional rights that have dominated the jurisprudence. Ryan’s scholarship will be of interest to constitutional scholars as well as legal historians" says Dean Jula Hughes.



Seven Absolute Rights

Statement from Canadian Law Deans on anti-Black Racism

Members of the Council of Canadian Law Deans stand in solidarity with all who mourn and have denounced examples of systemic racism in Canadian and other societies, and, in particular, violence perpetrated against racialized people in Canada. We recognize and acknowledge the pain and anguish experienced by many of our racialized students, staff and faculty, and we are grateful for the leadership of BLSA chapters across the country. 

We know that law schools can play a critical role in dismantling systems of institutionalized racism in our society. As legal educators we can contribute productively to the ways in which these issues are addressed in the curriculum and in the legal system more generally. We want all our graduates to appreciate that racism has no place in a society governed by the rule of law, and that as members of the legal profession they must play a role in ameliorating the damage caused by racist practices in the Canadian legal system. This goal is vitally important because we know that law is not inherently neutral or progressive; we are regretfully aware that graduates of our faculties – many of whom have held positions of leadership in Canadian society – have played significant roles in the development and perpetuation of colonial and systemically racist policy and practices. This is a history we must work to correct. 

We commit to continuing the efforts in each of our law schools to focus on issues of racism, particularly anti-Black racism, and the role of law in maintaining those systems, as we teach and learn with our students and as we examine and develop our curricular offerings. We also commit to finding more opportunities to consider the ways in which law can be a force for change in unsettling embedded racism. We will seek to advance the goal of removing racism from the operation of the legal system through the clinical and extra-curricular opportunities we provide to our students, in our student recruiting and faculty hiring, in our support for the research communities examining these issues and in our engagement with the broader legal community. 

Joan Braun Appointed Assistant Professor at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law

The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law is pleased to announce that Joan Braun has been appointed as an Assistant Professor, effective August 1, 2020.

Joan Braun is a PhD candidate at the Peter A. Allard School of Law.  Her doctoral research has a socio-legal focus and examines the implementation of laws intended to protect vulnerable adults from harm. She holds two Masters’ degrees, one in law and one in social work. Her L.L.M. research focused on ethical issues in elder mediation and her M.S.W. research examined on strategies used by mediators when resolving child protection disputes. Prior to her doctoral studies Joan worked as a mediator in private practice and as a lawyer in the social justice sector. Her accomplishments include founding western Canada’s first legal aid clinic for older adults as senior counsel at the BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support. Her recent teaching experience includes courses in public law at the University of Northern BC and in restorative justice at the University of the Fraser Valley.

“We are thrilled to have Joan join our faculty, “says Dean Jula Hughes. “Her research positions put her at the forefront of the emergent and growing field of Elder Law, a high need in a society with an aging population, and her practical, interdisciplinary expertise in ADR and clinical education will be of great benefit for our students.”


Joan Braun 

Tenille E. Brown Appointed Assistant Professor at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law

The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law is pleased to announce that Tenille E. Brown has been appointed as an Assistant Professor on tenure track, effective July 1, 2020.

Tenille Brown holds an LL.M. from the University of Ottawa. Her LL.M. focused on Aboriginal law and considered what was then the Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Her LL.B. (Scots law) (Honours) is from the University of Dundee, Scotland. Her doctoral research is in the area of legal geography examining the intersection between property, geography and the creation of place in Canada.

She is a member of the Ontario bar and the Human Rights Research and Education Centre at the University of Ottawa. Her work at the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic, Canada’s leading public interest technology law clinic, contributed to interventions at the Supreme Court of Canada in the area of privacy law. Before starting her academic work, Tenille worked in the Kingdom of Eswatini (at that time known as the Kingdom of Swaziland), Southern Africa, as a legal officer in a feminist organization. Tenille comes to us from an adjunct professor position in the Common Law and Civil Law Sections of the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa.

“Tenille is a great addition to our Faculty. Her expertise in Aboriginal law is an excellent fit with our mandate area of Aboriginal and Indigenous Law and her innovative research will contribute significantly to our growing research profile,” says Dean Jula Hughes.

Pictured: Tenille Brown

Limited Term Faculty Positions

The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University, Thunder Bay campus, invites applications for up to two (2) Limited Term Faculty positions each for a term of 10 months to three years, dependent on qualifications and experience. The appointment(s) will commence August 1, 2017 at an academic rank commensurate with the qualifications of the successful candidate. 

For more information please go to:


Lakehead University Community Legal Services (Student Legal Aid Clinic) Admin Assistant (Part-Time/Casual limited term)

Admin Assistant (Part-Time/Casual limited term) $17.50/hour (July – September 2017)


Lakehead University Community Legal Services is a legal clinic within the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law that provides legal services to low income clients, as well as an experience based educational program for Lakehead Law students.  Our work includes individual case files, teaching, community outreach and public legal education.


We are seeking a highly organized, detail oriented, Lakehead Law Student to provide some part-time / casual assistance to our Administrative team.  This position will assist the clinic with summer projects that generate extra administrative duties and will serve as backfill for the full-time Admin position during occasional vacation days.

Reporting to the Clinic Director, this position:

  • Providing administrative assistance to the Director as needed;
  • Acting as Reception / Screening and referring calls;
  • File management (opening, closing, storing, destruction);
  • Tracking court appearances and limitation dates;
  • Scanning and uploading documents to the file management software;
  • Compiling packages for ID clinics
  • Such other administrative duties as determined by the Director.



This position requires someone with excellent administrative and computer skills as well as knowledge of the legal system:

  • Currently enrolled in the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, entering second or third year.
  • Excellent computer skills including a high level of proficiency with all Microsoft Office software (Outlook, Word, and Excel) as well as Google Mail, Google Documents and Google Calendar;  experience with website editing/maintenance preferred; 
  • Exceptional attention to detail;
  • A proven ability to balance multiple and competing priorities in a fast paced environment;
  • An ability to work independently and as a part of a team;
  • A demonstrated ability in serving low-income clients and persons with disabilities in a respectful and sensitive manner; 
  • Demonstrated cultural competencies / experience serving Aboriginal persons / familiarity with Aboriginal communities in Northern Ontario;
  • Diplomacy and discretion when dealing with sensitive and confidential matters;


If you are interested in applying, please submit your curriculum vitae and cover letter outlining your experience to:

Director Kimberley Gagan

Lakehead University Community Legal Clinic

Email: kgagan@lakeheadu.ca