New moot for first-year law students honours former Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin

Funded by alumnus Elvis Iginla, the renamed Dean’s Cup Moot will provide a cash award to top team

Helen Metella - 27 May 2020

First-year law students at the University of Alberta will soon have the opportunity to compete in a moot that offers a financial prize while honouring an illustrious alumna.

Edmonton lawyer Elvis Iginla, ‘91 LLB, has established an endowment that will fund an annual award for the team that wins the newly named Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin Moot.

The award will go to the top two-person moot team, whose members will be declared the Faculty of Law’s best first-year mooters.

“I know first-hand what it’s like to win a moot in law school,” said Iginla. “In 1990, I teamed up with James Brown for the client counselling competition, and under the tutelage of Professor Bruce Ziff we won the regional championship. The $150 we each received went a long way to support the two poorest students in law school at the time.”

The new moot, formerly known as the Dean’s Cup, celebrates the many achievements of McLachlin, the former Chief Justice of Canada.

McLachlin received her LLB from UAlberta Law in 1968 and retired as head of the Supreme Court of Canada in 2017, after serving as the country’s first female Chief Justice and its longest-serving head of the top court.

“Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin is a source of pride to me as an alumnus of University of Alberta law school,” said Iginla. “Aside from being the first female Chief Justice, her impact on the development of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms will be recognized for a long time. She has brought great honour to our law school and to our province.”

The former Dean's Cup is a first-year moot competition grounded in the Faculty of Law's curriculum. As part of the Faculty’s first year Legal Research & Writing class, more than 90 teams of two students each participate in a mooting exercise.

The top 12 teams are then invited to challenge for the top award, in a competition which takes place over the first weekend in April, each year. Faculty judges adjudicate the early rounds. The final round is overseen by a panel of judges made up of the Faculty’s dean of law and, typically, two members of the judiciary.

Iginla graduated from the Faculty of Law after studying medicine briefly. He also holds an honour’s degree in psychology from UAlberta, which he received in 1983. He founded Iginla & Company, his firm of personal injury lawyers, in Edmonton in 1999.