Remembering Laura K. Stevens, K.C.

Alumna was a renowned criminal defense lawyer and a Judge for the Provincial Court of Alberta

Lauren Bannon - 16 January 2023

The Faculty of Law is saddened to learn of the passing of Laura Stevens, K.C., ‘83 LLB. 

Stevens passed away on January 1 in Edmonton.

The daughter of a parent who served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Stevens' family lived in many areas of Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia, and – finally – Alberta, where her formative teen years were spent.

Stevens completed a law degree at the University of Alberta in 1983. During her time at the University, she met her husband, Bill, with whom she shared a passion for outdoor activities such as cross-country skiing, canoeing, and outdoor survival trips. 

After articling with a criminal law firm in Edmonton, Stevens and her husband moved to Alaska for one year (where they built their own cabin and used sled dogs for travel) before returning to Edmonton. 

She co-founded the law practice Alberta Criminal Trial Research Center upon her return. She then practiced for close to 30 years with the firm Anderson, Dawson, Stevens and Shaigec, where she focused on criminal defense work in criminal trials and appeals. She represented clients at all levels of court,  including as counsel on precedent-setting cases in the Supreme Court of Canada throughout Alberta, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.

In 2014, Stevens was appointed a Judge of the Criminal Division of the Provincial Court of Alberta where she served until the time of her death. 

Throughout her legal career, Stevens stayed connected to the Faculty where she was an advisor to Student Legal Services and taught for nearly 20 years as a sessional instructor, teaching courses such as LAW522: Sentencing and LAW608: Advocacy.

"We are very grateful for the many contributions that Judge Stevens made to the legal community and to the Faculty of Law,” says Dean Barbara Billingsley. “Throughout her many years as a sessional instructor at our faculty, she generously shared her legal expertise and practical wisdom with students, educating and positively influencing many future lawyers. She will be missed."