The Business Law Clinic at the Peter A Allard School of Law began in January 2016 as a pilot program within the school's Centre for Business Law. Initial funding for the program was provided by the Franklin Lew Innovation Fund. The program was secured additional funding through a generous $100,000 donation in September 2016 by Mr. Robert Pirooz, QC (LLB '89), who named the clinic in honour of former law school Dean, Professor Mary Anne Bobinski. The Bobinski Business Law Clinic becomes the 8th clinic operated by the Peter A. Allard School of Law.
The Bobinski Business Law Clinic provides segments of the business community, who have limited mean, with access to legal services. Law student clinicians are provided with valuable client-facing experience. At its establishment, the clinic is co-directed by Christine Baron and Catherine Chow. Ms. Baron is a sole practitioner who assists non-profit societies and small business clients with a variety of matters including incorporation, leases, and non-competition agreements. Ms. Chow is Vice President and General Counsel at Keg Restaurants, where her broad portfolio includes legal matters such as financing, real estate, business development, franchising, litigation, trademark protection, and risk management.
Mr. Pirooz chose to name the Clinic in recognition of Dean Bobinski's innovative leadership which fostered over a decade of profound growth and change at the law school. This period was marked by enhanced teaching and research, expanded international reach, and new programs in business law and experiential learning. "The Bobinski Business Law Clinic acknowledges that, as medical schools have always known, academic classroom study combined with applied clinical learning produces scholars with enhanced abilities beyond the classroom. This is the future of legal education as students are given a rare opportunity to observe, learn and apply business law" said Pirooz. "The collateral benefit of business law services made available pro bono to entrepreneurs, small businesses and non-profit organizations cannot b overstated. Each is fundamental to a robust economy, happy citizens and a healthy community.
Dean Dauvergne recognized the significance of the gift, expressing that it "represents an important contribution to the law school's commitment to provide our students with hands-on learning opportunities. The Bobinski Business Law Clinic provides a forum for students to learn practical and legal skills; simultaneously providing a service to the public."
Mr. Pirooz is a local lawyer, venture capitalist and entrepreneur. He has been a founder, principal, director and officer of several successful commercial enterprises and thanks Ron Bozzer and BLG/Ladner Downs for their mentorship and training in inspiring his success and his support of the Bobinski Clinic