“The law is a great challenge intellectually, as a study. As a practice, it is a tough task master. It takes a lot of your time, of your energy” – D Scott Lamb, hockey coach, results-oriented lawyer, President of the Conservative Party of Canada, Class of 1989.
D Scott Lamb was born in Edmonton, Alberta where he grew up playing hockey as a child on the frozen waters of the North Saskatchewan River. Along with his family, he moved to Vancouver, and enrolled in high school at St. George’s School in Vancouver before attending the University of British Columbia. An undergraduate degree in international relations fuelled Mr. Lamb’s continued interest in the area, and before enrolling in a law degree at UBC, he seriously considered a career in the diplomatic service.
Still eager to work abroad and drawn to a legal education, D Scoot Lamb remembers “someone pointed out to me I could go away to university outside of Canada and still get a law degree and I thought that was a great idea.” He enrolled at the University of Bristol, which he contrasts with his later education at UBC has having different exams, a different marking scheme, but most significantly a smaller group-learning format.
Scott Lamb believes his time in Bristol taught him a lot more than the law, saying “it was like a sociology degree.” He continues “in the mid-80s in Britain there was a lot of changes going on politically and I found that fascinating.”
He returned to Canada and grew a corporate practice which Mr. Lamb would describe as ‘results-oriented.’ To him, this means working for a client isn’t “about you and the law, it’s about them and their problem.” He instead relies on his approach to think “ok, this is a business problem. How do I put that in the context of the law to solve that problem.”
Mr. Lamb is a dedicated lawyer, but also dedicated to his community. In 2016 at the national convention of the Conservative Part of Canada, he was elected President of the party. He is honoured to serve in the position and believes it’s the everyday Canadians who volunteer in parties across the political spectrum that are crucial to the success of democracy in Canada. Personally, Mr. Lamb considers the skills developed through a career as a lawyer as important components of leadership, and declares that “we [laywers] have the ability and we should use it and use it for good.” This has driven his dedication to the Conservative Party, and in conjunction with a love of hockey and for his family motivated his contributions as a hockey coach.
D Scott Lamb was interviewed for the Peter A Allard School of Law History Project in June 2017. Listen to the full interview here to learn more about his work with the conservative party, the differences between his British and Canadian legal education, and the importance of lawyers to serve in leadership.