Written by Kinji Bourchier
Leadership. Community Service. Wes Anderson’s iconic 1998 comedy Rushmore.
These are the key words that spring to the writer’s mind when interviewing Allard School of Law Alumni Association Vice-President Phebe Chan. The first two need no elaboration. The third, is perhaps needed for those who haven’t seen the film. Now, Phebe Chan is not Max Fischer, the protagonist of the film in any way other than one key similarity – they both pour their hearts into helping make whatever school, board, committee, group, or gathering they are a part of better. The similarity ends there – Max, for example was a poor student whereas Phebe excelled, Max had a friendship with a rich and cynical industrialist, played by Bill Murray, I can’t speak for Phebe’s friends. Nevertheless, Phebe is someone who truly cares about helping out and her biography speaks volumes to this.
Phebe hails from Richmond, B.C. and has spent most of her life there. After graduating from Richmond High School in 1996, she attended UBC, graduating with a Commerce degree in 2000. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, Phebe plunged headfirst into being a leader – as part of the Commerce Undergraduate Society and President of the Marketing Association. She also worked at the bank for years, managed a medical office, supervised market research, and assisted a publically listed high tech company with over 150 employees as head of public relations and investor relations.
At law school, which she started in 2001, Phebe developed a marketing brand for her alma mater, “Choices”, highlighting the many programs (e.g. Aboriginal, Asia-Pacific, and ADR studies among others) at UBC. She was also Chair of the Articling Committee. After completing summer articles at Miller Thomson, Phebe stayed with the firm, practising litigation and establishing the immigration practice until 2010. Along the way, she taught at CLEs, UBC Continuing Studies, and the People’s Law School. She then took her talents to the Dentons and RBS, practicing business and immigration law, before starting her own law firm “Phebe Chan Law Corporation” just two weeks ago.
Phebe’s extracurricular schedule (not surprisingly) is jammed-packed. In addition to being a devoted mother to her two and half year-old son Boaz (a local celebrity in Richmond we are told as being the youngest fireman on record) and spending time with her husband Christopher, Phebe has dedicated time to the Richmond Chamber of Commerce as a Director, also chairing the Policy Advocacy Committee and contributing to the Greater China Exchange Committee. Phebe also sits as a director of the Richmond Gateway Theatre. In addition to a myriad of other activities, she is also assisting the Burnaby Board of Trade, built a house in Mexico, and mentors young scholars. Where does she find the time and the energy?
Speaking for the Alumni Association, we are so happy she devotes such meaningful time to us!