Anna Fung, Q.C., is a graduate of the Allard School of Law and a member of the Dean's Advisory Committee for the Centre for Business Law since its inception. She clerked at the BC Court of Appeal and was called to the bar in 1986. Ms. Fung has enjoyed a dynamic career in business law, and served as President of the Law Society of BC in 2007.
Law School and Early Career
“Law is a fascinating area, and you can never master it because it changes.”
Ms. Fung completed her undergraduate degree in English and French Literature at UBC. She considered becoming an interpreter or translator, but decided that she wanted to use her own words rather than translate someone else’s. Ms. Fung was inspired to go to law school because it was something completely new to her, and it represented a brand new challenge.
Ms. Fung served as a law clerk for three justices in the BC Court of Appeal, and then articled at Davis & Company (now DLA Piper LLP). She continued to work at Davis after completing her articles, where she split her time equally between litigation and solicitor’s work. After three years, she joined McCarthy Tetrault LLP and focused solely on business law. She later moved to BC Gas as in house counsel. Reflecting on this switch, Ms. Fung says that the reason she got that job was likely because she had experience working as both a litigator and solicitor. BC Gas was looking for someone who could do solicitor’s work, but also represent them before the National Energy Board and the BC Utilities Commission. Ms. Fung’s experience and interest in both litigation and solicitor’s work made this position the perfect fit for her.
The Value of Experiential Education
“There is much truth to the adage that you learn by doing.”
When asked how legal education has changed since she graduated, Ms. Fung notes that the opportunity for experiential learning through clinical programming has greatly increased. When she was in law school, the Law Students’ Legal Advice Program was the only option. The Allard School of Law now offers a variety of clinical courses. Practical skills such as interviewing, active listening, negotiating and advocating are not necessarily taught in law school, and Ms. Fung remarks that it is great for students to begin honing these skills during law school, rather than trying to develop them during articling. Ms. Fung now supports the Bobinski Business Law Clinic by appearing as a guest lecturer.
Involvement with the Centre for Business Law
“It’s a wonderful profession... It’s been very good to me. In return, I try to give back to the profession.”
Ms. Fung has been a member of the Dean’s Advisory Committee (the “DAC”) for the Centre for Business Law (the “Centre”) since its inception. She joined the DAC because she believes in the goals of the Centre, one of which is to create an environment where students can focus on business law. Ms. Fung was asked by then Dean Mary Anne Bobinski to join the DAC, and she greatly supported the initiative to establish a centre focused on business law in British Columbia. As a business lawyer, Ms. Fung also believes that it is important for prospective solicitors to gain exposure to business law early, which the Centre helps to facilitate at Allard Law. When asked how she has seen the Centre evolve over the years, Ms. Fung notes the positive impact of generous financial support from the Centre’s affiliates. She also remarks that the appointment of Chiara Woods as the full-time Executive Director has been great for the Centre. Ms. Fung hopes to see further growth in the years to come.
Ms. Fung has the following advice for Allard Law students: “Be curious, keep an open mind, don’t be afraid to take risks, and enjoy law school”. Excellent advice for our students from a highly successful graduate of the Allard School of Law.