September 17, 2018
Dr. Robert Russo (Lecturer) is one of three new faculty members starting this fall at the Allard School of Law. Stay tuned to this space to learn about the other new faces at Allard Hall - Assistant Professor Sara Ghebremusse and Associate Professor Hoi Kong (holder of The Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin, P.C., UBC Professorship in Constitutional Law).
With ten years of experience in the Indigenous residential school settlement process and JD, LLM and PhD degrees from UBC, Dr. Robert Russo has been recruited to join the law school as Faculty Lead for the Master of Laws Common Law program, contributing as well to teaching in the distance learning and JD first-year programs.
Prior to this recent appointment, Dr. Russo served as a part-time faculty member in the 2017/18 school year, designing and teaching tort law in the distance education program for LLM CL students.
“One of my fondest memories at Allard is from my time teaching LLM CL students last year. These students completed a law degree abroad and I enjoyed engaging with their diverse perspectives as we discussed Canadian law,” said Dr. Russo.
In addition to returning to teach LLM CL students, Dr. Russo is also looking forward to getting more involved in the Distance Education program at the Allard School of Law, and taking advantage of the interactive education tools that would help enrich the first year JD public law course.
When looking back at his time as a law student, Dr. Russo remembers the impact that some key individuals had on his career and continue to influence him today.
“Dean Catherine Dauvergne, former UBC Associate Professor Ruth Buchannan, Professor Wesley Pue, and Associate Professor Karin Mickelson have each in some way impacted my legal career,” recalls Dr. Russo. “As a mentor, the Dean was an integral part of my PhD studies as was Professor Buchannan during my LLM. I wrote my first article with Professor Pue and through this process he treated me like a colleague, not a subordinate, which has shaped my teaching style and has inspired me to treat all my students like colleagues. Associate Professor Karin Mickelson taught me property law and I will never forget the class we had on 9/11. Interestingly enough we were supposed to discuss airspace rights, but instead we spent the class discussing the tragic events of that morning. It is a class I still remember vividly.”
Prior to joining the Allard School of Law, Dr. Russo spent the last ten years with the Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, where he worked as the government’s representative for residential school settlement hearings.
“A large portion of my career was spent on reconciliation, and I want to highlight that I think it is important that as Canadians, no matter what we do professionally, that we begin to incorporate reconciliation into our daily lives,” said Dr. Russo.