Jennifer Brun—In the Spotlight

Practice Point

Jennifer Brun—In the Spotlight

January 2020

How did you first get involved with CLEBC?

You know the age-old debate of “nature versus nurture”?  Well, when it comes to exposure within the legal profession I am a product of both. “Nature” is what we often consider genetic inheritance or other biological factors. The influence of external factors upon us after conception is “nurture”. As many of you may know, my father Robert Brun, KC, is a lawyer who believes strongly in giving back to our great profession. My early involvement with CLEBC – as a proud pupil observing my father presenting at and chairing CLEs – came long before I was actually even a legitimate member of the profession myself. Thus, becoming involved with CLEBC is both in my blood and something I chose to adopt after recognizing what a rewarding experience sharing knowledge with peers can be.

What are you currently working on (or have most recently worked on) with CLEBC?

I am currently working on the 2020 update to the CLEBC publication, Discovery Practice in British Columbia, which I am honoured to have been co-authoring with Lyle Harris, KC, since the 2017 update. Stay tuned!

What made you decide to become a lawyer?

While completing my B.Sc. at the University of British Columbia, majoring in Biology, I was considering a career in either medicine or law. I wrote both the MCAT and the LSAT in my fourth year of my degree and was having a difficult time with the decision. I knew I liked problem solving and that I wanted to help people – both careers seemed like a great fit! My father passed down a piece of advice to me, which my grandfather had given to him when he was tackling a similar dilemma. “Do one year of law school” he said,  “you will learn property, constitutional law, criminal law, contracts, and tort law, all of which will help you in life whether you continue on with a legal education or not.” I felt that was good advice and after starting law school I have never looked back…except for the time I realized I could have been an on-call doctor skiing around Blackcomb Mountain for a living. Alas, I am very proud to be a member of our ancient and honourable profession.

What inspired you to practice in both civil litigation and professional regulation?

I practice civil litigation in the health law and personal injury fields, as well as administrative law in the field of regulation of various health professions, as this allows me to apply both my legal skills and education as well as my health sciences background. It is a stimulating blend.

You are very active in the legal community including involvement with the Canadian Bar Association both at the provincial and national level. What motivates you to give back to the profession?

Advancing the objectives of the CBA, striving to foster collegiality and excellence within our profession, and promoting the status of our profession within society is invigorating and motivating.

From 2010 to 2014, I served as an executive member of the Young Lawyers – Canadian Bar Association (YLCBA), promoting the interests of over 16,000 young lawyers and Quebec notaries who were under the age of 40 or who had been at the Bar for 10 years or less. During my tenure on the YLCBA executive, I assumed a leadership role within the governance structure of the CBA, serving as an active member on the National Board of Directors, Finance Committee, Membership Committee, Sections and Conference Chairs Committee, Nominating Sub-Committee, and Pro-Bono Award Selection Committee. While serving as the YLCBA president in 2012-2013, I had the good fortune to travel abroad to London, England, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, to work collaboratively with young lawyers from the International Bar Association and American Bar Association on the many global issues facing our profession today.

Provincially, I have served as a member of the Advisory Committee to the CBABC Rural Education and Access to Lawyers (REAL) Initiative from 2009 to 2014, assisting law firms and practitioners in small communities and rural areas of British Columbia to recruit, hire, and retain law students and new lawyers. I have also served as an elected member-at-large on the Young Lawyers – Lower Mainland executive from 2010 to 2012.  I have been an elected member of CBABC Provincial Council and the Executive Committee since 2017, being elected first as an Officer at Large (2017) and subsequently as Secretary Treasurer (2018).  I am humbled to be presently serving as CBABC Vice President.

What advice would you pass on to a newly called lawyer?

Volunteer with a legal profession stakeholder in your community to network and be involved in our profession outside of the office. You will not regret it!

Other than law, what are you passionate about?

Family, friends, food, travel, singing, playing the piano and guitar, and spending time outdoors.