Canadian Bar Association British Columbia

Canadian Bar Association British Columbia

April 09, 2014 19:56 ET

Vancouver Student Wins Province-Wide Speaking Contest

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - April 9, 2014) - Local student, Ciera O'Leary from Little Flower Academy won first place at the Law Week 2014 speech contest.

The Barry Sullivan Law Cup (BSLC) is one of the cornerstone events of Law Week in BC. The Law Cup is named in the memory of Barry Sullivan whose contributions to both the legal and educational professions are honoured each year through the presentation of this Cup to the provincial winner. This year marks the 31st year that British Columbia students in Grades 10, 11 and 12 are invited to compete in the annual public speaking competition, sponsored by the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch (CBABC).

Held in the heritage courtrooms at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Tuesday, April 8, a total of 31 students participated in this exciting contest, using the theme: The Role of the Law in the Digital Age.

The 2014 winner was awarded a trophy along with a $1,500 cash prize. The 1st runner up, Jamal Dumas from Burnaby Mountain Secondary School took home a trophy along with a $300 cash prize, and the 2nd runner up, Alex Payendah from Vancouver College received a trophy and a $200 cash prize.

The finalists were judged by Justice Mark McEwan, Professor Elizabeth Edinger and Vancouver lawyer and former BSLC champion Suzanne Kennedy. The awards were presented by special guest, the Honourable Christopher E. Hinkson, Chief Justice of the BC Supreme Court.

CBABC President Dean Crawford remarked, "It is encouraging to see an increase in interest in student participation year over year at this special competition. The calibre of the speech presentations was impressive. If any of these high school students continue on into law school then the future of law is looking very bright."

Law Week 2014 is celebrated across Canada with events ranging from mock trials and courthouse tours, to free law classes and Dial-A-Lawyer Day - free phone access to lawyers on Saturday April 11, from anywhere in the province.

BC Law Week 2014 partners are the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch, the Law Foundation of BC, the Law Society of BC, the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, and the Vancouver Bar Association.

Photos available on request and online at

The Canadian Bar Association is the professional organization representing more than 38,000 lawyers, judges and law students in Canada, including 6,900 members in British Columbia.

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