The Joe Arvay Award

The Joe Arvay Award
The Joe Arvay Award is presented to an advocate in British Columbia in recognition of a significant contribution to advancing a claim or an area of the law under challenging circumstances. This award recognizes meaningful achievement through resiliency.

The name of the award was changed in January 2021 to honour the legacy of Joe Arvay, who passed away on December 7, 2020. To learn more about Joe, his life and his career dedicated to civil liberties and constitutional rights, click here.
2024 Joe Arvay Award Winner Adrienne Smith

Congratulations to Adrienne S. Smith, Adrienne Smith Law, the 2024 recipient of The Joe Arvay Award. This award will be presented at The Vancouver Gala on March 13.
Selection Criteria

The award is open to all advocates who are members of the Law Society of British Columbia.

Successful candidates will have made a meaningful contribution to the advancement of the law or the legal profession through advocacy in challenging circumstances.

Contribution to the advancement of the law:

The contribution may come in the form of a long-term struggle or a single case. When considering whether a nominee has made a meaningful contribution to the advancement of the law, the Selection Committee may consider, among other things, whether the nominee:

  1. improved the manner in which legal services are delivered to the public,
  2. improved access to justice;
  3. improved inclusivity in the profession;
  4. contributed to legal advancements towards a specific cause or an ongoing issue.
Challenging circumstances:

There are no limits to the type of challenges that will be relevant. They could include personal obstacles, difficult legal issues, intransigent opposition or other factors demonstrating the candidate’s resiliency. However, the following factors, among others, may be considered by the Committee:

  1. The candidate's personal background, including personal or professional factors that make the practice of law challenging and demonstrate the candidate’s resiliency. These could include, but are not limited to: mental or physical health issues, disabilities, challenging family circumstances, cultural, economic or other barriers;
  2. The presence or absence of mentors and other forms of support for the candidate in their working environment;
  3. The socio-cultural environment in which the candidate advanced the interests of the client;
  4. The client's identification as part of a historically marginalized group and/or a group with limited access to justice; or
  5. The presence of an adversary or opponent whose resources significantly exceed those of the nominee or the nominee's client.
Past Recipients:

2020: Bill Morley, KC
2022: Douglas S. White, KC