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.
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.

Nominations will be submitted online, and should include:
  • A letter from the nominator (a member of the Law Society of British Columbia) describing the candidate’s achievements and in particular outlining:

    1. The significance of the candidate’s advocacy work to advancing an area of law; and
    2. The challenges overcome in achieving the outcome, with regard to the factors set out above.

  • The curriculum vitae of the candidate.
  • Two letters of support commenting on the import and impact of the candidate’s contribution, and on the resilience and dedication of the candidate to advancing the law, no longer than two pages in length.
  • Candidate consent to be nominated, and agreement to attend the 2nd Annual Gala (Virtual Edition) for British Columbia (Date TBC) at which the award will be presented.
The nomination period for the 2021 Joe Arvay Award is now open. The nomination deadline is Friday, January 14, 2022.

Nomination Form

The Society is committed to diversity and encourages the nomination of women, Indigenous peoples, francophones, persons with disabilities, racialized peoples and members of the LGBTQ+ communities.
Past Recipients:

2020: Bill Morley, QC