Lesley met her first refugee “client” at the student clinic at the law school where she studied. Decades later, she continues to be impassioned by the stories that refugees and migrants carry. Early in her practice, Lesley realized there is a conundrum in refugee law: those who are most in need of protection are often the least able to articulate that need due to the effects of trauma. She took a gap in her practice to work as regional legal officer with the UNHCR in Vancouver for 3-1/2 years, and worked with local groups to establish the READY Tours, a project which helps claimants understand the refugee process. Lesley also served as a Member (decision-maker) with the Immigration and Refugee Board for 4-1/2 years. She is delighted to be at the IRLC, and looks forward to meeting more people with remarkable stories.


Her favourite things include, in no particular order of importance, blueberries, chocolate and the green of the first leaves of spring.