June 9, 2021
Class of 2021: Supreme Court clerkship awaits multi-talented Faculty of Law grad
Before she even began studying at the University of Calgary, Rebecca Lang was set on establishing an initiative that would provide law students with the opportunity to explore health law and engage with professionals in the field.
This initiative, the Health Law Association, has been widely successful, and, with many other impressive accomplishments under her belt, including securing two Supreme Court clerkships, Lang will attend her virtual convocation on June 10 with much to celebrate.
Prior to joining the Faculty of Law, Lang completed her Master of Science in community health sciences at the Cumming School of Medicine in 2018, studying water fluoridation. She was planning on applying to dental school, but, through her research, “I learned how powerful law can be and how it can dictate health outcomes, and I pivoted to law school … the idea of working on a macro level and affecting multiple people was really interesting” she says. So, she enrolled in the Juris Doctor program.
Passion for both health care and law
Bringing her background in sciences and passion about health care to the Faculty of Law, Lang founded the Health Law Association alongside some of her peers in her first year. The association works to create space for discussing topics and exploring opportunities related to health law, while enabling students to create connections in the field.
Dr. Lorian Hardcastle, SJD, a health law expert and associate professor in the faculty, provided ongoing guidance to Lang throughout her degree. “She has the whole package … she is an exceptional graduate in many ways and has really done it all,” says Hardcastle.
Alongside founding the association, Lang has also received her Certificate in Common Law in French. This certificate designates that one is fluent in French and provides students with the opportunity to take classes in French at the University of Ottawa.
“While I am bilingual, I quickly discovered that legal French is a whole new language. I’m really grateful for this program, which will allow me to practice in both official Canadian languages,” she says.
Career in constitutional charter law focused on health?
During her studies, Lang had the opportunity to intern at the Court of Queen’s Bench under Chief Justice Mary T. Moreau. This experience, coupled with her successful completion of the French certificate, helped Lang secure two court clerkships, the first at the Federal Court of Appeal with Justice Richard Boivin, and the second at the Supreme Court of Canada, with former UCalgary Law dean, the Honorable Sheilah Martin, Hon. LLD’19.
Following her clerkships, Lang is hoping to pursue a career in constitutional charter law focused on health law. "The Charter could be a really useful way to create more equality when it comes to health, specifically health-care distribution [and] social determinants of health,” she says.
Beginning her career in Ottawa and clerking for the Supreme Court will provide Lang with a well-deserved and invaluable learning experience that few enjoy.