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University of New Brunswick honours pioneering Court of Appeal Justice Margaret Larlee

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Apr 13, 2018

Category: UNB Fredericton

FREDERICTON – Madam Justice Margaret Larlee of the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick and a UNB Law graduate from the class of ‘74, is the first woman in 21 years to be awarded the prestigious Ilsa Greenblatt Shore Distinguished Graduate Award.

Named in honour of the late Dr. Shore, a former UNB Board of Governors chair and graduate (BA, BED ‘71, LLD ‘79), the award is bestowed upon UNB Law alumni who have been involved in public service, including service to the law school, and who have achieved recognition in their chosen field.

In 1985, Madam Justice Larlee was the first woman appointed to the Court of Queen's Bench of New Brunswick. She was also the first woman appointed to the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick in 1998.

When I found out I was going to get the award,” says Madam Justice Larlee, I realized that no other woman has received it since Ilsa herself (in 1997). I thought, ‘I'd better step up and receive it.

I knew Ilsa as a motivated woman dedicated to her career and to certain causes. I'm really honoured to have my name associated with the award.”

This year, the University of New Brunswick Faculty of Law celebrates its 125th anniversary. In honour of the milestone and in support of the Law 125 Opportunities Fund, a gala dinner will be held on April 21, 2018 at the Delta Fredericton, where Madam Justice Larlee will receive the award.

The keynote speaker at the gala event will be PEI Premier and UNB Law alumnus Wade MacLauchlan (‘84), also dean of law at UNB from 1991 to 1996.

I'm very pleased the Ilsa Greenblatt Shore Distinguished Graduate Award is part of our 125th anniversary celebrations,” says UNB Law Dean John Kleefeld. And I'm particularly glad that it's going to such a worthy recipient, who, as one of her nominating letters said, has ‘exhibited total dedication to the law and to the citizens of New Brunswick' throughout her long career.”

Madam Justice Larlee has noticed significant change in the legal profession since she began practising law 44 years ago.

There are more women practising law and more women judges now than when I first began my career. In my class of 60 students at UNB Law, six were women.” The number of female students enrolled at UNB Law has since increased dramatically – today, approximately half of UNB Law students are female.

Madam Justice Larlee believes this increase has changed the very fabric of the practice of law. From the time I left high school until I graduated law school, I had one female professor. A student asked me recently if there was an effect to that. I think there was. Had I more female professors, I might be thinking a little differently today.”

When asked what advice she has for female law students, Madam Justice Larlee stressed the importance of networking and recommends, being a little less risk averse than other people. You have to be open to opportunity. Don't be afraid to ask for something. If you don't ask, the answer is always no.

Life is too short to be doing something you don't want to be doing,” says Madam Justice Larlee. Sometimes you have to step away from security, take a risk and try another path.”

For tickets to the April 21 gala, register now or call 506-453-5053.

Media contact: Hilary Creamer Robinson

Photo: Madam Justice Margaret Larlee will be honoured with the Ilsa Greenblatt Shore Distinguished Graduate Award on April 21 at the Delta Fredericton. Photo credit: Harry Mullin.