Leah Combs BA, JD
Articled Student Leah Combs graduated from the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC in May, 2019. She was born and raised in Kamloops in the BC Interior. After secondary school, Leah traveled to Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario to begin her undergraduate degree on a full scholarship. She completed her Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Environmental Science and attended law school immediately after.
At law school, Leah focused her study on criminal law and related fields and gained extensive practical experience in legal advocacy. She has taken on legal research and writing projects for criminal defence lawyers and community groups. Leah volunteered as a Legal Advocate at the Atira Legal Advocacy Centre in the Downtown East Side for two years, where she provided front line support for low-income women seeking legal assistance. Leah’s commitment to criminal law was exemplified by her position as President of the UBC Criminal Law Club, where she led her group in hosting career panels, educational seminars, restorative justice workshops and more. In 2018, Leah had a paper published in a national criminal law scholarly journal which focused on Indigenous women in federal custody (available at this link).
Leah is committed to serving her community and advancing access to justice for all members of society. She summered at the Law Foundation of British Columbia, an organization that contributes funding to a majority of legal organizations across the province. Through this opportunity, Leah designed funding strategy reviews to assess whether the organizations’ mandate areas were being appropriately met. She also assisted with the implementation of the Law Foundation’s response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Final Report.
As an Indigenous woman and citizen of the Métis Nation of British Columbia, Leah is very interested advancing Indigenous peoples’ access to justice. In 2017, she volunteered with Ecotrust Canada to modernize a legal toolkit for Indigenous groups facing land claims, treaty negotiations and resource development issues. While studying at Queen’s University, Leah spent two years as President of the Native Student Association. Through this appointment she led the development of a theatre production that created awareness of the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. She has also spent time working directly with Indigenous communities across Canada. In 2016, she worked at a remote site on Heiltsuk territory near Bella Bella, BC as a food educator for Heiltsuk youth. Leah continually strives to grow her cultural competency and is committed to serving Indigenous communities as a guest on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
Leah takes a client-centered, empathic approach to her work as a legal professional. She values honesty, patience and integrity and connects with clients in ways that are effective for them. She is eager to grow her advocacy skills with Sarah Leamon Law Group and is committed to advancing the legal profession as a whole.
Leah is fluent in English and is proficient in German and French.