From Summer Student to Program Director of Indigenous Justice


June 2022

Leah Combs went to law school to make a difference. She explains that as an Indigenous woman, she feels a strong calling to support Indigenous communities in claiming and reclaiming justice in sustaining, unifying, and healing ways. As a student at UBC’s Peter A. Allard School of Law, Leah sought out ways to broaden her education and to ground her learning in real world efforts to support access to justice. In 2018, Leah was hired as a summer student at the Law Foundation of BC. Over that summer, Leah saw that the Foundation is a driver of access to justice and that core decisions made by the Foundation have a real impact on the ground.

Leah articled with a criminal defence firm and was hired on after graduation. She appreciated the opportunity to support Indigenous clients involved in the criminal justice system but was also interested in ways to direct her career toward systems change. In 2020, Leah returned to the Foundation as Program Manager and began working directly with many of the Indigenous-led organizations funded by the Foundation. The Foundation saw the potential for deeper engagement with Indigenous communities and for an intentional approach to supporting Indigenous-led work as a funder. Leah is now the Foundation’s first Program Director, Indigenous Justice.  “I am grateful for the opportunity to pour my experience into this work to advance critically important justice sector endeavours at the Law Foundation of BC,” says Leah.