Rachel Barsky is an associate of Narwal Litigation LLP, practicing part-time. She graduated from UBC’s Peter A. Allard School of Law in 2012. While a student at UBC, she founded UBC’s Law in Medicine group and worked as then-Dean Mary-Anne Bobinski’s research assistant from 2011-2012, focusing on health law. In her final year of law school, Ms. Barsky worked as lawyer Joan Rush’s research assistant for the Law Foundation of B.C.-funded report Help! Teeth Hurt: Government’s Obligation to Provide Timely Access for Dental Treatment to B.C. Adults Who Have Developmental Disabilities: A Legal Analysis. She also represented clients in Provincial Court as part of the UBC Law Criminal Clinic, among various other initiatives.
Ms. Barsky then articledat a national firm in Vancouver before clerking under Justice Peter W.L. Martin at the Alberta Court of Appeal from 2013-2014. Following her clerkship, Ms. Barsky returned to Vancouver where she was called to the Bar in 2014. She practices criminal defence law and has appeared at all levels of court in B.C.
Ms. Barsky is co-counsel on R. v. Tallio, a 35-year-old murder case before the Court of Appeal for British Columbia. She has worked on this case since April, 2011. In 2017, the BCCA granted Mr. Tallio’s application for a 34-year extension of time to file his Notice of Appeal-the longest extension of time granted in Canadian history (R. v. Tallio, 2017 BCCA 259). The BCCA also granted Mr. Tallio’s application for the release of materials to undergo DNA testing-materials which had been sought from the Crown for 2.5 years (R. v. Tallio, 2018 BCCA 83).
Ms. Barsky is a volunteer case reviewer with Innocence Canada. She has also volunteered with the UBC Innocence Project teaching public legal education sessions to high school students and teachers, including one on the Nuxalk First Nation reserve in Bella Coola, B.C., and in Hagensborg, B.C.; teaching UBC Innocence Project student interviewing techniques, co-organizing and moderating a presentation with Innocence Canada on legal rights for members of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside community, and more. She has guest lectured at other universities, including the Faculties of Law at the University of Toronto and the University of Victoria.
Prior to entering law school, Ms. Barsky graduated from the School of Journalism at Ryerson University with Honours in 2008, where she focused on investigative journalism.
Ms. Barsky is a Director (Secretary) of the Criminal Defence Advocacy Society (CDAS, http://www.cdasociety.com/), which engages in legal reform relating to criminal defence work in the justice system. In June, 2016, the Law Foundation of B.C. awarded CDAS a Large Project Grant to assist its work in researching the effect of maintaining innocence claims on inmates’ likelihood of being granted parole. Ms. Barsky is leading this project.
In 2018, Rachel Barsky award ‘Top 25 Most Influential’ by Canadian Lawyer Magazine in the Young Influencer category.