University of Calgary

Michelle Constance Christopher

  • Associate Professor
  • Student Legal Assisstance

Administrative Position

Executive Director, Student Legal Assistance (SLA).


Michelle was employed as staff counsel with the Youth Criminal Defence Office in Calgary 2001-2012. At the same time she ran a focused family law practice assisting poverty law clients, served as a Dispute Resolution Officer with the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta, a mediator with Family Settlement services (since 2009), a mediator with the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta Civil Mediation Program (since 2004), and a legal representative for children and youth in both Provincial Court and the Court of Queen's Bench.

Michelle has completed certificate programs in mediation, negotiation and dispute resolution pedagogy from Harvard.

Michelle is a member of the Law Society of Alberta. She was appointed Queen's Counsel on January 28, 2016.

In 2016, Michelle was named one of the Law Society of Alberta's Distinguished Service Award winners for her distinguished service to the community.


Law 686: Student Legal Assistance: Clinical Theory
Law 687: Criminal Justice Clinical
Law 688: Student Legal Assistance: Clinical Practice

Research/Scholarly Activities

Research Areas

  • Negotiations
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Clinical Legal Education

Selected Publications and Presentations


  • "Culture and Diversity in the Courts: Development a Framework for Inclusion," Provincial Court Judges' Conference, October 18, 2017, Banff.
  • "Medical-Legal Partnership Practice: The Role of Pro Bono and Law Schools," American Bar Association Equal Justice Conference, May 4-6, 2017, Pittsburgh.
  • "Bridging the Gap: Academic Faculty Perceptions and Attitudes About Clinical Legal Education," joint conference of Association for Canadian Clinical Legal Education (ACCLE) and the International Journal for Clinical Legal Education (IJCLE), July 12, 2016, Toronto.
  • "Friend or Foe: Bridging the Gap between the Academy and the Profession," University of Saskatchewan College of Law, October 23-25, 2015, Saskatoon.
  • Presenter, 2nd Annual Wrongful Conviction Day, October 2, 2015, Mount Royal University, Calgary.
  • "Court-annexed Dispute Resolution in Context: Exploring the Impact of Mediation Typology and Process Choice on Student Learning," Association for Canadian Clinical Legal Education annual conference, Faculty of Law, University of Windsor, October 23-24, 2014.
  • "Facilitating access to justice in the face of disaster: Lessons from the law clinic," Association for Canadian Clinical Legal Education annual conference, October 16-19, 2013, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University.

Professional Service

Michelle has been a volunteer lawyer with Calgary Legal Guidance, Pro Bono Law Alberta, the Calgary Women's Centre's Civil and Family Law Legal Advice clinics, and SLA. She has served as a Board member of the Association of Collaborative Professionals (Calgary) and the Breast Cancer Supportive Care Foundation (Calgary) and she remains the Legal Advisor for the Foundation.

In November 2013, Michelle was elected to the board of directors for the Association for Canadian Clinical Legal Education (ACCLE), where she will serve as Treasurer. She was also named to the board of the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family.

On January 19, 2017, Michelle was appointed to the Judicial Advisory Committee for Alberta.

On March 8, 2018, Michelle was appointed to the Alberta Rules of Court Committee for a three-year term.

Photograph of Michelle Constance Christopher
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