Elisa Penn joined Mandell Pinder LLP in 2017. Elisa enjoys working closely with communities to find creative and concrete solutions to complex and evolving challenges. Her practice includes advocacy, governance, specific claims, rights and title litigation, negotiations, regulatory processes, consultation and accommodation, and commercial transactions.
Elisa has appeared at the BC Supreme Court, BC Provincial Court, the National Energy Board, and the Specific Claims Tribunal. She has worked extensively with expert and lay witnesses to build robust and compelling legal arguments.
Elisa uses a community-based approach to governance work, developing practical structures that reflect the current needs of the community as well as their indigenous legal traditions. She has worked collaboratively with communities to develop Constitutions, Election Codes, Membership Codes and other policy documents.
Prior to law, Elisa worked as a regional and urban planner. Her work involved developing the pilot project for First Nation comprehensive community-based planning across Canada. She worked with several First Nations in Saskatchewan and Northern Alberta to develop community plans as well as a regional strategy for community planning. Elisa brings this experience in community planning to her current legal work with First Nations.
Judicial Law Clerk, B.C. Supreme Court 2012-2013
J.D., University of Victoria, 2012
MSc Regional and Urban Planning Studies, London School of Economics, 2007
B.A.& Sc. (Hon.), McMaster University, 2006
Professional Standing & Affiliations
Member, Law Society of B.C.
Executive (Legislative Liaison), Aboriginal Law Section Canadian Bar Association
Publications & Presentations
Administrative Law in the Aboriginal Law Context (Guest Lecture in Administrative Law Class) – UBC 2015-2017
Municipal Planning and Aboriginal Law (Course) – Langara College Applied Urban and Rural Planning (Spring 2015)
Places of law and lawlessness in the Wild; An exploration of law and geography through film (Lecture) – Association of American Geographers Annual Conference – Spring 2012