Cochard received her Bachelor of Laws from the University of Alberta in 1978. She was admitted to the Alberta Bar in 1979 and started that year as an associate specializing in family law at Duncan Craig LLP in Edmonton. Between 1982 and 1993, she was also a legal adviser for Student Legal Services of Alberta’s Family Law Project, which provides legal assistance to low income and unrepresented families. In 2003, she was a awarded a Master of Laws from York University and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia. Until recently, she was a partner with the Edmonton firm Cochard Johnson.
“Ms. Cochard’s experience, expertise and notable dedication to community service and professional development make her an excellent addition to Alberta’s judiciary. I congratulate her on this appointment.”
Ms. Cochard also is a longtime community volunteer. This includes membership on the steering committee for the Edmonton YWCA Battered Women’s Support Program as well as membership on the boards of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Planned Parenthood Edmonton and the Breakfast Committee, which raised funds for programs to address violence against women. In addition, from 2008 to 2012, she was Honorary Consul of Belgium for the Alberta region.
Candidates for Provincial Court appointments are screened first by the Alberta Judicial Council and then interviewed by the Provincial Court Nominating Committee (PCNC). The PCNC provides its recommendations to the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.
The Alberta Judicial Council has representatives from the Alberta Provincial Court, Court of Queen’s Bench, Court of Appeal and the Law Society of Alberta. It also includes two individuals appointed by the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General. The Provincial Court Nominating Committee has 11 members representing the Alberta Provincial Court, the Law Society of Alberta, the Canadian Bar Association - Alberta Branch, and representatives of the province’s legal community and the public appointed by the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.