Innovation Award

This award recognizes innovation in rethinking the model of legal services, in challenging societal, institutional or historical barriers, and in serving the bar.

2022 Recipient

Sara Forte designed Forte Workplace Law to encourage clients to tell their story by focusing away from the billable hour, offering services at flat rates and bundled packages. Her ventures include Not Your Average Law Job, which highlights the stories of lawyers who have taken up alternative legal careers, as well as StandUP Teams, a training program to prevent workplace harassment.

Award Criteria

The Innovation Award recognizes lawyers, law firms or organizations who demonstrate leadership in promoting workplace innovation within the practice of law. The award recognizes innovation and creative thinking by CBA members that break new ground for other lawyers to follow by exhibiting courage and leadership. This award is about lawyers who think outside the box and show us what is possible. Innovation in the practice of law can mean many different things:

Innovation in Rethinking the Model of Legal Services

  • improving how we deliver to our clients: better access to affordable legal services; alternative fee arrangements; creative client-centered models

  • creating healthy workplaces: education and support for mental health issues, fostering cultures of education, support and career development
  • transforming the day-to-day practice: alternative business models, pioneering modes of staff organization and management, inventive approaches to integrating technology

Innovation in Challenging Societal, Institutional, or Historical Barriers

  • promoting diversity: reaching out to under-served communities; encouraging diverse voices to speak out in the workplace
  • creating access to legal services by traditionally under-served or disadvantaged client groups
  • carving out new practice areas or models that bring real and substantial change within the legal landscape

Innovation in Serving the Bar

  • leading in the development and implementation of creative strategies for mentoring the next generation of lawyers
  • supporting and developing new opportunities for lawyers who are members of equality-seeking groups
  • championing policies that support the retention of lawyers such as flexible working arrangements, thoughtful parental leave policies, etc.


Individuals, law firms and organizations are eligible to receive the Innovation Award. An individual recipient must be a CBABC member. Law firms or organizations must have a majority of CBABC members. A previous recipient is ineligible for consideration.

Nomination, Selection and Presentation

Nominations are sought in April. The Board of Directors selects the recipient and the award is presented by the CBABC President at the last Provincial Council meeting of the fiscal year, usually held in June. This award can be presented annually if there are viable candidates.

Previous Recipients

  • 2021 - The Society for Children & Youth of BC
  • 2020 - BC Prosecution Service
  • 2019 - Technical Safety BC
  • 2017 - Labour Rights Law Office
  • 2016 - Spraggs & Co.
  • 2015 - Health Sciences Association of BC, Rebecca Maurer (Recipient)
  • 2014 - Clark Wilson LLP, Firm Recipient

CBABC Awards
(604) 687-3404 or 1 (888) 687-3404