Be Part of Something Bigger

The power of our collective voice

Be Part of Something Bigger

Since this issue of BarTalk was written, the BC Government has released their What We Heard Report, outlining the views expressed in the public consultation on the Legal Professions Regulatory Modernization Intentions Paper. CBABC is currently preparing focussed submissions on the proposed scope of practice for notaries, as well as meeting with government officials to reinforce our positions as presented in our submission last fall.

This issue features a myriad of updates and views about the regulation of lawyers. The BC government wants to see a single regulator and single statute for lawyers, notaries, paralegals, and other legal professionals. Both the Law Society and Society of Notaries Public wish to modernize, particularly in light of the Cayton Report recommendations. With these once-in-a-generation changes, the need for and importance of the Canadian Bar Association increases again.

Your membership in CBABC, now over 7,700 strong, enables BC lawyers to be heard as a collective. And the power of that collective allows lawyers to make informed and timely representations to the regulator and to government. CBABC members practice at the forefront of our legal and justice systems, providing services to British Columbians in every area of law. We witness and share with them personal and business challenges and crises. We have unique insight into the impact that laws, policies and those systems have on people. This issue updates you on CBABC’s advocacy on regulation and also the many other areas where we have seen advocacy wins and are making timely recommendations for reform.

There is a further distinction between the role of the regulator and the role of the association. Each needs their own lane. Think of a roadway with lanes of cars. Sometimes they run parallel, sometimes they merge and sometimes they cross. The same should be true for the regulator and CBABC. We have distinct purposes. LSBC regulates legal professionals and protects the public interest. It should provide support services to the professionals only to the extent necessary for them to meet their professional obligations to the satisfaction of the regulator. It cannot be all things to those professionals. To do so would put the regulator in a conflict with its obligations to the public and to the professionals regulated.

CBABC, as the professional association, provides support to lawyers as well as representation of lawyers. Offering opportunities to be brilliant, be heard, be connected and be well is what CBABC is all about. Professional development, consultation roundtables, events to foster collegiality, and supportive resources are what members expect and benefit from at CBABC.

This spring, we launched two new programs to support members. CBABC is committed to creating opportunities for the advancement of Indigenous lawyers. One way we do this is by supporting more Indigenous lawyers to access the benefits of a CBABC membership through the new Indigenous Lawyers Waivers of Dues Program. This program helps to advance reconciliation and create an environment in CBABC where Indigenous lawyers feel welcome and supported. Those who may face financial barriers to CBABC membership can apply to the program.

Are you looking for quick advice from an experienced lawyer? Practice Coaches connects members to experienced lawyers in their field to discuss a specific issue or file. Over 40 lawyers across 16 practice areas are now available to answer your questions. This program is a great opportunity for new lawyers or those new to their field, or those in solo practice.

With our extensive Section and Committee network, CBABC is the place where government, the courts, the regulator, or other agencies can consult with groups of lawyers on anything. Want to talk to real property lawyers about effective modern transfer of funds in conveyancing? CBABC can connect you to that group. Collecting the views of early career starters on what they need from an articling principal? We’ve got you. Think you know about access to justice? Our front-line lawyers have a few things to say.

Now, more than ever, membership in CBABC matters. Come be part of something bigger and ensure your voice is heard. You won’t regret it.   

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