Unlimited Section Enrollments with CBA Membership
We heard you! Starting September 1, your membership with the CBA, BC Branch will include unlimited access to all 78 BC and 41 National Sections and Forums, offering you the ability to earn all LSBC required 12 hours of professional development (PD), including ethics. These benefits are exclusive to CBA, BC Branch members. We call it the “BC Advantage.”
Sections and Forums are practice-focused groups organized by substantive areas of law or by interest areas. Some Sections and Forums like Family Law or Young Lawyers have many regional locations and others operate from a single area for the benefit of the entire province. Meetings take place in person, by phone or by webinar. The networking and PD provided through Sections and Forums are considered one of the main benefits of CBA membership.
Through the BC Advantage, you will have instant access to all online Section resources, unlimited access to register for all Section and Forum meetings, and will receive meeting announcements and legislative updates from as many specified Sections as you choose.
From July through September, you can enrol as you usually would in specific Sections in order to receive regular Section and Forum communications such as meeting announcements. However, there are no additional enrolment fees. If you hear about an upcoming Section or Forum meeting you want to attend, but aren’t enrolled, it doesn’t matter. Go ahead and register to attend the specific meeting. If it involves a meal and you want to attend for that part, you will have to pay for the meal. But there is no additional charge for the meeting. And you always have the option to choose which Sections and Forums will send you regular notices.
In addition to unlimited access to Sections and Forums, you will have complimentary access to two hours of special PD to fulfill your annual required ethics and practice management obligation. In other words, for the cost of full CBA membership, $751.88, including tax, you can meet your entire PD requirements, and be part of the essential ally and advocate of the members of the legal profession. If you qualify for a discount, you will receive the same benefits for 40-50% less. Retired lawyers, part-time and non-practising lawyers, new lawyers, articling students and scholars all qualify for discounts.
Our Section Chairs, Elected Members, Executive Committee and the Rural Lawyers Task Force have all heard our members’ requests for more access to Sections and Forums. You made it clear that the additional cost of the previous enrolment fees was a barrier.
Over and over again, our members have told us that Sections and Forums provide great connections to other members of the profession and provide referrals, contacts throughout the province and practice support. The collegiality fostered by Sections and Forums strengthens the profession as a whole as well as providing positive, professional guidance to each other.
Professional development provided through Sections and Forums provides timely and current updates on recent cases, practice developments, and emerging issues. This quick and efficient method of learning is attractive to many lawyers and is now emulated by others. Some Sections are also offering longer PD sessions and bi-annual events such as the Wills & Trusts Section Retreat this past May. For even more professional development, sign up for Portfolio and Portfolio Plus packages, our nationally-accessible pre-paid professional development at a guaranteed 20% discount.
The BC Branch is proud to offer the BC Advantage in response to our members’ requests. Please help us spread the word so that more of the legal profession can keep current and connected!
Kerry L. Simmons, QC
2014/15 Chair, Membership Committee