We welcome your involvement
This is my first of six BarTalk columns I will write as your President. In my role, I am standing on the shoulders of those who have preceded me and all of the volunteers and wonderful staff of our organization.
Any successes we have achieved and may achieve in the future on protecting the rule of law, supporting an independent judiciary, supporting our membership and engaging in career-long learning, are aided and supported by hundreds of people who bring expertise and passion to the various roles that they play in our organization.
My goals and the Executive Committee’s goals for this year are:
IMPROVE SECTIONS AS A VALUE DIFFERENTIATOR
- Sections are a high priority for our membership. We plan to review and re-organize Sections, clarify roles, strengthen programming, expand remote access and increase our focus on Solo/Small Firm practitioners’ offerings.
TARGET AND IMPROVE PD
- Based on our Operational Review, we will endeavour to increase live PD in Vancouver (2-3 hour courses); decrease PD webinars and focus only on best-sellers (e.g. updates on new legislation); and maintain PD programs outside the Lower Mainland for membership recruitment/retention value.
- We will evaluate the long-term viability and profitability of the Branch Conference and develop annual online ethics content to be included with membership.
Advocacy – On Behalf of the Profession
REPRESENT LAWYERS’ INTERESTS IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF LAW SOCIETY SINGLE REGULATOR MODEL
- Past President Dean Crawford has been appointed to this Law Society Committee and will participate in the discussion, monitor the process, and advocate where needed on aspects related to the scope of practice of non-lawyer practitioners as it affects our membership.
Advocacy Initiatives – On Behalf of the Public
RELENTLESSLY ADVOCATE FOR INCREASED ACCESS TO JUSTICE
- Continue to advocate for increases in legal aid funding, participate in the government’s Justice Summits and work with other stakeholders toward the establishment of a BC Access to Justice Commission.
DIVERSITY IN JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS
- Promote diversity in appointments to the Judicial Advisory Committee and in appointments to the Bench, particularly at the federal level, by building upon successes and transparency in recent provincial appointments.
IMPROVE VOLUNTEER SUPPORT AND EXCELLENCE
- Review and improve orientation programs, and evaluate and improve support provided to volunteers and leaders – the lifeblood of our organization.
ADDRESS THE COMMUNICATIONS CHALLENGE
- Evaluate what members want in terms of effective and relevant communications. How much is too much or not enough? What is the best way to deliver messages?
- Build upon relationships with local and county Bar associations.
- Increase presence at meetings and events throughout the province.
We will need your help and I want to thank you in advance as I know you will all be there to help.
Every CBABC fiscal year (September 1 to August 31) brings expected, and some unexpected, challenges to add to the plate and our leaders and volunteers rise to meet them. Please contact me, or any member of our Executive, if you need an answer or want to get involved. We would be pleased to have you join our team.