News Release
October 31, 2014

Vancouver – Today, the Law Society’s governors, known as Benchers, decided not to approve a proposed law school at Trinity Western University for the purpose of the Law Society’s admission program.

This comes after careful consideration of the outcome of a referendum conducted in October, in which BC lawyers voted on whether or not to request the Benchers to declare that the proposed law school at Trinity Western University is not an approved faculty of law for the purpose of the Law Society's admission program. The referendum was conducted by mail-in ballot, and required one-third of BC’s lawyers to participate and two-thirds of those participating to vote in favour in order to pass. The vote was 5,951 (74 per cent) in favour and 2,088 against, out of 8,039 valid ballots. A total of 13,530 practising, non-practising and retired lawyers were entitled to vote.

The Benchers decided to hold a referendum after a resolution was passed in a non-binding vote at a special general meeting in June requesting the Benchers to disapprove of the proposed law school. The Legal Profession Act provides that a member resolution can be made binding by referendum within 12 months following the general meeting at which it was adopted. The Benchers decided to accelerate the process to provide more certainty on the issue now rather than leave it open until next June.

“The Act also provides for member input to be considered in certain circumstances. The referendum enabled all of BC’s lawyers to have a say in whether the Benchers should recognize the Trinity Western University law school,” said President Jan Lindsay, QC. “In their meeting, the Benchers considered the result of the referendum in the context of the many other factors related to this issue and have now passed a resolution disapproving of the proposed law school at Trinity Western University for the purpose of the Law Society’s admission program.”

The Law Society of British Columbia regulates the more than 11,000 practising lawyers in the province, setting and enforcing standards of professional conduct that ensure the public is well-served by a competent, honourable legal profession.


For further information or to arrange an interview contact:

Ryan-Sang Lee
Communications Officer

Taylore Ashlie
Director, Communications and Knowledge Management