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Our latest news highlights:

Benchers approve 2016 fees

[posted October 5, 2015]

The Benchers have approved the 2016 practice fee and insurance fee, as recommended by the Finance and Audit Committee. The committee based its recommendation on a thorough review of the Law Society’s financial position, its statutory mandate and strategic plan.

The total annual mandatory fee for practising, insured lawyers for 2016 will be $3,807.09, a 1.7% increase over 2015. The practice fee will increase by $65.09 to $2,057.09 and the insurance assessment will remain the same at $1,750.

For more information and a detailed breakdown and explanation of the 2016 fees, read the Notice to the Profession.

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2015 Bencher election – call for nominations

[posted September 8, 2015]

An election will be held on Monday, November 16, 2015 for Benchers of the Law Society, for a two-year term beginning January 1, 2016 and ending December 31, 2017. Nominations of candidates for election must be received by the Law Society by 5 pm on Thursday, October 15, 2015.

Download the Nomination form.
Read the Notice to the Profession.

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TWU v. Law Society of BC concludes

[posted August 31, 2015]

The Trinity Western University petition against the Law Society was heard before Chief Justice Hinkson in BC Supreme Court beginning on August 24 and ending the afternoon of August 26. TWU and four of its interveners – the Attorney General of Canada, the Association for Reformed Political Action of Canada, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms – were heard first, followed by the Law Society and one of its interveners, West Coast Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund. The Chief Justice reserved his decision.

The Law Society’s media release can be found here.

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Law Foundation's Legal Research Fund

[posted July 8, 2015]

BC lawyers are invited to apply for a grant from the Law Foundation of BC's Legal Research Fund. The deadline to submit a letter of intent is September 11, 2015.

The Law Foundation established the fund of $100,000 per year to support legal research projects that “advance the knowledge of law, social policy, and the administration of justice.”

For more information on the Legal Research Fund and the application process, visit the Law Foundation's website.

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Precautionary measures: useful tips on how to proceed if your firm receives a suspicious package

[posted July 7, 2015]

Some lawyers have expressed concerns about receiving suspicious packages. This useful link from the Government of Canada sets out procedures to follow if your law firm receives a package and is unsure of its contents. Be particularly alert if you receive a package that you did not expect. Call the sender in advance of opening to ascertain its contents. If there is no return address and if you were not expecting a package, treat the package as suspicious and follow emergency precautions.

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Deadline Extended – Secondary school essay contest on the Magna Carta

[posted June 19, 2015]

The deadline for the secondary school essay contest has been extended to December 31, 2015 in order to ensure all students have adequate time to submit their entry.

The contest was launched in March 2015 to honour of the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta and to support our strategic goal of raising public awareness of the importance of the rule of law and the proper administration of justice. The essay topic is “Magna Carta and its relevance to Canada in the 21st Century.” The competition is open to public school secondary students in BC who are currently enrolled in, or have taken, Law 12 and/or Civics Studies 11 courses in the 2014/15 and 2015/16 academic years.

Students are asked to submit an essay that demonstrates an understanding of the significance of the Magna Carta to the rule of law, human rights and democratic principles. The first prize winner will receive an award of $1,000 and will be invited to a special awards presentation event in Vancouver; the runner up will receive $500. For more on the contest or how to submit an essay, download the information forms.

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Reminder: Law Society Rules 2015 in effect July 1

[posted June 18, 2015]

The revised and consolidated Law Society Rules, which were adopted by the Benchers in April, will come into effect on July 1, 2015.

The primary objectives of the revision and consolidation are to:

  • re-number all rules and subrules in consecutive whole number order to eliminate decimal numbering;
  • add headings to cross-references to aid recognition;
  • consider the logical placement of provisions and relocate as necessary;
  • ensure consistency and economy of language;
  • identify substantive issues for consideration outside of the consolidation project.

Download a PDF of the new Law Society Rules 2015; a concordance between the new and old rules is also available.

The new rules will be published in the June 2015 Member's Manual amendment package, which will be emailed to e-subscribers early next week; print copies will be mailed to paid subscribers on June 24-25.

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Important PLTC registration information for 2016

[posted June 17, 2015]

Does your firm plan to hire an articled student to start in 2016? The number of articled students in BC has increased substantially in recent years. Early PLTC applicants are more likely to be placed in their session of choice.

Although PLTC has greatly increased its capacity and does its best to place students in the session of their first choice, this is not always possible. For the best chance of your student attending the PLTC session of choice, please note the following registration deadlines for 2016 PLTC:

  • October 15, 2015: to attend PLTC February - April 2016 (Vancouver only)
  • December 15, 2015: to attend PLTC May - July 2016 (Vancouver, Victoria or Kamloops)
  • March 01, 2016: to attend PLTC September - November 2016 (Vancouver only)

As there are often more applications for a particular session than there is space, applicants may be asked to choose between attending a later session or attending in a different location. That is why we recommend that applications be submitted as early as possible.

Some tips:

  • If the registration deadline has already passed, contact PLTC as there may still be space available or a wait list.
  • A student’s second choice on the application must be one he or she is able to attend.
  • Students currently attending law school in Kamloops or Victoria may have a better chance of summer registration in those locations regardless of where they are articling.
  • If a student will be attending a later session than what was requested, the firm can avoid “interrupting” articles with PLTC by delaying the start of articles until after PLTC is complete.
  • If a student has specific health or family reasons for needing to attend a particular location, include that information with the application.

Articling and PLTC are important components of the Law Society Admission Program, helping to build a foundation for new lawyers beginning the practice of law. If you have any questions or want further information on the Law Society Admissions Program, visit our web page here.

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