Practice experience requirements eased for principals

The Benchers have agreed with a Credentials Committee recommendation to allow for greater flexibility in the practice experience requirements of lawyers who wish to serve as principals to articled students. As amended, Law Society Rule 2-30 now requires a principal:

  • to have been in active (either full-time or part-time) practice for seven of the 10 years preceding the articling start date; and
  • to have been in full-time active practice for three of the five years immediately preceding the articling start date.

Close to a year ago, a change in Law Society Rule 2-30 increased the practice experience requirements of principals. Instead of five years full-time practice immediately preceding the articling start date, a principal needed to have seven years’ practice experience. This higher threshold came at the recommendation of the Admissions Program Task Force.

Since then, the Credentials Committee has seen an increase in the number of applications brought forward by prospective principals to be exempted from Rule 2-30 — in most cases because these lawyers cannot meet the requirement of seven years of continuous full-time practice. The Committee advocated changing the rule, thereby accommodating some of the applicants and limiting exemptions to exceptional circumstances.

For the text of Rule 2-30, as amended, see the enclosed Member’s Manual amendment package or visit the Law Society website at www.lawsociety.bc.ca.