Committee volunteers ... commitment, connection and collegiality

Volunteers are vital to Law Society committee work. If you are interested in making a difference in your profession, we would like to hear from you. David Masuhara, a Vancouver lawyer with B.C. Gas, is a volunteer on the Law Society Special Compensation Fund Committee.

He hasn't been deterred by a few late night meetings and (more than a few) cold sandwiches. And when you ask Vancouver lawyer David Masuhara what he likes most about Law Society committee work, he puts it simply, "Good minds and good people."

A volunteer on the Special Compensation Fund Committee for the past two years, David helps consider claims for compensation resulting from alleged lawyer misappropriation. It is a serious responsibility, critical to public protection and to the reputation of the profession.

It also brings deep personal satisfaction. Having previously enjoyed volunteer work with the CBA and Corporate Counsel Association, David feels strongly about "putting something back into advancing the work of the profession." As a corporate counsel, he believes he brings a unique perspective to his volunteer work and is inspired by the dedication of his colleagues.

Each year, the incoming Law Society President makes appointments to committees and task forces that include a blend of Benchers and non-Bencher volunteers. Richard Margetts, Q.C., who will be President next year, is calling on lawyers to express interest now in appointments for 2001.

"It's an opportunity for lawyers to make a difference," he says. "It is also a good way to connect with colleagues and build lasting friendships."

Where do volunteers do their work? Consider these committees: the Access to Justice, Audit,Review, Reviewing a file in discussion with Special Compensation Fund Committee Vice-chair Gerald Lecovin, Q.C.

Credentials, Discipline, Equity andDiversity, Ethics, Practice Standards, Special Compensation Fund and Unauthorized Practice Committees, as well as the Futures and Electronic Filing and Registration Task Forces. Some committees and task forces also need volunteers on special working groups, on such issues as alternative dispute resolution and multidisciplinary practice. For more on the mandate of Law Society committees, click on "About the Law Society/Committees" at www.lawsociety.bc.ca.

The Law Society's policy when making appointments is to promote gender equity, regional representation, a mix of barristers and solicitors and representation of ethnic minorities.

Can you see yourself as a volunteer? Please send a letter listing the committees or task forces of interest to you and describing your professional experience, community service and other interests. If you have expressed interest in the past and would still like to be considered for appointment, please let us know.

Please send your correspondence to First Vice-President Richard Margetts, Q.C.:

c/o David Newell
Corporate Secretary
Law Society of British Columbia
845 Cambie Street
Vancouver, B.C. V6B 4Z9
Fax: (604) 646-5919
Email: dnewell@lsbc.org