|For immediate release||April 26, 2011|
BC lawyers support continuing professional development
Vancouver – A new survey and recent statistics from the Law Society show that BC lawyers strongly support a recently introduced program that requires them to fulfill continuing educational requirements.
The results of an April 2011 survey of BC lawyers reveal that 78% agree that continuing education should be mandatory for lawyers, with more than half saying that the annual requirement is likely to strengthen the quality of legal services that BC lawyers provide their clients. And compliance rates gathered by the Law Society since the program’s inception in 2009 demonstrate that most lawyers are abiding by the new rules. By mid-April, only nine of the province’s more than 10,300 practising lawyers remained suspended after failing to log the required number of hours for the past year.
“The survey results, plus the statistics we have been gathering since 2009, show us that lawyers are not only readily complying with the requirements, but that a majority expect the program is likely to be beneficial to clients,” said the Law Society’s Director of Education Alan Treleaven.
The Law Society of BC introduced its Continuing Professional Development program on January 1, 2009, making it the first law society in Canada to make it mandatory for all practicing lawyers in the province to attain at least 12 hours of professional development in accredited programs. Other provinces have since implemented similar requirements. Lawyers who don’t fulfill the hours face penalties including additional fees and suspensions.
The online survey was completed by over 1,400 of the province’s practising lawyers and has an estimated margin of error of +/-3%, 19 times out of 20. Survey results.
The Law Society of British Columbia regulates the more than 10,000 lawyers in the province, setting and enforcing standards of professional conduct that ensure the public is well-served by a competent, honourable legal profession.
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