At-a-glance guide to the Law Society
The following provides a general overview of many of the resources available to lawyers from the Law Society.
The Law Society of BC offers a wealth of practice support and resources to help lawyers in the following areas:
- client identification and verification
- client service and communications
- conflict of interest
- incorporation precedents
- model letters
- office organization
- retainer agreements
- statutory declarations and technology
Beat the Clock, Timely lessons from 1,600 lawyers Prevent missed deadlines by adopting the simple practice and procedures laid out in this guide. Covering over 70 risk management tips, Beat the Clock is a must-read for all BC lawyers.
Checklists Manual Checklists are divided into nine areas: client identification and verification, corporate and commercial, criminal, family, human rights, immigration, litigation, real estate and wills and estates. Checklists are updated annually.
Locum Registry An important part of maintaining a busy and successful practice is planning necessary leaves to promote work-life balance. A locum can help maintain your practice while you are away and keep your office running smoothly.
Succession planning There are many reasons why you, or others, may have to wind up your practice -- a transfer between firms, retirement, sudden illness or death. It is critical to have a plan in place. The Law Society offers online resources to help you develop and implement a succession plan, including checklists and precedents.
Trust Accounting Handbook This how-to guide provides lawyers and bookkeepers with a comprehensive overview of best practices for setting up books and records. It also includes practice tips and a sample workbook that illustrates the recording of common day-to-day trust account transactions.
Equity and diversity The Law Society has resources to help law firms promote equity and diversity, including a business case for the retention and advancement of women lawyers in private practice and a range of model policies related to workplace equality.
Equity ombudsperson A free and confidential service for lawyers, articled students, law firm staff and human resources professionals regarding harassment and discrimination.
PPC Canada The Law Society funds free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, family and work-related concerns. Offered by PPC Canada, the program is available to all BC lawyers, articled students and their immediate families.
Lawyers Assistance Program This program provides free and confidential peer support, counselling, referrals and interventions for lawyers, their families, support staff and articled students suffering from alcohol or chemical dependencies, stress, depression or other personal problems.
Practice Advisors Law Society practice advisors are staff lawyers who provide confidential (except in cases of trust fund shortages) advice in areas such as: client identification and verification, confidentiality and privilege, conflicts, ethics, fraud prevention, lawyer-lawyer relationships, marketing, mobility, practice management, systems and technology.
The Law Society can provide assistance and information in the following areas: address changes, admissions, articling, call ceremonies, fees, law corporations, membership status changes, membership reinstatement, transfers of membership to BC and unclaimed trust funds.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604.605.5311.
Lawyers Insurance Fund
The Lawyers Insurance Fund manages the insurance program for BC lawyers. The program provides both professional liability insurance for negligence and trust protection coverage for theft. Although reports of claims and potential claims must be in writing, claims counsel are available to speak to you by telephone about a matter you have not yet reported. Any information you provide is kept confidential and will not be disclosed except in accordance with the terms of the Policy.
The Lawyers Insurance Fun also publishes risk management materials such as Beat the Clock, the seminal guide to avoid missing limitations and deadlines, and articles relating to fraud prevention for lawyers.
For detailed information about the insurance program, including insurance policies, reporting guidelines, answers to coverage questions, program reports, contact information and risk management materials, visit the insurance section.
The Law Society has developed a series of free online learning resources for BC lawyers. Log in to access the following courses:
Communications toolkit Poor communications is a common thread that runs through many of the complaints the Law Society receives about lawyers. This course describes common problem areas and provides examples of how communication can be improved.
Practice refresher Developed to assist lawyers resume practice after an absence of one to seven years, this course provides a refresher on core concepts, substantial and procedural developments, as well as client and office management.
Small firm practice This course offers learning modules on practice issues of interest to sole practitioners and small firm lawyers, including practice management, trust accounting, technology issues and pitfalls of practice.
Benchers' Bulletin A quarterly publication available in paper (for a subscription fee) or electronic form that focuses on news of interest to the profession, including policy and regulatory matters, work of committees and task forces, Law Society programs and activities, and practice and ethical issues.
Committee and task force reports Reports from Law Society committees and task forces, both past and present.
E-Brief An electronic news service that features news about Bencher activities and other items of interest to the profession.
Insurance Issues Published by the Lawyers Insurance Fund, this newsletter provides program information and timely risk management advice to lawyers.
Other law-related organizations
For a full list of other legal resources, visit Legal Information and Resources.