|For immediate release||April 20, 2012|
Law Society reports on efforts to achieve excellence in lawyer regulation
Vancouver – The Law Society has released its 2011 Annual Report on Performance. The report is an opportunity to assess the Society’s ability to act in the public interest by effectively regulating the legal profession.
Last year, the Law Society met or exceeded virtually all of the targets set to ensure it is doing a good job to protect the public. These targets, called key performance measures, were introduced four years ago and are described in the report. “The measures are an important indicator of what we’re doing right and where we need to make improvements,” said Tim McGee, the Society’s CEO. The Society is a leader in the introduction of key performance measures for its core regulatory functions.
The regulatory body has also completed or commenced more than 95 per cent of the initiatives in the organization’s 2009-2011 Strategic Plan. “The goals of the three-year plan were to enhance access to legal services, enhance public confidence in lawyers through effective regulation and made education of lawyers and the public a priority,” said McGee. These goals continue to be central to the Law Society’s 2012-2014 Strategic Plan.
Highlights of Law Society activities in 2011:
- Significantly broadened participation in the regulatory process by inviting lawyers and the public to participate in discipline and credentials hearings panels
- Made rule changes to increase public access to justice by increasing the legal services articled students and paralegals can provide under the supervision of a lawyer
- Initiated development of a mentoring program to support Indigenous lawyers
- Announced the launch of the Justicia program in BC to retain and advance women lawyers
- Introduced a new website to enhance transparency and make it easier for the public to find information about the Law Society and legal resources
- Implemented organizational changes that have reduced the time it takes to handle complaints about a lawyer’s conduct
- Played a leadership role in national regulatory improvements, including the development of a Canada-wide code of conduct for lawyers
The 2011 Annual Report on Performance also includes a summary of reports from the Office of the BC Ombudsperson and the Complainants Review Committee, two bodies that provide oversight of the Society’s regulatory process.
Read the 2011 Annual Report on Performance.
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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