|For immediate release||May 14, 2012|
BC lawyers meet end-of-year requirements for continuing professional development
Vancouver – BC lawyers continue to demonstrate their commitment to acquiring mandatory educational credits required by the Law Society.
The Law Society of BC introduced its Continuing Professional Development program in 2009, making it the first law society in Canada to require 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 rate of compliance has improved steadily since 2009. By April 1, 2012, the Law Society had to suspend only one lawyer for non-completion of the 2011 CPD requirement, a suspension that was lifted on April 26 when that lawyer reported completion of the requirement. That compares to 27 suspensions in 2009 and nine suspensions in 2010.
The latest statistic appears to reflect the opinions gathered in a 2011 survey of BC lawyers which revealed 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.
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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