Returning to practice

Information Sheet: Returning to Practice 
Returning to Practice Application Form

You may be subject to the Law Society's returning to practice rules if you are:

  • a non-practising or a retired member wanting to return to practice
  • currently exempt from liability insurance and now applying for insurance
  • currently insured for part-time practice and now applying for full-time practice insurance
  • applying for reinstatement and wanting to return to practice

How to apply

If you are applying for reinstatement or a change in your insured status, the returning to practice provisions are automatically triggered and there is no need for a further application.

If you are a non-practising or a retired member applying to be released from your non-practising or retired undertaking, you must submit:

Returning to Practice Application Form 
Non-refundable application fee 

Returning to practice requalification rules

(Law Society Rules 2-88 to 2-90)

Called to the bar within the last three years or have not engaged in the practice of law for no more than three of the last five years

No specific requalification required

Not engaged in the practice of law for more than three of the last five years

Qualification examination

Not engaged in the practice of law for more than seven years Automatically referred to the Credentials Committee which will determine what, if any, conditions should be imposed
Called to the BC bar at least seven years ago and not practised law within the last seven years 

Must apply to the Credentials Committee and comply with any conditions it imposes, which may include:

practising only in specified areas of law, or not practising in specified areas of law

The “practice of law” is as defined in section 1 of the Legal Profession Act and for an average of at least one day per week.

If you are required to write the examinations, you may apply to the Credentials Committee under Law Society Rule 2-89(4) for permission to practice without writing the examinations. Under this rule, the Committee may permit a lawyer to practice law without writing the qualifications examinations if, in the opinion of the Committee, the lawyer has engaged in activities that have kept the lawyer current with substantive law and practice skills, or if the public interest does not require the lawyer to write the qualification examinations.

Former judges and masters

If you are a reinstated lawyer who was a judge or a master, you must restrict your practice by not appearing before certain courts for a period of time. Alternatively you may have conditions respecting your practice imposed by the Credentials Committee (Rule 2-87).

Non-practising or retired membership 
Change your contact information

For further information, contact Member Services