As you’ve no doubt heard by now, the election results were announced on November 16, and the Law Society has welcomed six newly elected and 16 reelected Benchers.

I want to thank all those lawyers who continue to step up and serve the profession. It’s volunteer work that requires a big commitment, not to mention a fair bit of courage. Everyone at the Bencher table commits untold hours to reading the extensive reports and background material required of every policy discussion. For those representing districts outside the Lower Mainland, attending our regular meetings means considerable travel and time away from family and practices.

I know from my own experience that all those volunteer hours don’t go unrewarded. Benchers benefit from the personal satisfaction of being engaged in decisions that will shape the future of the legal profession in this province. Those who were recently elected face a number of key decisions this year and next, and I’m confident that the diversity of viewpoints and experience around the table will ultimately result in the right decisions.

The law society is a complex organization, with a number of diverse departments, including Discipline, Ethics and Practice Advice, Practice Standards, and Custodianships, its own insurance operation and a comprehensive pre-call education program. Throughout their tenure, Benchers will provide strategic direction and oversight for all of these departments and operations.

It’s a big job and I am humbled that so many are willing to come forward to help. Self-regulation is an immense responsibility, one that can’t be taken for granted and that wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of these volunteer Benchers.

I am very grateful for the experience I’ve had over the past nine years as a Bencher, and for the opportunity I’ve had to learn from the Benchers and staff that make this organization as successful as it is.

“Thanks” hardly begins to express my appreciation for all those who have come forward. I also encourage all lawyers to consider returning the favour these volunteers provide all of us by considering running for Bencher in the future.