Celebrating our excellence
Timothy E. McGee
One of the best parts of my job is to report from time to time on the successes and achievements of the Law Society and its people. Over the past few weeks and months we’ve witnessed a series of successes and new initiatives — people, programs and projects demonstrating the commitment to excellence that is part of the Law Society tradition.
Our President has been honoured with two distinguished awards in recent weeks. In May, Anna Fung, QC was chosen as the YWCA’s “Woman of Distinction – Business and the Professions” for 2007. In June, the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch announced that Anna had won their 2007 Equality and Diversity Award, celebrating the accomplishments of a lawyer who has succeeded in advancing equality in the legal profession or generally in BC. In his letter of nomination, Alec C. Robertson, QC said, “Anna Fung is a champion of equality and a tireless worker to improve the lot of the disadvantaged. She is also an outstanding role model for women of diverse ethnic backgrounds and for women generally.”
The Association for Continuing Legal Education (ACLE), an international body representing more than 300 organizations, recently announced the granting of their 2007 Award for Professional Excellence to the Law Society for our online Small Firm Practice Course. Led by Kensi Gounden, the Law Society’s Manager, Standards and Professional Development, the project development team launched the course on January 1 — on time and on budget. The Law Society’s entry won out over entries from around the world. ACLE member countries include Canada, the United States, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and China.
Beat the Clock – Timely Lessons from 1,600 Lawyers , the Lawyers Insurance Fund’s newest publication, was sent to every insured lawyer in BC with the May issue of the Benchers’ Bulletin. Beat the Clock is a guide for managing deadlines and limitation periods, providing over 70 risk management tips. The first such guide published in North America, Beat the Clock was developed by LIF staff over the past year under the guidance of Director Su Forbes, QC and Program Administrator Margrett George. Early feedback from practitioners has been very positive.
In March, our Professional Conduct staff launched the Intake and Early Assessment Group as a pilot project for enhancing the Law Society’s responsiveness to new complaints through a combination of early assessment, streaming and intervention. An in-house team is focusing on resolving less serious complaints through early intervention — using phone calls and meetings to re-start communication between lawyers and clients, as an example.
I’m proud to be able to highlight these recent successes and new initiatives, and to congratulate all those involved.