Small Firm Task Force consultation

What can the Law Society do to help the small firm lawyer?

The Law Society’s Small Firm Task Force, chaired by Bencher Bruce LeRose, invites ideas from sole and small firm practitioners on programs to assist them in their law practices — and also ideas for the New Firm Practice Course, to be introduced in 2007.

Lawyers in solo and small firm practice account for more than 50% of practising lawyers in BC and a much higher percentage outside the Lower Mainland and Greater Victoria. They offer a vital service for people in most BC communities.

The Law Society wants to support small firm practice. A free online course is coming in 2007, designed to help lawyers in setting up a new law practice or strengthening an existing sole or small firm practice. Other support is already available — in particular, practice advisors who answer questions on ethics, practice and technology by telephone and email. Practice advice articles are regularly featured in the Benchers’ Bulletin, and practice resources are available on the Law Society website.

But are there other ways to help lawyers in small firms? The Small Firm Task Force is considering various ideas, including these:

  • a mentoring program, which could include:
    • a telephone and email helpline to lawyers, by practice area
    • information packages on common practice issues (via the website, by telephone or in print)
    • mentoring relationships that pair volunteer mentors and mentees
  • a law office technology advice and support program
  • a locum system to provide sole and small firm practitioners with back-up support (for vacations and for planned and unplanned absences)
  • a campaign to promote the effectiveness and importance of small firm practitioners to
    • the public
    • all BC lawyers
  • encouragement to lawyers, where there is market demand, to move to and stay in smaller communities and to law students to article in smaller communities.
Share your views

If you are a lawyer who practises alone or in a small firm, the Small Firm Task Force would like to hear from you on these questions:

  • What challenges do sole and small firm practitioners face in your area of practice — or in your area of the province?
  • Do you have ideas on how the Law Society can better support small firm practice, either as noted above or in other ways?
  • Do you have suggestions for the New Firm Practice Course?

Please send your comments and any questions to:

Small Firm Task Force
Law Society of BC
845 Cambie Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 4Z9

Bruce LeRose, Task Force Chair (brucel@tlb.bc.ca)

Alan Treleaven, Director of Education and Practice (atreleaven@lsbc.org)

The Task Force expects to make a report and recommendations to the Benchers later this year.