The Law Society’s innovation sandbox will provide a structured environment that permits lawyers and other individuals and organizations to pilot their proposals for providing effective legal advice and assistance to address the public’s unmet legal needs.

Do you have an idea for improving access to legal services for those who experience a legal issue or problem but who do not seek any assistance? Perhaps it involves people who are not traditional legal service providers or the use of AI and other technologies. Maybe it involves changes to business structures or practices to enable more efficient and cost-effective delivery of legal services.

The Law Society is interested in expanding access to legal services.

According to a 2020 Ipsos-Reid survey, 85 per cent of British Columbians who experience a serious, difficult legal problem either get no legal help or get legal assistance from someone other than a lawyer. In order to expand the ability of these citizens to obtain legal advice and assistance, the Law Society has created an innovation sandbox. The innovation sandbox will enable individuals, businesses or organizations that are currently not authorized to practise law to provide services that address the unmet need for legal advice and assistance within a structured environment that maximizes the benefits of the services while minimizing the risks associated with providing those services. Based on survey data, consumer problems, money and debt issues, employment matters, welfare and social benefits, housing and land issues are all areas the public has said that their legal needs are unmet or underserved in the current marketplace.

Innovation Sandbox proposals will be considered by Law Society staff at first instance. Appropriate proposals will be considered by the Innovation Sandbox Advisory Group and then by the Executive Committee. If the proposal is accepted, the proponent will be provided with a no-action letter.

Why an innovation sandbox?

Today, legal advice and assistance for BC citizens is provided generally by more than 12,000 practising lawyers. Yet as recent surveys have shown, the legal profession does not meet the needs of everyone who needs legal advice or assistance. The reasons for this are many.

To respond to that unmet need, the Law Society has established the innovation sandbox to pilot the provision of legal advice and assistance by individuals, businesses and organizations that are not lawyers or law firms. The goal of the innovation sandbox is to develop effective legal service providers to address the legal needs of those BC citizens who do not get legal help or get it from someone other than a lawyer.