A sandbox is a "safe space" to test ideas in a controlled environment that are likely to benefit the public. The Law Society’s Innovation Sandbox will allow approved projects by those not currently authorized to provide legal services and for existing firms to be piloted with regulatory oversight by the Law Society to protect the public interest.

Studies show that a significant percentage of the public who have a legal problem are not seeking the advice and representation of a lawyer. While services of the legal profession we regulate is preferred, the Law Society recognizes that for many of these individuals access to some advice and representation is better than none at all.

The Innovation Sandbox was launched to bridge the gap by facilitating grassroots innovation in new technologies, business structures and delivery of legal services by individuals, businesses and organizations that are not lawyers or new services from law firms.

Individuals, business and organizations with an interest in piloting a new technology, business structure or legal service are encouraged to complete the application form. The application is short and straightforward. The goal is to help us understand the details of what you are proposing to do, how it differs from traditional legal services, and how you would address risks to consumers or the public.

In your proposal, you will be asked to tell us:

  • the services that you are proposing to pilot;
  • who you expect to be your clients;
  • how your services will increase access to justice;
  • who will be part of the pilot and their relevant credentials, education and training; and
  • what risks to the public, if any, are associated with the services or business model you propose to offer.

If you unsure about whether your concept would qualify, we encourage you to contact us to discuss it further.

Proposals are reviewed by a staff working group and, if necessary, additional information to clarify the proposal may be requested. Once the staff working group has determined the proposal is complete, it will be reviewed by the Innovation Sandbox Advisory Group.

The Advisory Group includes representatives from outside the Law Society who will evaluate your proposal on the basis of whether the legal service or services proposed:

  • are likely to be delivered in a competent and ethical manner;
  • are likely to benefit the public, by enhancing the availability of legal services or the effectiveness or efficiency of the delivery of legal services, particularly with respect to the unmet need for legal advice and assistance in a number of areas; and
  • present any significant risks that are not adequately addressed in the proposal.

The Advisory Group makes a recommendation to the Executive Committee for a final decision regarding whether or not to include the proposal in the Innovation Sandbox.

If your proposal is accepted by the Executive Committee, you will be issued a “no-action” letter by the Executive Director. A “no-action” letter means that the Law Society will not prosecute or seek an injunction against you so long as you provide only those services that are set out in the “no-action” letter and you comply with the conditions set out in the “no-action” letter.

Yes, participants will be required to provide regular monthly reporting to the Law Society on various metrics.Sandbox staff will review the reports to assess compliance with the conditions in your “no-action” letter. This data will also inform the Law Society’s future policy development about additional legal service providers and law firm business structures.

Proposals will not be made public unless and until they have received approval by the Executive Committee.

Once a “no-action” letter is issued, it will be posted on the Law Society website and identify for the public the proponents and proposals that have been approved. The directory will provide a summary of the services the successful proponents may provide and a copy of the no-action letter.

No. Any agreement by the Law Society not to take action in relation to the legal services you may provide does not provide a right of audience before the courts or administrative tribunals. Proponents who intend to represent clients before the courts or administrative tribunals must request permission of the presiding judge or, when applicable, a tribunal member, to appear.

At this stage, there is no fee to submit a proposal or participate in the Sandbox, as we are mindful that fees could deter applicants.


Participants who do not carry professional liability insurance must disclose that to consumers directly as well as generally on any website or social media they may use to promote their services.

A participant’s approval to participate in the Sandbox only means that the Law Society is satisfied that it does not need to take action to prevent the provision of legal services by you. While the Law Society has assessed the proposal and determined that it meets the objective of the Innovation Sandbox initiative, acceptance into the Sandbox is not an approval, endorsement or certification by the Law Society of the quality of the services provided or of the qualifications, competence or fitness of the participant to provide those services.

The Law Society has the authority to revoke a provider’s no-action letter and complaints are one source of information about those providers and their services. Participants will also be required to provide regular reporting requirements and will be actively monitored by the Law Society.

There is no current end-date set for pilot projects. Participation in the Sandbox and ongoing reporting will inform the Law Society’s future policy development about other legal service providers and law firm business structures.

The provision of immigration services, including substantive and procedural advice and representation in immigration matters, is governed by federal law. As a result, the provision of immigration services is outside the scope of the Innovation Sandbox.

Regulated Canadian immigration consultants do not need to participate in the Sandbox in order to provide those services.

Yes. Other federal or provincial laws that have jurisdiction or exemptions from the Legal Profession Act are outside of the scope of the Sandbox. For example, section 354 of the Workers Compensation Act allows individuals, who are not lawyers, to provide legal advice and representation within the BC workers’ compensation system.

No. The Sandbox does not replace multijurisdictional practice rules. Lawyers from outside of Canada who wish to provide legal services respecting the law of their home jurisdiction can apply for a Practitioner of Foreign Law Permit.

No. Prepaid legal services plans have been specifically exempted from the statutory definition of the “practice of law” under the Legal Profession Act and, as a result, are outside the scope of the Innovation Sandbox.

Not necessarily. We appreciate that your model/service may not be ready for full implementation at the time of submitting a proposal. The Law Society may consider a proposal in principle with ongoing consultation before providing final acceptance.

Yes! Law Society staff would be happy to assist you with a proposal and answer questions. Please contact us at innovation@lsbc.org.