Jean Sorensen|Apr 28, 2011
British Columbia’s mandatory continuing legal education program, the first in Canada when implemented by the Law Society of B.C. in January 2009, is gaining strong support from lawyer who see it as providing client benefits.
The results of a survey of B.C. lawyers released this month reveal that 78 per cent agree that continuing education should be mandatory for lawyers, with more than half saying that the annual requirement is likely to strengthen the quality of legal services that lawyers provide their clients.
Compliance rates gathered by the LSBC since the program’s start demonstrate most lawyers are complying with the new rules. By mid-April, only nine of B.C.’s more than 10,300 practising lawyers were still under suspension for failing to log the required number of hours for the past year.
Correction: Judicial complaints have resulted in discipline against men as well as women. It is only the list of interlocutory complaints that has women on it and no men. May 2, 2011
All the lawyers disciplined so far by the Law Society of Upper Canada under its judicial complaints protocol are women.
The protocols were developed by the law society with the chief justices of Ontario’s courts to encourage judges to report poor behaviour in court and improve communication about the outcomes of investigations. Judges have the option of asking for mentoring for lawyers whose behaviour is not serious enough for formal discipline, but only five requests have been made so far for mentoring.