Law Society of BC
The Law Society of British Columbia regulates the legal profession in BC, protecting the public interest in the administration of justice by setting and enforcing standards of professional conduct for lawyers. The Law Society ensures the public is well served by legal professionals who are honourable and competent by managing admissions and credentials for new lawyers, providing several educational programs and overseeing the required annual ongoing development program for lawyers, conducting reviews of a lawyer’s practice and monitoring remedial programs, regulating and auditing lawyers’ trust fund accounting procedures, providing practice advice to lawyers on ethical and legal issues, taking custody of a lawyer’s practice when a lawyer is unable to continue practicing and has not made arrangements for clients, investigating and disciplining lawyers who have violated Law Society rules and taking action against those who illegally offer legal services or misrepresent themselves as lawyers.
In fulfilling its role, the Law Society brings a voice to issues affecting the justice system and takes action to improve access to legal services and equity and diversity of the legal profession. The Law Society is governed by the Legal Profession Act, which is set out by the provincial government.
The Law Society has authority to review the conduct and competence of lawyers practising in BC, including lawyers in private practice, legal aid lawyers, government lawyers and Crown prosecutors. All formal complaint about conduct and competence are considered. The Law Society uses a system of graduated discipline to respond to lawyer violations of Law Society Rules and the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia. This allows the Law Society to apply consequences from mild to severe, depending on the nature of the violation and the circumstances of the matter.