Access to Justice
British Columbians are replete with legal needs that are not being met, and we are all aware of the growing voices calling for increased access to justice.
Our profession is responding by becoming increasingly innovative in the ways we provide much-needed legal services to financially-strained clients though limited retainer agreements, unbundled services and set fee structures. And yet many British Columbians’ legal needs continue to be unmet despite these innovations and an ever-expanding base of lawyers.
The Law Society, through sound governance and guiding further innovation of unbundled services, can and should continue to explore opportunities to enhance our services in order to continue to thrive and meet the needs of our clients.
Civility and Discipline
A primary duty of a Bencher is to uphold and protect the public interest through the regulation of lawyers. Often times the focus on protecting the public interest is defined within the discipline process.
To complement the discipline process, I believe the Law Society best serves the public interest through education to ensure the competence of its members alongside the necessary discipline structure. The legal needs of individuals can only be served with a robust legal community practicing within a framework of wellness and prosperity aligned with the public interest.
Having a two-pronged approach to discipline, penalizing the behavior while also providing corrective measures, in the long-run serves the interests of the public, and the profession. Lawyers who are provided tools, guidance and training to improve from their mistakes will result in a stronger and healthier bar, better able to serve our clients.
Impending radical technological and regulatory change is about to transform our profession in previously unforeseen ways.
If we address the coming changes with intelligence and dexterity, not only can we ameliorate potential negatives to transition smoothly, but we can actually harness these forces to transform our industry and practices to a better place than we have ever been. This, ultimately, will serve the public interest and improve our legal system for all British Columbians.
Adopting new ways to serve clients will allow lawyers to creatively reimagine what it means to be a lawyer in the future while maintaining professional standards and ensuring client confidentiality.