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Society consultation on proposed self-assessment process for legal entities

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The biggest driver of change across the country seems to be a collective acknowledgement of just how antiquated, and ineffective, the existing regulatory system is. (Entity Regulation cover storyCanadian Lawyer, October 5, 2015)

The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society has moved to regulating in a way that is proactive, principled and proportionate. This ‘Triple P’ approach translates to the Society starting to engage with lawyers to minimize the need to regulate in a prescriptive way.

Triple P is part of the larger Transforming Regulation initiative that will continue to evolve over the next several years in response to current trends and issues facing legal practice in Nova Scotia.

As part of a more proactive regulatory approach, the Society wants to ensure that lawyers have all the best practice processes and infrastructure they need to succeed and assist their clients.

Based on prior research and focus groups, the Society has drafted a Self-Assessment Tool that will evaluate a firm or legal department’s current system for running a law practice against a benchmark – the Management System for Ethical Legal Practice (MSELP). Council believes the (current) 10 elements of MSELP will help firms create an ethical infrastructure to enhance quality of service and decision making.

When looking at the draft Self-Assessment Tool, lawyers should note that other approaches to this instrument have been considered. Our Legal Services Regulation Solo and Small Firm Working Group developed a format with the same content that incorporates a ‘checklist’ approach. 

The Society is requesting your feedback by January 31, 2016 on the tool’s appropriateness to your practice. We are particularly interested during this consultation phase in receiving feedback on:

  • the examples and indicators, and whether these should be expanded or contracted based on the size and type of firm or legal entity; and
  • the two different formats as approaches to making the assessment.

Any help on how to expand our tools and resources is also appreciated.

The draft Self-Assessment Tool is available to view with a free-form comment box where we seek your input. The scoring of 1-5 is for illustration purposes only (i.e., the survey does not accept a ranking). Our focus is on your comments in the box at the end of each of the 10 elements.

The scoring of 1-5 is for illustration purposes only (i.e., the survey does not accept a ranking). Our focus is on your comments in the box at the end of each of the 10 elements.

It will be your choice whether you provide your personal information or prefer to remain anonymous.

Both formats are also available to print out in a PDF version:
If you have any questions, please contact Susanne Willett, Project Manager, at swillett@nsbs.org.