Opening a new law firm

All new law firms (including sole practices) in Nova Scotia must be registered before practising law and delivering legal services (see regulation 4.8, effective as of January 2, 2018). To start the registration process, complete and submit to the Society the New Law Firm Registration form.

Before opening a new law practice in Nova Scotia, you will need to make many decisions. To assist you, the Society has developed the following resources:

  • The New Practice Checklist – this will help determine what decisions and actions you need to take prior to opening your new practice.
  • Before opening your new practice, you must meet a number of regulatory requirements, outlined in the Steps to Opening a Practice in Nova Scotia. For example, you are required to advise the Society of your change of address and practising situation prior to actually opening your practice. You must also determine if you will need a trust account, and whether or not you will need to apply for a law corporation permit or a limited liability partnership (LLP).
  • The MSELP self-assessment Workbook will help law firms identify the appropriate systems, policies and processes to support an ethical practice infrastructure.

Our goal is to assist you in setting up your legal practice in a way that will help you practise more effectively and avoid risk. Preparation is the key. Society staff in the Education & Credentials department are happy to chat with and assist you as you prepare to open your practice.

Additional information and resources are available through the Lawyers’ Insurance Association of Nova Scotia. Visit the LIANS website and see Opening a Law Office, under Resources.

The Barristers’ Library in Halifax also has resources to assist you, including materials on solo/small firm office management and lawyer and client relations, plus titles in the Firm Founder’s Reading List. Contact Society staff at the Barristers’ Library for assistance.

New Law Firm Registration form (PDF)

New Practice Checklist (PDF)