Council Election FAQs

The Society’s Council elections occur every odd-numbered year to elect practising members for district positions & non-practising or practising members for the at-large member positions. The most recent election was in 2021 and the next election will be in 2023. Review Part 2.4 of the NSBS Regulations.

General

What is Council’s role?

As the Society’s governing body, Council ensures we carry out our purpose to uphold and protect the public interest in the practice of law. Council sets the Society’s strategic direction, makes policy decisions, strives for excellence in regulation and ensures the Society acts in the public interest. Council members lead the Society and lend their voices and unique insights to decisions that impact Nova Scotia’s legal profession.

How many members are on Council?

Council includes 21 voting members who are elected lawyers from across the province, as well as five appointed public representatives.

What is the time commitment for a Council member?

Council meets eight times per year to discuss and address the policy issues affecting the Society. These meetings typically take place starting at 9:00 AM at the Society’s office in downtown Halifax, however, they may be held virtually via Zoom. Council members are expected to be prepared to attend full-day meetings, with sufficient breaks throughout the day.

What do I get out of being a member of Council?

Council is an opportunity to serve the public and to contribute to Nova Scotia’s legal profession. Council members lend their voices and unique insights to set the Society’s strategic direction. On Council, you’ll also connect with lawyers across the province and develop skills and knowledge including governance, policy-making and risk analysis skills.

District Election

Who is eligible to be nominated?

Practising members from Nova Scotia are eligible to be nominated in their corresponding district. A member’s district corresponds to their current mailing address on file at the Society.

How many members are elected?

Ten District Council members will be elected across the province – two each in Cape Breton, Central, and Southwestern Districts, and four from the Halifax District. Review Regulation 2.3.1.

Who is eligible to vote?

All members of the Society in good standing are eligible to vote for candidates in their own districts.

What are the different districts?

There are four districts. The Cape Breton District, Central District, HRM and the Southwestern District. Review the District map.

At-Large Election

Who is eligible to be nominated?

Non-practising and practising members from anywhere in the province are eligible to be nominated for the member at large. Review Regulation 2.3.1 (e).

Who is eligible to vote?

All members in good standing are eligible to vote for candidates in the at-large election.

What is the difference between the at-large positions and district member positions?

The district members are elected based on their specific district. The member at-large positions are elected from anywhere in the province and are not based on a specific district. All Council members contribute to developing the Society’s strategic framework and lend their voices and unique insights to decisions that impact Nova Scotia’s legal profession.

This two-phase election arose from recommendations of the Task Force on Council Composition (2009) that a smaller Council may mean less diversity of backgrounds, views and experience around the Council table. The Task Force specifically wanted to ensure that Council membership reflected:

  • experience in the particular areas of focus in Council’s Strategic Goals and Objectives;
  • gender or sexual orientation;
  • geographic representation;
  • race;
  • practice area (e.g., corporate, litigation, property, family, etc.);
  • practice venue (e.g., private firm, government, legal aid, etc.);
  • other areas of potential under-representation that may be identified.

Diversity of representation on Council is a key priority as we want to ensure our governing body reflects Nova Scotia’s legal profession as we work towards our 2019-2023 Strategic Goal of ensuring that Nova Scotians are served by a legal profession that is diverse, inclusive and culturally competent.

Questions?

If your question isn’t answered in these FAQs, please contact Katie Lister at klister@nsbs.org