Following a series of consultations with lawyers, stakeholders and the public, the Society’s Council established Strategic Goals and Objectives to guide its work for the next four years.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Society was unable to complete some of the work required including meaningful community and member engagement. Council extended the current strategic plan from 2022 to 2023 to allow time for that work. The planning and strategic consultation will begin in the fall of 2022 with a new strategic plan being approved by Council in Summer of 2023.
Our Four-Year Strategic Goals & Objectives
Goal #1: The Society regulates the legal profession in the public interest in a proactive, principled and proportionate manner. We will:
- Support members at every stage of their careers;
- Communicate and engage with members;
- Develop and maintain a mentorship initiative;
- Support members in delivering competent and ethical legal services;
- Facilitate education and provide resources and support to members to be culturally competent in the delivery of legal services;
- Facilitate education and provide resources and support to members in becoming more proficient in using technology;
- Investigate and implement, if appropriate, differential membership fee models;
- Review and assess the viability of paralegal regulation in Nova Scotia;
- Identify and remove regulatory barriers to support innovation in the delivery of legal services;
- Explore, and where appropriate, support the viability of innovative models of legal services delivery (e.g. MDPs, “sand boxes”);
- Review and replace the current Bar Admission course.
Goal #2: More Nova Scotians will have access to ethical and competent legal services. We will:
- Identify and provide supports to address the challenges and needs of rural members;
- Provide guidance and advice on having appropriate succession planning in place;
- Facilitate the placement of articling and summer students in underserviced areas of the Province
- Establish a Council committee that is dedicated to the support of sole practitioners and small firms;
- Facilitate and support the provision of pro bono services by addressing regulatory barriers;
- Advocate, where appropriate, for funding or services that will address gaps in access to legal services.
Goal #3: Nova Scotians will be served by a legal profession that is diverse, inclusive and culturally competent. We will:
- Continue to develop cultural humility, awareness and understanding of issues and barriers in the justice system affecting equity-seeking groups;
- Develop mechanisms to hold members accountable for the delivery of culturally competent legal services
- Continue to implement meaningful responses to the TRC Calls for Action and MMWIG Calls to Justice;
- Honouring the recommendations of the Royal Commission on the Donald Marshall Jr. Prosecution, the Society will pay particular attention to the needs of Mi’kmaq and African Nova Scotians throughout all of its work;
- Facilitate and encourage entry into the legal profession of members from diverse and equity-seeking groups by partnering with community organizations to educate community members about the role of the lawyer and the role of the regulator;
- Identify and address barriers that affect the retention and advancement of members from diverse and equity-seeking groups in the profession;
- Continue the integration of the equity and inclusion lens through all Society, Council and committee decision making and policies.
* “Equity-seeking groups” include women, Aboriginal peoples, racialized peoples, persons with disabilities and persons seeking equality on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity. [Council Policy #2]
Accountability for our Strategic Goals and Objectives
Council, assisted by the Executive Director, adopts an Annual Activity Plan establishing specific outcomes, initiatives and timelines to achieve the Society’s priorities and initiatives arising from the Strategic Goals and Objectives.
Council revisits the Activity Plan at each of its meetings and reviews the status of the Strategic Goals and Objectives annually.
Council’s executive members, namely the President, monitor Council’s activities respecting the Strategic Goals and Objectives and the Annual Activity Plan
The Executive Director supports Council in achieving the Strategic Goals and Objectives. by providing regular status reports to Council.
An update on the Strategic Goals and Objectives is included in the Society’s Annual Report tabled at the Annual General Meeting.