NSBS Director, Professional Responsibility

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Employer:  Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society (NSBS)


Position Type: Permanent, Full-time

Job Location: Halifax, NS

As the regulator of the legal profession, the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society (NSBS) protects the public interest in the practice of law. The Society is the independent, trusted and respected regulator of the legal profession. Acting in the public interest, they provide leadership, value and support to a competent, ethical, inclusive and engaged legal profession.

This position reports to the Executive Director, is a member of the Society’s Management Team, provides team leadership to Professional Responsibility employees, and works with Council and its committees to move strategic activities forward ensuring the Society’s strategic goals and mandate are met.

The Director of Professional Responsibility guides employees through the planning, development and implementation of a wide range of strategies, approaches and tools that focus on performance and results. The Director ensures the effective management of human and financial resources by setting and evaluating employee performance, promoting diversity and a healthy workplace, demonstrating leadership and management skills, respecting and using best human resources practices, promoting teamwork and individual development, maintaining internal communications, and following approved internal processes and policies.


This position provides strategic leadership with regard to the Society’s public protection mandate as prescribed by Part 3 of the Legal Profession Act and Part 9 of the Regulations.  The Director, with delegated authority from the Executive Director, is responsible for ensuring that the Society’s professional responsibility processes comply with the Act, Regulations, policies and procedures, prescribed standards and allocated budgets.  The Director provides guidance and interpretation of ethical rules and standards to members and delivers various aspects of the ethics and professional responsibility education program.   The Director develops, continuously evaluates and liaises with the Management team regarding criteria for choosing appropriate regulatory interventions in a culturally competent, proactive, principled, proportionate and risk-focused manner.

Complaints Resolution and Investigation

  • Manages the complaints resolution process, using alternative dispute resolution tools, from early resolution to hearing to ensure completeness, accuracy, transparency, timeliness, fairness and alignment with national discipline standards;
  • Manages investigation of complaints against members including outside investigative resources (auditors, investigators, practice reviewers and counsel) when necessary and ensures completeness, accuracy, timeliness, and fairness;
  • Reports, makes recommendations and provides  advice to the Complaints Investigation Committee (CIC) on matters for direction or decision, including identification of ethical and conduct issues and concerns, thresholds for decision-making and options for action under the legislation;
  • Prepares charges against members as directed by the CIC and instructs counsel with regard to the conduct of hearings in consultation with the CIC where appropriate including negotiation of proposed settlement agreements and Consent Reprimands;
  • Provides professional support including preparation of comprehensive research papers for the Professional Responsibility Policies and Procedures Committee and the Code of Conduct Committee, and remains current on best practices;
  • Liaises with chairs of the Complaints Investigation, Fitness to Practice and Hearing Committees to identify volunteer professional development needs and arranges training and education programs annually.


  • In cooperation with General Counsel and Professional Responsibility Counsel, manages public risk through the Court or Society appointment of custodians and receivers in the management of members’ practices following death, suspension or disbarment.

Lawyers’ Fund for Client Compensation

  • Provides support for the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Compensation Committee (LFCCC) including managing the processing, investigation, and payment of claims against the Fund as well as statistical analysis, reporting and identification of risk and trends in loss prevention.

Ethics and Professional Responsibility

  • In conjunction with Professional Responsibility Counsel, identifies emerging legal ethics and professional responsibility issues, develops, manages and conducts ethics and professional responsibility education programs and communications and liaises with the Ethics Advisory Committee when appropriate for the provision of ethics advice.

Fitness to Practice Program

  • In conjunction with Professional Responsibility Counsel, supports the Fitness to Practice Program, including development of policies and procedures, assessment of reports of potential incapacity and making referrals or recommendations to the Complaints Investigation Committee.


  • Manages other assigned regulatory functions including investigation and response to unauthorized practice matters, participation in national counterpart meetings, and communicates national trends and risk areas to Society committees and others.


This is a senior level position supporting the organization with strategic planning, problem solving and developing new initiatives. The Director of Professional Responsibility requires a broad skill set, high level of judgement and has a significant responsibility to maintain and enhance a fair, respectful, accountable, transparent, risk-based professional responsibility process to assist the Society in fulfilling its public protection mandate. Specifically, the position requires:


  • A law degree
  • Member of Nova Scotia Bar (or eligibility), with 10 or more years of practice experience
  • An equivalent combination of skills and experience may be considered


  • High level of competency in administrative law principles and their application in a regulatory environment
  • Strong leadership abilities and a minimum of 3 years senior level management experience.
  • Well developed negotiation, facilitation and conflict management skills
  • Highly effective oral and written communications, including public presentation skills
  • Experience in investigation, interviewing, research and analysis of evidence
  • Strong project management skills
  • Risk identification and management skills
  • Coaching and mentoring skills to support and maintain a strong team
  • Policy development and research skills
  • Able to work very independently with initiative, under tight deadlines
  • Crisis management experience
  • Ability to facilitate and manage organizational change
  • High level of confidence, confidentiality, composure and discretion


  • Experience working in a regulated profession
  • Experience working in a non-profit organization
  • Training in cultural competence
  • Understanding of lawyers’ trust account operations, budgeting and financial management processes

NSBS offers a total compensation package that includes a competitive salary based on qualifications and experience, a complete health benefit package and a retirement savings program.


If this exciting opportunity meets with your career aspirations, please forward your resumé and cover letter in confidence, by email to hr@nsbs.org.

NSBS values diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from all employment equity groups. We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those considered for an interview will be contacted.

Expiry Date: 
Friday, November 8, 2019