I want to acknowledge the deep impact of this pandemic on our profession. This crisis has affected us all in unique and common ways.
No matter the nature, size or location of your practice, or your personal circumstances, you were forced to change how you provide legal services quickly and make decisions despite uncertainty. I know many of you continue to face increasingly difficult decisions while working to support your clients, staff and the people in your lives.
As the public interest regulator of Nova Scotia’s legal profession, the Society wants to support members in dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We know you need to have practical, timely information and we also recognize the volume of information you are receiving during this time.
To date, along with weekly email updates, the Society created COVID-19 guidance to the profession on the nsbs.org website to support lawyers with the practice of law and delivery of legal services in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As you continue to face the immense challenges presented by this global pandemic, I encourage you to reach out and ask questions and let us know the issues you are facing. I also encourage you to access the confidential services of the Lawyers’ Assistance Program available to provide you, your staff and your families with support.
If you have a question that is not yet answered in the Society’s COVID-19 FAQs or updates, we encourage you to submit a question online.
The Society’s management team and Legal Services Support are working directly with lawyers and firms who have reached out to provide guidance during this crisis. We continue to look at options that are unique to each firm’s situation, including how we can support innovative practice approaches.
While the Society’s physical office is closed, all Society staff are working remotely during office hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM-4:30 PM) and are available via phone and email for assistance. Review NSBS staff contact information.
Moving forward we will continue to engage with the courts and other stakeholders to support the public interest in accessing legal and court services.
We are currently focused on issues related to articling and annual fees in light of the COVID-19 impact. Please stay tuned for related updates both through the nsbs.org website and through email communications from the Executive Director, Tilly Pillay QC.
While the Society must ensure that it continues to fulfill its mandate to act in the public interest, we understand that supporting lawyers to deliver legal services during COVID-19 and beyond is critical to ensuring access to legal services for Nova Scotians.
I wish you all continued good health.