In Nova Scotia, the requirement is that each lawyer at your firm must have a written plan for 12 hours of CPD each year. There is no one way to do this. You can use a NSBS template plan. Or, you can have a Word document in your directory that you update periodically. The idea is that it will be more useful to you if you set some goals.
What should be in it?
For lawyers involved in the management of their firm, we recommend that you include practice management, equity & diversity, and substantive law in fields relevant to your practice. We recommend that lawyers who are newer to the bar should do more substantive law CPD, especially if they are not involved in practice management. For others, a mix of substantive law and equity & diversity is recommended.
Where do I get it?
Hot topics in practice management and equity & diversity are covered at the LSS/LIANS solo & small firm conference, typically in November. Attending this conference covers over half of your requirement.
Some organizations plan CPD for their lawyers, which is fine, but it is also helpful to look at what others are doing and talking about.
For all real estate practitioners, it is strongly recommended if not essential that you join Real Estate Lawyers of NS and attend their annual conference.
Similarly, NS Criminal Lawyers Association.
Atlantic Provinces Trial Lawyers Association is geared to plaintiff-side litigators.
The Canadian Bar Association- Nova Scotia Branch has many subsections that are geared to different practice areas and some umbrella subsections (e.g. Young Lawyers for those with <10 yrs.).
Some of the above organizations are set up to advocate on behalf of the profession, which gives you a unique opportunity which might count as CPD. It is typical of professions to have a self-regulatory body and an advocacy/services-oriented body; the legal profession is no different. CBA and RELANS, for example, both have an advocacy mandate. Self-regulation and advocacy/services groups work because lawyers participate. You will generally get out of something what you put into it.
There are any number of online sources for webinars, video presentations, and other resources.
CPD pays for itself repeatedly. The latest in practices and resources can help you work in a more sure-footed way which your clients will appreciate. Book the time, and do not let the day-to-day practice get in the way. You will find yourself re- invigorated and your work will be easier and more rewarding.
If you are looking for further information, call LSS.
Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, “How to Make a CPD Plan”, (November 2021). nsbs.org.
This link will take you to a fairly comprehensive guide that will discuss what areas of education you should consider, and provide sample plans.
The Canadian Bar Association, “Webinars By Series” (n.d.). cba.org.
Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, “Events”, (n.d.). Upcoming events archive. nsbs.org.
The Canadian Bar Association Nova Scotia Branch, “Professional Development”, (n.d.). cbans.ca.
The Advocates’ Society, “CPD Program Calendar”, (n.d.). advocates.ca.
CPDOnline.ca, “On demand CPD videos for legal and finance professionals”, (n.d.). cpdonline.ca.