Changing Membership Categories

Please note that we do not require a paper copy of your applicationE-mail your scanned application to the Society’s Education & Credentials Advisor at [email protected] Note that you can scan documents using most smartphones.

After submitting your application, please contact us to process your application fee by:

  • Credit card by calling us at 902-422-1491
  • Online banking by adding Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society as a payee under bill payments and use your member number, without the dash, as your account number

We do not accept e-transfer payments.

Changing Your Category from Practising

Members in good standing may apply to hold a non-practising status (non-practising, retired, or life membership).

Applications to change membership category from practising:

*retired members pay an annual fee of $50 + hst.

The application to change from practising to non-practising lawyer is a fillable PDF form. Please download, complete & email to [email protected].

Status as a Non-Practising Member

As a non-practising member, you agree to not engage in the practice of law as defined in section 16 (1) of the Legal Profession Act.  When changing to a non-practicing status, please make suitable arrangements for:

  • all applicable client matters;
  • trust account obligations; and
  • outstanding claims or complaints.

Non-practising and retired lawyers can continue to notarize documents and swear affidavits. Generally, your notary commission and your ability to take an oath as a lawyer do not expire unless you resign or are disbarred. Learn more about the notary public process.

Resigning from the Society

A practising lawyer may apply to resign from the Society, however, the Society’s Council must approve resignation applications. You need to be re-admitted to the Nova Scotia Bar should you wish to return to practice law. This can often be a lengthy process with additional associated costs.

Changing a Category to Practising

Non-practising members may apply to be reinstated to the Practising Lawyer membership category. Review Regulation 5.6 and the Policy Relating to Change of Membership Category to Practising Lawyer.

Submit the application, supporting materials and the fee well in advance of your effective category change date. This provides an opportunity to address any issues with an application in advance of the reinstatement date.

Your application will be processed and the Education & Credentials staff issue a ruling unless there are character or fitness issues. We refer all applications with character or fitness issues to the Credentials Committee.

We strive to process complete applications with no public interest issues within two weeks. However, it may take up to six weeks to complete the process.

We may extend timelines during periods of high application volume, particularly from April 1 to July 15.  Review our policy on timelines.

Change Category from Non-Practising to Retired

As a retired member, you agree to not engage in the practice of law as defined in section 16 (1) of the Legal Profession Act and can confirm that you no longer earn employment income.

*retired members pay an annual fee of $50 + hst.

Reinstatement After Appointment to Judicial Office

A person who has been appointed to a judicial office, but is no longer in that office, may apply to the Society to be reinstated to any category of membership except an articled clerk (pursuant to Regulation 5.4). Review the policy .