Transforming regulation: Will you volunteer for pilot project?

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On March 24, 2016, Council approved the 10 elements and descriptors on which the Society’s proposed Management System for Ethical Legal Practice (MSELP) is founded. Council also approved the development of a pilot project to test and further refine the MSELP self-assessment tool. A written project plan in respect of this pilot project will be brought to Council for approval at its May 27 meeting.

The Society has already engaged in significant consultation with lawyers and other stakeholders in relation to the MSELP and plans for a self-assessment process. The response to this initiative has been very positive.

Testing the self-assessment process for proposed MSELP
In the interests of ongoing engagement on this important component of Council’s strategic direction to transform the regulation of legal services, the pilot project aims to test the Society’s proposed approach for a lawyer and legal entity self-assessment process as a means of helping them achieve an effective MSELP, i.e., the 10 elements.

These elements include the following:

  1. Developing competent practices;
  2. Communicating in an effective, timely and civil manner;
  3. Ensuring confidentiality;
  4. Avoiding conflicts of interest;
  5. Maintaining appropriate file and records management systems;
  6. Ensuring effective management of the legal entity and staff;
  7. Charging appropriate fees and disbursements; 
  8. Sustaining effective and respectful relationships with clients, colleagues, courts, regulators and the community;
  9. Working to improve diversity, inclusion and substantive equality; and
  10. Working to improve the administration of justice and access to legal services.

The pilot project will require engagement with 50 volunteer lawyers and firms; we anticipate it will commence in July 2016 and end in April 2017. The Society intends to roll out the self-assessment tool testing with our volunteers primarily during the timeframe from September 2016 through January 2017.

Details on what volunteers will be asked to do and what they can expect from the process will be available by early summer. Please stay tuned for further information via the Society’s website, InForum and the next Legal Services Regulation Update