Contribute to your profession on a Society Committee: 2021-2023 Committee Expressions of Interest

We’re seeking expressions of interest from members for various Society committees. The Nominating Committee will recommend individuals to Council to be appointed to regulatory and Council committees for two-year terms (2021-2023) starting January 1, 2021.

As a Society committee member, you’ll connect with colleagues across the province, contribute directly to Nova Scotia’s legal profession and help to advance our strategic priorities. Review our 2019-2022 Strategic Plan to learn more about our goals and objectives. Review the committee descriptions to learn more about the committees & the time commitment required.

If you’re interested in being considered for an appointment, please send the following to the Society’s Executive Director, Tilly Pillay QC, at tpillay@nsbs.org by 4:00 PM Friday, November 20, 2020:

  • A brief expression of interest (max. 1 page) – please describe why you’re interested in a particular committee and the skills, attributes and experience you could bring to that committee’s work.
  • A brief resume (1-2 pages)
  • A completed Skills & Attributes Matrix

We value diversity on committees and welcome applications from all employment equity groups. We also have the technology required for volunteers to attend meetings online via video conferencing.

Questions or assistance? Please contact the Society’s Executive Director, Tilly Pillay QC, at tpillay@nsbs.org.

Committee Descriptions

Learn more about the Society’s committees & the time commitment required.


Complaints Investigation Committee

This committee considers matters referred to it in relation to allegations against members of professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming, professional incompetence and incapacity.  It provides direction on investigations when requested, and addresses urgent matters where the public interest may require action by the Society. It refers matters to the Fitness to Practice Committee and to formal hearing and has other specific duties under the Legal Profession Act, Part III. 

Skills and attributes – an understanding of administrative law principles and professional regulation concepts; the CIC’s authority under the Act and regulations; the Code of Professional Conduct; the various practice standards; an ability to review lengthy and complex materials resulting from investigations and other reports; strong analytical and communication skills; an understanding of the Society’s responsibilities and obligations to complainants, lawyers and others impacted by complaints; a commitment to fairness, respect, integrity, accountability; an ability to separate public interest and legal ethics from lawyers’ self interest and, where required, to effectively balance those interests; and an ability to make difficult decisions and demonstrate firmness yet empathy toward those under investigation.

Time commitment – This committee requires a time commitment of about 6-10 hours/bimonthly to prepare for and attend regularly scheduled meetings; an additional 4-6 hours through the year to assist with complaint file review when requested; as well as an additional 3-6 hours on an ad hoc basis, as available, for unscheduled meetings, interviews and hearings (approx.. 4-6 times per year).


Complaints Review Committee

This committee reviews complaints dismissed by the Director of Professional Responsibility that have been submitted by the complainant for Review. The committee determines on the basis of the complete complaint file materials whether the dismissal was correct or should be returned for commencement or continuation of an investigation.

Skills and attributes –an understanding of administrative law principles and professional regulation concepts; an understanding of the Code of Professional Conduct, and the Committee’s limited authority under the Act and regulations; an understanding of the Society’s responsibilities and obligations to complainants, lawyers and others impacted by complaints; and a commitment to fairness, respect, integrity, accountability.

Time commitment – an average of 4-6 hours bi-monthly for file review and participation in teleconference meetings.


Code of Professional Conduct Committee

This committee brings forward of its own accord, and reviews proposed changes to the Code,including those recommended by the Federation’s Model Code of Professional Conduct Committee or that otherwise come to the committee’s attention.

Skills and attributes – a detailed understanding of the Code and willingness to deepen that understanding; an ability to separate public interest and legal ethics from lawyers’ self interest and, where required, to balance those interests in order to support the Society’s mandate to protect the public; and an interest in research and reflection on professional values, duties and responsibilities.

Time commitment – This committee requires a time commitment of 3-5 hours bimonthly.


Credentials Committee

This committee supports the Society’s work relating to admissions, the Bar Admission Course, the Bar Examination, the National Admission Standards, changes of category by lawyers, lawyers opening new firms, law corporations and LLPs. It develops and reviews policies relating to the credentialing of lawyers. The committee will assist in refining its role and addressing matters that may be assigned to it as part of the Society’s transforming regulation initiative.

Skills and attributes – experience in developing and reviewing policies; an understanding of the role of the regulatory body in credentialing and upholding admission standards; an ability to address regulations and recommend changes that will advance the Society’s strategic directions.

Time commitment – This committee requires a time commitment of 4-5+ hours/quarter.


Distinguished Service Award Committee

This committee makes a recommendation to Council for a recipient of the annual Distinguished Service Award.

Time commitment – This committee requires a time commitment of 3-4 hours/year.


Finance Committee

The Finance Committee supports Council in the governance of the Society by monitoring the finances of the Society (including compliance with budget and financial policies), acting on behalf of Council in regard to the annual audit of the Society finances and acting on behalf of Council in respect of the management of the Society investments.

Skills and attributes – an understanding of financial statements and accounting terminology, investments, budgeting; experience in finance/audit committees; experience in enterprise risk management; and an ability to see the “big picture” relating to finances.

Time commitment – This committee requires a time commitment of 2-3 hours/month on average (usually no meetings in July and August)


Fitness to Practise Committee

This committee considers matters referred by the Executive Director or the Complaints Investigation Committee in regards to concerns about a member’s capacity to engage in the practise of law. The committee also supports Council in the governance of the Society by developing policies and procedures for the Fitness to Practice Committee process.

Skills and attributes – familiarity with and/or specialized training relating to indicia and risks of incapacity including addictions and mental health concerns; clear understanding of the FTPC’s role and authority under the Act and regulations; understanding of resources and programs available to support those suffering from an incapacity; an ability to deal empathetically yet firmly with members under challenging personal circumstances including duress; commitment to fairness, respect, accountability, empathy, and cultural competence; and medical, health & wellness and psychology backgrounds.

Time commitment – ad hoc; most meetings are not scheduled in advance and may need to be convened with little notice, most requiring 2-3 hours, and often by teleconference.


Gender Equity Committee

This committee supports Council in the governance of the Society and in advancing Council’s strategic framework by promoting, monitoring and providing advice about programs and policies that address issues of gender discrimination, in the legal profession and the administration of justice.

Skills and attributes – Experience in developing and promoting gender equity policies or bringing a gender equity lens to existing policies; ability to advise Council on decisions that advance the Society’s strategic goals related to equity and access to legal services; and have an understanding of the role of the equity office and its relationship with the legal profession to enhance gender equity.

Time commitment – This committee requires a time commitment of 2-3 hours/bimonthly on average.


Hearing Committee

Members of this committee serve on panels of three to adjudicate discipline charges and credentialing matters. This committee functions independently of Council, for the most part, and members of this committee are not permitted to also be a member of Council or any other committee involved in the professional responsibility process.

Skills and attributes – significant knowledge of the Act, Regulations, Code of Professional Conduct, and administrative law principles, as well as civil and criminal court procedures; a solid understanding of the role and experience of an adjudicative body in regulatory matters; strong analytical skills; experience in decision making and writing; an understanding of the application of the ethical rules and practice standards to professional obligations; demonstrated commitment to fairness, respect, integrity, accountability, and the public interest in the practice of law; an ability to review and understand complex testimony, reports, materials and other evidence; and an ability to conduct oneself in an open-minded and unbiased manner.

Time commitment – This committee requires a time commitment that cannot be predicted because it is based on the number of hearings scheduled. There are on average two hearings each year, of varying lengths. All members are required to attend an annual professional development program of 1 – 2 days.


Lawyers Fund for Client Compensation Committee

This committee reviews claims for compensation by claimants who have sustained pecuniary losses due to a misappropriation or wrongful conversion of the claimant’s money or property by a member or law corporation. As an advisory committee to Council, it may make recommendations for policy changes in addition to carrying out its responsibilities assigned to it by the Legal Profession Act and the Regulations.

Skills and attributes – an understanding of the Committee’s authority under the Act and regulations, policies and procedures; strong analytical skills; the ability to review sometimes complex and voluminous investigative reports and files; a commitment to fairness, respect, cultural competence, integrity and accountability; a commitment to uphold and protect the public interest, and balance these interests with the need to make consistent and appropriate decisions about payments from the Fund.

Time commitment – This committee requires a time commitment that cannot be predicted because it is based on the number of claims being reviewed. It is possible for there to be no meetings in a particular year, or for there to be up to 6 or more meetings, depending on volume of claims.


Professional Responsibility Policies and Procedures Committee

This committee makes recommendations for improvements in the Society’s professional responsibility processes from complaint intake to hearing, and is tasked with advising Council on how new models for regulation can be incorporated into that process to support the Society’s commitment to a Triple P and risk-focused approach. The Committee liaises with any committees involved in the processes being recommended for improvement.

Skills and attributes –  significant knowledge of the Act, regulations, Code of Professional Conduct, and administrative law principles, as well as civil and criminal court procedures; familiarity with professional regulation best practices generally; commitment to fairness, respect, integrity, accountability, and the public interest in the practice of law; a progressive and creative attitude that embraces change and process improvement, and an ability to serve as a change agent for those involved in the processes; and experience in prosecution and defence of members of professions.

Time commitment – This committee requires a time commitment of 3-5 hours/bimonthly.


Professional Standards Committees

The Society’s Professional Standards Committees cover the areas of real estate, family law, criminal law and law office management. The committees develop standards, for approval by Council, that will enhance the quality of practice of the profession and law office management.

Skills and attributes – considerable practice experience in one of the areas covered by the standards or in law firm management; an understanding of the role the Society’s professional standards play in enhancing the quality of practice; and a commitment to developing professional standards that will both assist lawyers in their practices and are practical in setting.

Time commitment – These committees require a time commitment of approximately 3-5 hours/month on average. If assigned to develop a standard, additional time for research, drafting, editing, etc. will be required, which may range from 15-20 hours total on average.


Racial Equity Committee

This committee supports Council in the governance of the Society and in advancing Council’s strategic framework by promoting, monitoring and providing advice about programs and policies that address issues of racism and discrimination in the legal profession and with regard to the administration of justice.

Skills and attributes – Experience in developing and promoting race and Indigenous equity policies or bringing a such a lens to existing policies; have knowledge/substantive connections to Nova Scotia’s diverse communities; ability to address regulations and policies while providing recommended changes to advance the Society’s strategic goals related to equity and access to legal services; and have an understanding of the role of the equity office and its relationship with the legal profession to enhance race equity and cultural competency. 

Time commitment – This committee requires a time commitment of 2-3 hours/bimonthly on average.