Consultation on Continuing Professional Development requirement
Convocation approved the Professional Development and Competence Committee and the Paralegal Standing Committee's joint report recommending consultation on a proposal for a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirement for lawyers and paralegals.
The maintenance and enhancement of professional competence is an integral part of the Law Society's mandate to regulate in the public interest. Accordingly, the Committees are proposing a requirement of 12 hours of CPD annually for lawyers and paralegals in the 100% fee paying category. The proposed model is directed at maintaining and enhancing competence in substantive knowledge, skills, attitudes and ethics. In recognition of the demands of private practice, the proposed model includes several flexible, no and low-cost means of meeting the requirement.
Lawyers and paralegals are encouraged to review the report and provide comments by January 15, 2010. The Law Society is also holding teleseminar sessions to provide information and receive comments.
Strong fiscal management supports expanded programs
Convocation approved a 2010 budget that strengthens its regulatory processes and maintains supports to the profession, including the popular Parental Leave Assistance Program. The budget provides for a modest increase of $33 to the annual fee for both lawyers and paralegals. News release . Fact sheet . Budget summary . Finance Committee report .
LibraryCo Inc. budget approved
Convocation approved the 2010 LibraryCo Inc. budget which requested Law Society funding of $6.9 million. The budget includes grants to county libraries totalling $5.8 million, an increase of 2% over 2009. Full report .
Bencher expense reimbursement policy approved
Convocation approved a new bencher expense reimbursement policy to provide improved direction on travel, meal and accommodation expenses. Full report .
By-Law 6.1 amended
By-Law 6.1 [Continuing Legal Education] was amended to reflect Convocation's decision to change the commencement date for the 24 hour professional development requirement for new lawyers. At its September meeting, Convocation approved a change in the commencement date to January 1 of the year immediately following a lawyer's call to the bar, beginning January 1, 2011. The date was changed from June 10, 2010 to harmonize reporting dates and address other administrative concerns. Full report .
Law Society Director of Membership and Complaints Services, Terry Knott, was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Ontario Lawyers' Assistance Program.