Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in BC

The Continuing Legal Education Society of BC CPD Options

The Law Society of BC requires that, each calendar year, all practicing BC lawyers complete and report completion online of at least 12 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) in approved educational activities.

At least 2 of the 12 hours must pertain to any combination of professional responsibility and ethics, client care and relations, or practice management.

Visit the Law Society of BC website for more details and to record your credits..


Credit is available for the following activities:
     Click on headings for more information

Participation in Courses

Get credit for attending relevant courses
  • Participating in online "real time" courses, streaming video, web and/or teleconference courses, if there is an opportunity to ask and answer questions; or
  • Reviewing a previously recorded course with at least one other lawyer or an articled student, including by telephone or other real-time communications technology (this must be recorded as a study group, see below).

CLEBC Options:

  • Live courses: More than 75 annually covering most practice areas.
  • Live Webinars: Video streaming of live courses.
  • CLE-TV: Short online courses offered primarily at lunch time.
  • Rebroadcasts of Webinar Archives (e.g. "Jump Start on CPD", "CLE Summer Series" and "Last Kick at the Can" Programs): Rebroadcasts of previously run programs with the opportunity for live real-time interaction with your fellow registrants.

Online Interactive Programs

Get credit for online programs with a quiz component

A lawyer may apply for credit for individually completing an online program, including an audio, video or web program, for up to a pre-accredited limit per online program, if the program has the following characteristics:

  • a quiz component, where questions are to be answered, and where either the correct answer is provided after the question is answered, or an answer guide is provided after the lawyer completes the quiz;
  • the quiz is at the end of or interspersed throughout the program;
  • the lawyer can email or telephone a designated moderator with questions, and receive a timely reply.

CLEBC Options:

  • Self-Paced eLearning: CLE-TV programs with questions interspersed between segments to be watched on your own time.

Study Groups

Get credit for studying with colleagues
  • Where at least two lawyers or a lawyer and articled student are together for educational purposes (including reviewing a recorded program) at the same time (including by telephone or other real time communications technology);
  • Attendance at an editorial advisory board meeting for legal publications and on legal reform groups is included, provided it is not part of your regular employment;
  • No credit is available for work on individual client files.

CLEBC Options:

All CLEBC resources are available to support study groups, including

Teaching

Get credit for being a CLEBC faculty member
  • Teaching a legal course, professional education or licensing program or a post-secondary educational program to an audience that includes as a principal component, lawyers, paralegals (who are employed or supervised by lawyers), articled students and/or law school students but not targeted primarily at clients - you may claim up to 2 hours of additional preparation time for each one hour taught;
  • Teaching the general public - you may not claim additional preparation time;
  • Credit is only available for the first time the teaching activity is performed in the reporting year;
  • Credit is available for volunteer or part-time teaching only, when it is not a regular feature of the lawyer's employment.

Writing

Get credit for being an author of CLEBC books and course materials
  • Writing law books or articles intended for publication and relating to the study or practice of law or to be included in course materials for any audience;
  • A maximum of six hours for each writing project, based on the actual time to produce the final product;
  • Credit is available for volunteer or part-time writing only, and not for writing that is done as a part of the lawyer's regular employment.

Mentoring

Get credit for being a mentor
  • A lawyer who has engaged in the practice of law in Canada, either full or part-time, for 7 of the 10 years immediately preceding the current calendar year, and who is not the subject of an order of the Credentials Committee under Rule 3-18.31(4)(c), is eligible to be a mentor;
  • Six hours of credit can be earned provided at least six hours of approved mentoring is completed;
  • Mentors can claim a total of 12 hours maximum if mentoring two mentees separately. No credit is awarded for preparing for the mentoring session or training to be a mentor;
  • Mentoring must not be file specific or simply answer questions about specific files.
CBA Mentoring Registry

Local bar and Canadian Bar Association Section Meetings or Educational Programs

Get credit for attending an educational program or section meeting

The actual time spent attending an educational program or section meeting, excluding any portion of the meeting that is not devoted to educational activities.


 

What is CLEBC Doing to Reduce the Cost of Mandatory CPD?

  • Early Bird course registrants receive a discount.
  • Live Webinars, CLE-TV Programs and Self-Paced eLearning eliminate all travel costs.
  • The CLEBC Bursary ensures that no lawyer is prohibited from attending a course because of cost. You qualify for a bursary if you are a member in good standing of the LSBC (or a legal support staff employed by, or working under the direction of, a lawyer in good standing with the LSBC) and if, without a bursary, you would be unable to attend the course. There is no means test.
  • The CLEBC Easy Pay Plan allows you to make a $50 downpayment per item and pay the balance of your invoice split equally over the next 4 months, one payment each month.
  • Any number of lawyers and support staff can watch a Live Webinar together on one computer. You pay the full price for the first registrant and $125 for each additional viewer.
  • Webinar Archives are available 24/7 and are suitable for group study. Webinar Archive subscriptions give you access to the entire Webinar Archive service, with 300 new modules added each year.

What Are the Subject Matter Requirements?

  • The subject matter of accredited learning modes, including courses, will qualify provided the subject matter contains:
    • Material primarily designed and focused for an audience that includes, as a principal component, lawyers, paralegals, articling students are/or law school students, but not if the subject matter is targeted primarily at clients, the public, other professionals, or other students;
    • Significant, intellectual, or practical content in connection with legal issues or matters related to the practice of law with the primary objective of supporting or increasing lawyers' professional competence.
  • Learning activities will not be limited to subject matter dealing with primarily BC or Canadial law. Credits will be available for the study of law of other provinces and foreign law or practice that is related to the conduct of the lawyer's practice.
  • The following activities will not be accredited:
    • Any activity designed for or targeted at clients
    • Topics relating to client or business development
    • Law firm marketing or profit maximization
    • Lawyer wellness

How Do I Report My Hours?

How Do I Create a Study Group?

  • Login to the LSBC website, click on Continuing Professional Development, and follow the instructions.

What is the Penalty for Non-Compliance?

  • If you do not report completion of the CPD by December 31, a late fee of $200 (plus tax) applies (Rule 3-18.4(3)).
  • If you do not complete and report completion by April 1 of the following year, you will be suspended until all required professional development is completed. Lawyers receive 60 days prior notice of the suspension (Rule 18.5).

What Are the Roles of CLEBC and LSBC?

  • LSBC made the rules and CLEBC helps lawyers meet the requirements. CLEBC is a self-financed, non-profit society that is not part of the LSBC.

Questions?

  • If you have questions about the LSBC program, please contact LSBC Member Services Department at
  • If you have questions or suggestions for CLEBC, contact CLEBC Chief Executive Officer, Ron Friesen at