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The Federation of Law Societies of Canada (FLSC)

Region: Ontario Answer # 869

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada is the national coordinating body of Canada’s 14 provincial and territorial law societies, each of which is completely independent. These law societies together regulate more than 120,000 lawyers, 3,800 Quebec notaries, and 9,000 licensed paralegals in Ontario. Historically, the Federation was a vehicle through which the governing bodies exchanged information. More recently, the Federation has taken a leading role in matters that have both national and international importance. The Federation leads the development of high national standards of regulation to ensure that all Canadians are served by a competent, honourable and independent legal profession.

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada is governed by a Council responsible for the strategic direction and oversight of the organization. Each of the Federation’s 14 member law societies appoints one representative to the Council for a term of office determined by each law society. Other members of the Council include the Federation’s immediate Past President, President and incoming President (known as the Vice President and President-elect). Meetings of the Council take place in person three times a year and at other times by teleconference.

The mandate of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada is to serve in the public interest. To do this, the Federation is committed to eight core activities. They are:

  1. Bringing together Canada’s law societies to enhance open and transparent governance of an independent legal profession in Canada, and to set national standards and harmonize provincial and territorial rules and procedures;
  2. Promoting the cause of justice and the Rule of Law;
  3. Providing a forum for the exchange of information of mutual interest to Canada’s law societies;
  4. Undertaking national initiatives on behalf of Canada’s law societies;
  5. Speaking nationally and internationally on behalf of Canada’s law societies;
  6. Informing the public, governments and members of the legal profession about the role, responsibilities and activities of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada and of Canada’s law societies;
  7. Sharing the expertise of Canada’s law societies to contribute to the development of effective regulation of an independent legal profession around the world; and
  8. Developer of the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII), a free online search engine for Canada’s laws, as well as over one million court and tribunal decisions.

The Federation continually addresses a number of issues associated with the legal profession in Canada, including:

  • multi-disciplinary partnerships;
  • matters relating to Multi-Disciplinary Practices (MDPs), General Agreements on Trade in Services, or GATs, and the World Trade Organization, or WTO as it is more commonly known;
  • copyright of legal materials;
  • national continuing legal education programs;
  • legal aid; and
  • the mobility and regulation of lawyers in Canada and internationally.

For more information, visit the Federation of Law Societies of Canada.


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