A Law Society in current and former Commonwealth jurisdictions was historically an association of solicitors (effectively the trade organisation for solicitors) with a regulatory role that included the right to supervise the training, qualifications and conduct of lawyers/solicitors. Where there is a distinction between barristers and solicitors, solicitors were regulated by the law societies and barristers by a separate Bar Council.
Much has changed for law societies in recent years, with governments in Australia, New Zealand, England and Wales, and now Scotland (2010) creating government sponsored regulators for lawyers (both barristers and solicitors), leaving to law societies the role of advocacy on behalf of their members.
In Canada, law societies have had statutory responsibility for regulation of the legal profession in the public interest, leaving advocacy to the Canadian Bar Association.
In the United States, unified bar associations are somewhat similar to Law Societies, however there are differences between law societies and the general American phenomenon of bar associations. Usually a bar association is an association of lawyers; lawyers may or may not join as they wish. Regulation of American lawyers usually takes places through the courts, which decide who gets admitted as a lawyer, and also decide discipline cases. Law societies are often created by legislation and play (or played) significant direct roles in the training, licensing and disciplining of lawyers. The conflict or roles between being a regulator and a trade association is seen by many as giving rise to the recent move to government sponsored regulators.
Law Societies also play a role as part of the justice system, and concern themselves with access to justice. As a result, they may offer paid and unpaid legal assistance to the public or specific target audiences, and have historically been involved in the development of legal aid plans.
Other articles related to "law society, society, law":
... The Law Society is created and governed by the Legal Profession Act (Alberta) ... As a law society, the Law Society is much more than a professional association and every lawyer who practices in Alberta must belong to it ... The Society's mandate is to regulate the legal profession in the public interest ...
... The Law Society of Ireland (in Irish Dlí-Chumann na hÉireann) is the educational, representative and regulatory body of the solicitors' profession in the Republic of Ireland ... As of 2011, the Law Society had over twelve thousand members, all of whom are solicitors, has a staff of 207 and an annual turnover of €30m ...
... In any event the decision was welcomed by the Society of Solicitor Advocates who have suggested that it would be appropriate to have a review of all issues relating to rights of audience, including those ... At a SGM of the Society of Solicitor Advocates on 22.4.09 a resolution was passed in respect of consideration of the Woodside case ... The resolution stated The Society notes the Solicitors (Scotland)(Standards of Conduct) Practice Rules 2008 and in particular the duties of independence, to act in the ...
... Reuben Clark Law Society - The JRCLS is an international organization of law school students and graduates consisting of over 65 chapters throughout the world ... The Society's 2010 annual conference for students and practicing attorneys will be held at the University of Utah ... Prior conferences have been held Arizona State Law School, featuring former U.S ...
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