Certified Specialists Becoming Extinct?
It’s trite, but true, that we sometimes don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone. That may be the case in respect of the Lawyer Certified Specialist Program. The Law Society of Upper Canada is contemplating terminating it by the end of this year and forcing lawyers with such designations to give them up by the end of next year.
The Program is self-funded and has been running for almost two decades. It is intended to help lawyers acquire the skills and knowledge to qualify for certification as a specialist in a given practice area,* and is touted by LSUC as a recognition of professional excellence.**
The reason for its pending demise may be that there are not enough lawyers coveting the title. Perhaps this is due to the arduous application requirements, which include at least seven years of law practice, mastery of the area, continuing professional development and several hours of self-study. Or, maybe it is because lawyers feel their work speaks for itself and no extra investment is needed to have their expertise recognized.
Before the Program’s existence was threatened I hadn’t made it a top-priority to seek the distinction. I am now disheartened at the prospect of being denied the opportunity to do so. If you are too, I suggest you write to the Treasurer and Benchers of LSUC to express your views.
Keep it alive!
* Article by Edward C. Corrigan entitled Lawyer Certified Specialist Program, found in Trail Blazers, March 2007 edition, Vol. 32, No. 6.
** LSUC Website: www.lsuc.on.ca
Natalia R. Angelini