Practice Management Course FAQ
What is the course?
The Law Society of British Columbia developed the Small Firm Practice Course (now the Practice Management Course) on the recommendation of the Lawyer Education Task Force, chaired by Patricia Schmit, QC. As the Task Force noted in reporting to the Benchers' in 2005, "A solid ability to manage one's practice is a key component to a lawyer's ability to practise law competently and effectively."
Designed to be self-paced and self-testing, the course offers concise modules on key practice issues of interest to new lawyers, sole practitioners and small firm lawyers, ranging from practice management to trust accounting to technology issues and various pitfalls of practice. Each course module is made up of written material, a self-test, and additional resources. Some modules have additional learning aids such as slideshows and self-assessment tools called "challenges." The entire course takes approximately six to eight hours to complete.
Who must take the course?
The Practice Management Course is a requirement for lawyers:
practising in certain defined small firm settings after January 1, 2007;
as a requirement for call and admission after January 1, 2018; or
as ordered by the Practice Standards Committee.
The course is available to all other BC lawyers on a voluntary basis.
Law Society Rules 3-18.2, 2-76(1)(b.1), or 3 -18.3 deal with who must take the course.
What constitutes a "small firm" for the purposes of Rule 3-28?
Rule 3-26 provides that:
"small firm" includes:
- a firm in which not more than 4 lawyers practise law together, and
- a lawyer in an arrangement to share expenses with other lawyers who otherwise practises as an independent practitioner, except when the lawyer relies on a firm that is not a small firm to maintain trust accounting and other financial records on the lawyer's behalf,
but does not include
- a public body such as government or a Crown corporation, or
- a corporation that is not a law corporation, or other private body.
For questions relating to who is required to take the Practice Management Course, please contact:
Member Information at
What about lawyers who have been practising solo or in a small firm prior to January 1, 2007?
Those lawyers are exempt from the requirement to take the course if they are already practising in a small firm as of January 1, 2007, unless:
- they have a break in practising solo or with a small firm in BC that lasts longer than three years after January 1, 2007, or
- after January 1, 2007 they become a signatory on a trust account after not having been one in BC for the previous three years.
If I have to take the course, how long do I have to do so?
A lawyer who is required to take the Practice Management Course must successfully complete the course within a prescribed period. Successfully completing the course involves completing the self-testing components for all course modules. The course takes approximately six to eight hours to complete.
What if the course is not completed within the prescribed time limit?
The Rules prescribe that anyone who is required to take the course and does not complete it within the required period has failed to meet a minimum standard of practice and may be referred to the Discipline Committee, or will not be eligible for Call and Admission.
What about lawyers who do not have to take the course but decide to do so on a voluntary basis?
Voluntary learners will not be required to complete the course once they begin. They can simply use the course as a resource to help strengthen their own law practices. The Task Force believes all lawyers and articled students can benefit from taking the course.
Do I have to write a test?
A lawyer who is required to take the course under the Law Society Rules must complete self-testing components for each of the course modules. The lawyer will have unlimited attempts to complete each of the testing components, but must obtain 100% score on every module of the course in order to fulfill the course requirement.
Test questions are drawn from the written material of each course module, and not the Appendix material or Additional Resources sections. Refer to these sources if you experience difficulty completing the quizzes.
How is the course organized?
The course is designed in concise modules that can be done at your own pace. The modules feature written material, a self-test, in some cases visual aids such as slideshows, and links to additional resources.
Will I receive any confirmation that I have completed the course?
No email or other confirmation is sent out when you complete the Practice Management Course. The way to determine if you are complete is to look at your results page and see if you have scores listed for all of the quizzes in the course, and also ensure that you have completed the course survey. To review your historical quiz scores follow these steps:
- Log in to the website.
- Click on your user name which will be displayed at the top of the pages that you view after you log in, this will take you to your user profile. Alternatively, you can click the "Your Account" link in menu on the left to go to your user profile
- Click the "Quiz results by course" tab on your user profile.
- Click the name of the course for which you want to review results.
If you see that you have grades listed for every module in the particular course, then you know that you have completed the entire course. Lawyers who are required to take the Practice Management Course as a requirement of practice must obtain 100% on all quizzes, including repeat attempts, and fill out the course survey before the course is complete.
In order to determine if you have completed the survey go to the home page for the Practice Management Course and scroll to the bottom and ensure that the block to the right of the red flag is green and says "Survey Complete" rather than being shaded grey and saying "Take Survey".
Once you have completed the course on the learning centre website you should then log into the CPD section of the Law Society website and record your completion of the course.