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AUGUST 2008 volume 20, number 4 Adapt or Perish “ It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – author unknown, commonly misattributed to Charles Darwin. The faith that the general public is placing in the service of lawyers is at an all-time low; a perception borne out by the disturbingly steep rise in the numbers of self-represented litigants in our court system. In June, partly in response to this trend, your Provincial Council adopted a resolution that mandated the promotion of public confidence in the justice system to be a priority for this Branch. In his final column as president, Ken Walton provides a thorough examination of how this resolution came to pass, and its proactive intent that sets the tone for this issue of BarTalk. Recent articles in this publication by leaders of the Justice system have indicated that seismic shifts are imminent in how legal services will be delivered. The way in which lawyers respond to and guide potential changes, while promoting positive public perceptions of the profession, will be essential to its continued vitality. As your Association, the CBABC is working on the cusp of these changes, helping members navigate a rapidly changing professional context. In this issue we look at a number of exciting new CBABC initiatives. The Branch recognizes that we must proactively respond to change, both technological and otherwise, in order to stay relevant and useful to our membership. For her column, our Sections Coordinator, Fran Hodgkins, has solicited feedback from Section Chairs on what makes their Section experience a valuable one. It is telling that she only had space to publish a small percentage of responses she received, reinforcing the importance of our Sections program to members. The recently launched CBABC homepage of our website and the exciting new articles database that will connect B.C. law firms with students are highlighted by CBABC Website Manager Patricia Jordan. The first Annual CBABC Work-Life Balance Award was presented to The Criminal Justice Branch of the Ministry of the Attorney General of B.C. this past July and the event is recapped later in these pages. The Award is an important element of the CBABC’s advocacy for positive work-life balance for all legal professionals. Later in this issue, the results of the BarTalk readers’ survey are examined and our preliminary plans for the improvements in its design, layout and delivery are revealed. Upon turning this page you will notice that the Bar Moves section can now be found in both the front and back of this publication, aptly bookending articles about changes at the CBABC with recent career changes made by your colleagues. BT

BarTalk | August 2008

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