Overview of National PD

The CBA is a national Professional Development provider. Our audience includes CBA members, as well as non-members within the legal community and in related fields in Canada and abroad.

What We Do:

The CBA delivers approximately 20 In-Person Conferences in the Spring and Fall, as well as approximately 50 live webinar programs.

In-Person Conferences:

The National PD Department considers and approves proposals for PD conferences submitted by National Sections and Committees are considered by the National PD Department. Those interested in developing a conference should be aware that it requires an active commitment of eight to twelve months. A motivated conference Chair and very strong organizing committee, with time to dedicate to a project this size, are both essential to ensure success. Sections with well-established conferences generally try to include past Section conference organizers, at least one person who resides in the conference location, one of the Section officers and several more volunteers. At least one or two organizing committee members for every half day of PD programming would be ideal, in order to share the workload.

CBA Law Series Webinars:

Law Series webinars are delivered live online and accessed by participants through a web link. The sessions are interactive, allowing attendees to watch slide presentations, participate in polls, ask questions to the presenters and download supplementary materials.

We encourage all Sections to submit Law Series proposals. Suitable topics may include recent substantive and procedural law developments, practice management and risk management strategies, 'hot' legal topics, analysis of recent important decisions, or lawyers' obligations under their respective law societies. The CBA PD Department gives preference to topics that are timely, national in scope, and broad in appeal. Selected webinar panelists must respect the CBA's policy on speaker selection.

Submitting a PD Proposal

Proposal forms must be submitted to the CBA PD Department for consideration. Deadlines for receipt of PD proposals are as follows:

Things to Keep in Mind:

Audience:

Who do you want to attract?

Program Duration:

In-Person programs range from a half day to a full week, although most conferences are 1 to 2 days long. Online programs are 90 minutes.

Timing:

Due to holidays, CBA PD does not schedule programs between December 15 and January 10, or between July 1 and August 31. Major religious holidays should also be considered when scheduling programs.

Location:

In-person programs are most successful in large urban centres. With some exceptions, it can be difficult to attract delegates to more remote areas.

Format:

Consider a combination of delivery styles that best suit your program. Options include: panel presentations, debates, workshops, demonstrations, mock trials, fact situations and case studies.

Bilingualism:

The CBA is a bilingual organization. Programs offered in the National Capital Region, in Quebec, and in regions with a significant concentration of both language groups, are presented in a bilingual format. Program descriptions are either bilingual, or include a French summary.

Speaker Selection:

Speaker selection for CBA National PD programs must be made in accordance with the CBA Policy on Speaker Selection. In selecting qualified speakers, consideration should be given to geographical representation, gender, language, race, ethnicity, cultural background, sexual orientation and disability.

Roles and Responsibilities

Program chair(s) and organizing committee members are responsible for the substantive content of the PD program, and serve as the primary point of contact for all parties to the program.

The PD Director and staff work with the program chair(s) to facilitate the development of the program and are responsible for logistical, contractual and financial arrangements. If approved, all PD programs must be developed under the auspices of the PD Department, in keeping with existing policies and procedures.

Non-CBA PD Events

Events offered by outside organizations will generally not be promoted to CBA members. Links to educational programs offered by "friendly organizations" may be posted if, in the judgment of the PD Director, there is no conflict with CBA programming. Additional information is contained in the promotion of non-CBA events policy.

For additional information on CBA National PD programming, please contact:

Gathoni Njuguna
Interim Director, Professional Development & Events
Canadian Bar Association
66 Slater St., Suite 1200, Ottawa, ON, K1P 5H1
Tel: 1 800 267-8860