Spotlight on Sections and Forums

  • October 20, 2015

It’s like back-to-school for CBA members – every fall a new executive lineup takes office in most of the CBA’s 31 sections and 10 forums (some chairs have a two-year term) and the yearly round begins again.

The work done by the CBA’s sections and forums is integral to the association – resolutions they formulate become association policy; professional development sessions they devise provide value to members; court interventions they spearhead allow the CBA to speak on behalf of the country’s lawyers; and their submissions to government – including appearances before Parliamentary committees – can help shape federal laws.

Core activities include:

  • National professional development
  • National legislation and law reform initiatives
  • Communication with section members
  • Involvement in relevant CBA national and international initiatives
  • Liaison with government, courts, relevant bar associations and international organizations

Sections also deliver practice-specific online resources such as Family Law’s Tax Matters Toolkit for family lawyers and their clients and the Wills and Estates succession Law tables of national concordance.  Focused networking and “town hall” events with government officials or the judiciary offer focused networking and opportunities to influence policy. The national sections are organized according to specific areas of law, while forums are grouped according to common interests. When you join a section at the provincial or territorial level you are automatically enrolled in the corresponding national section, if there is one, at no extra cost. Some national sections, such as competition law, don’t have a branch counterpart; you may join them by checking the appropriate “national section” on your branch enrollment form.

Membership, depending on the section, ranges anywhere from 300 to 5,000 people.  As a section member you may participate in activities, attend meetings, sit on committees, and receive communication distributed by the national office. Section and forum chairs are voting members of CBA Council.

“To a large extent, National Sections represent the CBA’s ‘front line’ in terms of understanding and addressing the needs of CBA members,” says the CBA website.

Sections and forums are also a great place to meet lawyers working in your area, and their in-person conferences can provide many opportunities for networking. Consider getting involved – you’ll do your career a favour.

Call Membership at 1-800-267-8860 to verify National Section enrollment or email us at


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