Opening a new practice

NOTE: From January 1, 2018, new law firms must be registered before practising law and delivering legal services (see subregulation 4.8.4). Complete and submit to the Society the New Law Firm Registration form.

Before opening a new law practice in Nova Scotia, you will need to make many decisions. To assist you, the Society has put together a list of steps that must be completed from a regulatory perspective, as well as a checklist of considerations and other helpful resources.

  • We suggest you complete the New Practice Checklist first, to help determine what decisions and actions you need to take prior to opening your new practice.
  • The Self-assessment tool is designed to help determine the systems and processes you need in place for an ethical legal practice, and a workbook will assist you in answering the self-assessment questions.

Before opening your new practice, you must meet a number of regulatory requirements, outlined in the Steps to Opening a Practice in Nova Scotia. For example, you are required to advise the Society of your change of address and practising situation prior to actually opening your practice. You must also determine if you will need a trust account, and whether or not you will need to apply for a law corporation permit or a limited liability partnership (LLP).

Our goal is to assist you in setting up your legal practice in a way that will help you practise more effectively and with fewer difficulties. Preparation is the key. Society staff in the Education & Credentials department are happy to chat with you and assist you as you prepare to open your practice.

Additional information and resources are available through the Lawyers’ Insurance Association of Nova Scotia (LIANS). See the LIANS website for elements and resources to consider when Opening a Law Office. LIANS counsel is available to assist if you have any questions or concerns.

The Barristers’ Library in Halifax also has many resources to assist you, including materials on solo/small firm office management and lawyer and client relations, plus titles in the Firm Founder’s Reading List. Contact Society staff at the Barristers’ Library for assistance.

New Law Firm Registration form (PDF)

New Practice Checklist (PDF)