January 17, 2020
2020-2024 Strategic Plan and Regulatory Objectives
The 2020-2024 Strategic Plan provides direction and focus to our Board (Benchers) and the entire organization, including a framework for decision making, resource allocation and priority setting. Our strategic goals are:

  • Innovation & Proactive Regulation
  • Competence & Wellness
  • Access
  • Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Regulatory Objectives

The core purpose of the Law Society of Alberta is to regulate the profession in the public interest.

The Law Society views its core purpose as an active obligation and duty to uphold and protect the public interest in the delivery of legal services. The public interest, as it applies to the work of the Law Society, will be upheld and protected through the following regulatory objectives:

  • Protect those who use legal services;
  • Promote the independence of the legal profession, the administration of justice and the rule of law;
  • Create and promote required standards for the ethical and competent delivery of legal services and enforce compliance with those standards in a manner that is fair, transparent, efficient, proactive, proportionate and principled;
  • Promote access to legal services; and
  • Promote equity, diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and in the delivery of legal services.

The Law Society will have regard for these regulatory objectives when discharging its regulatory functions.

Participate in the Part-time Membership Pilot
There is a new part-time status option available to Alberta lawyers beginning Feb. 1, 2020.

After extensive engagement with the profession, part-time membership has been defined as a lawyer in private practice who works fewer than 20 hours per week on average and fewer than 750 hours per year in total on billable tasks, excluding pro bono work, and has gross billings of less than $90,000 per year globally. Lawyers who choose part-time membership status will pay a reduced membership fee.

How do I participate?

Effective Feb. 1, 2020, lawyers can select part-time status through the Lawyer Portal. 

Lawyers who are currently active can select part-time status directly through the Lawyer Portal by certifying that they meet the part-time requirements.

Lawyers who are currently inactive and want to practise part-time should:

  1. Review the rules for reinstatement (Rules of the Law Society of Alberta 115-118) to evaluate the requirements needed to reinstate;
  2. Submit an Application for Reinstatement; and,
  3. Select part-time status through the Lawyer Portal.

Students who applied online on or after April 1, 2019 who want to practise part-time can select part-time status on the Lawyer Portal once they are eligible to complete their bar call ceremony. Students who applied through a paper application will need to contact Membership to change their status to part-time.

Change of status is effective upon approval from the Law Society. Lawyers with a part-time membership must track their hours and billable tasks to ensure they meet the part-time requirements.

Further details on the steps required to change status through the Lawyer Portal will be released in early February.

For more information, read more here .


For further details on the part-time fees pilot, read our FAQ or contact the Membership department.
Take Your Practice to the Next Level with Practically Speaking
Practising law is rarely a simple business. With competing priorities, legislative requirements and the management of staff, files and finances, taking the time to consider your practice as a whole – how it’s run, or how it can be improved – can be difficult. Finding resources to assist you in running your business can be even harder.

The good news is that those resources exist, and we’re here to help you get them as quickly as possible. The Law Society’s Practice Management team has launched Practically Speaking, a new podcast series focused on the issues and topics that matter to lawyers. Each five to 10 minute episode is designed to give you a real, practical takeaway that will help you take your practice to the next level.

Questions? Comments? Topics you want to cover? Contact Feedback or @LawSocietyofAB to submit your suggestions and input for future episodes.
New Risk Advisories for Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing
Millions of dollars in client funds flow through lawyer trust accounts every year in Alberta. As lawyers assist their clients with the purchase and sale of real estate, the creation of corporations and trusts, and the acquisition and sale of businesses, they are vulnerable to criminals targeting them to launder the proceeds of crime or facilitate the financing of terrorist activities.

To address this issue, the Law Society amended its client identification and verification rules, as well as accounting rules governing the receipt of cash and the permitted use of lawyers’ trust accounts to help lawyers protect themselves from risk. However, specific areas of practice are more vulnerable to money laundering and terrorist financing.

Lawyers working in real estate, shell corporations, private lending, trusts and litigation need to be aware of specific risks that are more likely to arise in their practice area and need to be able to recognize where additional due diligence may be required.

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada , in conjunction with the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Working Group, has created specific Risk Advisories related to each of the abovementioned areas of practice. Each Advisory identifies the specific situations and issues that make that area of practice vulnerable to criminals and provides a detailed list of potential client and transaction risks lawyers need to be aware of when engaging in practice.

Check out the Risk Advisories on the Law Society website .
2020 Mentor Express Program has Launched
The 2020 Mentor Express Program launched on Monday, Jan. 13. As straightforward as online shopping, Mentor Express allows new lawyers and articling students to browse a listing of experienced lawyers and choose who they are interested in meeting with.

Following on the success of last year’s program, we’re making a few key changes to make it even better this year:

  • We are opening more spots for more mentees and mentors to participate; and
  • Mentors now only need to commit to six one-hour sessions instead of 10, providing greater flexibility.

Interested in participating?

There is no cost to sign up as a mentor or mentee and the program is available to all Alberta lawyers and articling students.

If you would like more information, review the FAQ or contact Practice Management .
Important Notice for Legal Aid Alberta Roster Lawyers
Legal Aid Alberta Roster lawyers, please note Jan. 27, 2020, in your calendars. Beginning in February 2020, Legal Aid Alberta is expanding choice of counsel and simplifying compensation for travel. You must update your Legal Aid lawyer profile by the deadline of Jan. 27, 2020 . If you do not update your lawyer profile, it will be unavailable and you will not be eligible to receive offers until you contact Legal Aid.

Please contact Legal Aid Alberta’s lawyer portal team directly at 1.780.415.0479, if you have questions or need further assistance, read more here .