June 20, 2023

2023 Viscount Bennett Scholarship Recipients

The Law Society of Alberta is pleased to congratulate Ricki-Lee Gerbrandt, Aimée Huntington and Reakash Walters, this year’s recipients of the Viscount Bennett Scholarship.

Ricki-Lee Gerbrandt

Ricki-Lee’s career in law has been dedicated to advocating for freedom of expression and the rights of journalists and activists. She began her PhD research in 2022 at Cambridge University, a globally renowned centre of international law, with support from a previous Viscount Bennett Scholarship. She is continuing to develop her thesis titled Online Abuse and Disinformation of Journalists as a Media Freedom Issue: An Investigation into Online Safety Legislation


“The Viscount Bennett Scholarship’s continued investment in my research will directly enable me to dedicate the next few years to completing the research that I hope will have an immediate impact in law and policy."

Aimée Huntington

After earning an Honours Bachelor of Science in Conservation and Biodiversity Biology and Sociology at the University of Toronto and a dual Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, Aimée is focused on why environmental concepts frequently struggle to find a place within traditional legal systems. The next chapter in her academic journey will take her to the London School of Economics and Political Science to pursue a Master of Laws.  


“I want to be a litigator, that is my passion. I love the thrill of being in court. Clerking has been the best experience of my entire life, where I get to sit in on trials and hearings. I think, now more than ever, it is so important to be a good litigator in the environmental context, given the current political climate and the pressing nature of environmental issues.” 

Reakash Walters

Reakash has long been involved in sociopolitical and cultural issues in Alberta and wants to continue her advocacy work addressing racism and inequities in the legal system. She has accepted admission into the Master of Laws program at Columbia Law School in New York, one of the world’s leading institutions for Critical Race Theory. After completing her Masters, Reakash intends to pursue a Doctor of Juridical Science and apply for teaching and research positions with law faculties at the University of Calgary and University of Alberta. 

“As a Black woman who is invested in fostering safer communities, I understand issues of punishment and safety are complex. Any changes to the criminal legal system must be thoughtful, courageous and bold. My hope is that my research will inform racial justice theory and practice in the Canadian context.”

To read the full bios of each recipient, visit our website.

About the Viscount Bennett Scholarship

The Viscount Bennett Scholarship is funded through a trust established by the late Right Honourable Viscount Bennett. It was put in place to encourage a higher standard in legal education, offered to support those interested in pursuing post-graduate studies in law. This prestigious accolade is awarded to individuals with an exceptional academic record and a clear dedication to contribute to their community through the practice of law.

Read More about the Recipients

NCA Accreditation and Job Postings 

The Law Society knows that many firms are busy with recruiting at this time of year. We encourage you to review your firm/organization’s job opportunity postings to ensure that they are inclusive and do not inadvertently exclude qualified applicants.

Rules 50, 50.1 and 50.2 of the Rules of the Law Society of Alberta govern the academic requirements for prospective members of the Law Society of Alberta with Canadian common-law degrees, Canadian civil law degrees (LL.B. and J.D.) and non-Canadian law degrees. Specifically, Rule 50.2(2) articulates that a J.D. or LL.B. from a faculty of common law at a Canadian University or an equivalent program approved by the Federation of Law Societies’ National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) are considered to be acceptable for eligibility for membership.

It is important for firms to recognize both Canadian law degrees and accreditation through the NCA process in their postings. Firms are free to state or negotiate any deadlines they may set around when an applicant needs to have completed the NCA certification process to apply for roles, but it is not appropriate to exclude NCA certification from opportunity postings.

For more information or to review additional resources that may assist your firm in developing more equitable frameworks and opportunities, please contact our Equity Ombudsperson.

Court of King's Bench Announcements

Judicial Dispute Resolution – Booking Civil and Family JDR

New Judicial Dispute Resolution booking procedures will be implemented for the Fall Term (September to December 2023) in Calgary and Edmonton.

View the full announcement to learn more about the booking procedures.

Court of Appeal of Alberta Announcement

Notice to the Profession and Public – Court of Appeal Registry Operations as of June 19, 2023

In a March 1, 2023 Notice to the Profession and Public, the Court announced that effective March 2, 2023, the Registry counters in both Edmonton and Calgary would be closed temporarily due to short-term operational issues (staff shortages).

Effective June 19, 2023, the Registry counters in both Edmonton and Calgary will re-open. Regular hours of operation are from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. The use of drop boxes will be discontinued and search requests can be made in person or by email.

View the full announcement.

Upcoming Events

Journey to the Law – Indigenous People's Day Webinar | June 21, 2023

Danger Assessment Training | June 22, 2023

Visit our website for a full list of upcoming events.

Events Calendar


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