October 11, 2022

Changes to the Articling Term Approved at September Bencher Meeting

In April 2020, shortly after the initial declaration of a Public Health Emergency in Alberta due to COVID-19, the Benchers approved an amendment to the articling term. To provide greater flexibility for students and firms during the pandemic, this amendment changed the articling term in Alberta from 12 months to a range of between eight months and 12 months for students-at-law. Students clerking with the Courts were also provided more flexibility in their term of articles.

At that time, the Benchers committed to review the amendment to determine whether the change should be permanent. This review included consultation with students-at-law, principals and program administrators by way of feedback surveys, a roundtable discussion with key stakeholders and input from the Lawyer Competence Advisory Committee.

Throughout the consultation process, concerns were raised about the impact of shortening the articling timeline. These concerns included challenges with assessing competency, confusion over how the Practice Readiness Education Program (PREP) aligns with articling, determining drawbacks for firms, determining what is best for students-at-law and much more. The consultation also identified reasons to maintain the articling range and have a variety of options available to students-at-law, law firms or other articling settings.

In consideration of this review, at the September 2022 Board meeting, the Benchers approved the return to a 12-month articling term, or 15 months if clerking with the Court, that includes PREP within that term. This reverts the Rules of the Law Society of Alberta, Rule 56, to the pre-April 2020 version, effective Jan. 1, 2023.

This change affects all students-at-law who will begin articling after Jan. 1. Those who have status as a student-at-law before the end of the year are not impacted by this Rule change.

Returning to a 12-month articling term simplifies the process for articling students and principals. It also allows the Law Society to clarify that PREP is considered part of the articling term.

Students-at-law have the option of completing Regular PREP, the traditional 10-month program, or Accelerated PREP, a new 14-week intensive version of PREP. 

The following examples set out different options for how to integrate PREP with the supervised practice portion of articling, to form the 12-month articling term. 

Student-at-Law Completes Regular PREP and Articles Concurrently

A student-at-law taking Regular PREP will complete the 10-month PREP program at the same time as their 12-month articling position. Students must be given time off from their articling position in accordance with the PREP requirements. 

Student-at-Law Completes Accelerated PREP Followed by Articles

Accelerated PREP is completed as full-time studies, usually done prior to beginning an articling position. Once a student-at-law finishes the 14-weeks of Accelerated PREP, they will then complete the remainder of their 12-month articling term in their articling position. 

Student-at-Law Completes PREP without Articles in Place

A student-at-law can take Regular PREP or Accelerated PREP before they secure an articling position. Upon completion, PREP will be credited as 3 months toward their 12-month articling term. When they secure an articling position, the student-at-law only needs to complete a 9-month articling position to fulfil their 12-month articling term.

Student-at-Law Clerks with the Court

Students-at-law who clerk with the Court are required to complete a 15-month articling term. For those completing Regular PREP, they will do so at the same time as their 15-month clerking and articling position. For those completing Accelerated PREP, they will then complete the remainder of the 15-month articling term with the Court and in their articling position.

The Law Society would like to remind employers and students-at-law that students-at-law must be paid. The Law Society expects that they will be paid for the duration of their 12-month articling term, regardless of how it is configured between PREP and articling. 


Questions about this change to the articling term can be directed to the Law Society’s Customer Service Department.  

Recruiting Mentees for 2022–2023 Mentor Express

There is still time to register as a mentee for the 2022–2023 Mentor Express program.

Mentor Express is a non-traditional mentorship program available to Alberta lawyers free of charge. Mentees browse an online listing of mentors and choose one-hour sessions with those they are interested in meeting. This self-match system allows mentees to seek guidance and insight relevant to their own career development with a variety of mentors in different work settings.

As a new lawyer, mentoring relationships can encourage and empower your professional development, help you identify and achieve career goals, and increase your confidence. By engaging in a mentoring relationship, you can expand your professional network and identify gaps in your knowledge or skills to address them early in your career.

Any Alberta lawyer interested in mentorship is eligible to participate as a mentee. The program is particularly beneficial for:

  • articling students,
  • new lawyers recently called to the bar,
  • young lawyers in their first years of practice, or
  • any lawyer seeking advice about transitioning to a new practice area or practice setting.


A reminder that all new lawyers called to the bar in 2022 have been automatically enrolled as mentees in the 2022–2023 Mentor Express program. For more information on automatic enrolment in Mentor Express, visit our website.

Lawyers who have practised at least five years, including active, inactive and retired lawyers, are also eligible to serve as mentors in Mentor Express.

Register as a mentee or a mentor on our website. For more information on the program, visit our website or contact our Customer Service team.

Register as a Mentee

2023 Distinguished Service Awards Nominations  

The Distinguished Service Awards celebrate excellence in the legal profession. Jointly awarded by the Canadian Bar Association - Alberta Branch and the Law Society of Alberta, these prestigious awards recognize the many outstanding contributions Alberta lawyers make to the profession, the community, legal scholarship, pro bono legal service, and in advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.

If you know a lawyer whose profession is their passion, submit a nomination form before the Monday, Oct. 31 deadline.

Eligible submissions will be reviewed by a committee comprised of representatives from the Law Society, CBA Alberta and members of the legal/academic community, considering the nominees’ dedication, creativity, individual achievements, impact and initiative. 

Court of King's Bench Announcement 

Announcement From Court and Justice Services: Filing Dates for Documents Filed via Email 

Commencing Nov. 1, 2022, documents filed via email, will be considered filed on the date that they are processed and stamped by King’s Bench Administration.  

When King’s Bench Administration started accepting email filing, it was determined that documents should be considered filed on either the day submitted, or if submitted after business hours, on the next business day. This was in recognition of some of the significant change in process undertaken due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the filing lead times that existed across the province.

Now that filing lead times have been significantly reduced, and in order to maintain consistency with the Filing Digital Service, the process of backdating will stop Nov. 1, 2022. Documents will be considered filed on the date processed and stamped by King’s Bench Administration. If a document is rejected, it will not be considered filed until it is resubmitted and stamped by King’s Bench Administration.   

All other email filing related procedures, including naming conventions, remain the same. In circumstances where a filing is urgent, please refer to the Urgent Filing Letter announcement.

Visit the King's Bench Filing Digital Service for more information and a list of accepted documents. 

Upcoming Events

A2J Week 2022: Taking Action, Making a Difference: Recent Developments in Access to Justice for Indigenous Peoples | Oct. 26, 2022

Visit our website for a full list of upcoming events.

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