May 2, 2023

Continuing Professional Development: Rule Amendments

At the April 27, 2023 Board meeting, the Benchers approved amendments to the Rules of the Law Society of Alberta and documents to support the new approach to Continuing Professional Development (CPD) that will officially roll out on July 4, 2023 for Alberta lawyers.


The amendments to Rules 67.2 and 67.3 now align with the new approach to CPD for Alberta lawyers. Key highlights of the amendments and supporting documents include:

  • participation in the CPD program is mandatory for all active lawyers;
  • CPD plans must be prepared and submitted using the CPD Tool accessed through the Lawyer Portal;
  • the deadline to submit CPD plans is now Oct. 1 in recognition of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation;
  •  a failure by an active lawyer to submit a CPD plan by Oct. 1 will result in an administrative suspension;
  • the requirement to maintain a record of the CPD plan has been reduced from five to three years; and
  • participation in the new review process will be mandatory.

The Law Society will implement the new CPD review process in early 2024. This will include random reviews on some lawyers' CPD plans to check whether they are on track with their plans and to offer coaching to assist with implementation. More information about the CPD plan review process will be shared in the coming weeks.


View the Rules for the full amendments.

New Part-Time Membership Status Eligibility Criteria Approved

Since February 2020, the Law Society has been piloting a part-time membership status to explore if it would help retain lawyers, particularly young female lawyers, in private practice. At the December 2021 Board Meeting, the Benchers approved a two-year extension of the pilot to allow for further analysis of the status and the criteria being used. The Benchers conducted an extensive review of the parameters and eligibility criteria over the course of 2022 and 2023.

At the April 27, 2023 Board Meeting, the Benchers approved a permanent part-time membership status option based on updated eligibility criteria, to be implemented in 2024. As the changes do not come into effect until 2024, lawyers who currently hold part-time membership status or who apply for part-time status in 2023 will continue to use the existing eligibility criteria.

During the review, the Benchers considered the original goal of the pilot and recognized that others in the profession could also benefit from the option of part-time status. The Benchers focused on the financial barrier that can arise for some lawyers when required to pay the full active membership fee. The goal of the part-time status option was therefore broadened to assist any lawyers facing financial barriers to practising law, which, if addressed, would enable them to continue to practise law on a part-time basis.

Offering a part-time membership status is consistent with the goals of equity, diversity and inclusion and access in our Strategic Plan.

More information will be released in the coming months about the new criteria, how it will be implemented and how this affects lawyers who currently hold part-time status. 

Reminder: Feedback Required on Early Years Training Program Development

Wednesday, May 3, 2023 is the last day to complete the Early Years Training Program Development Survey.

In December 2020, the Benchers approved the development of a continuing professional development (CPD) program for lawyers in their early years of practice. The Law Society first completed work to build the Professional Development Profile for Alberta Lawyers as the foundation of its overarching CPD program, which will be essential to the development of the new early years program.


The Law Society is now working with the Legal Education Society of Alberta (LESA) to develop the early years program. As we begin this work, we are seeking input from Alberta lawyers, students-at-law and firms. The information gathered through the survey will help inform the decisions of the Law Society and LESA as content and online learning methods are developed and finalized. 

Once developed, the early years training program will assist practising lawyers with their CPD planning.

Take the Survey

Red Dress Day – National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls 

Observed every May 5, Red Dress Day raises awareness about the ongoing violence against and disproportionately high rates of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit individuals, as well as brings attention to the systemic issues that contribute to this ongoing crisis.


Métis artist Jaime Black’s The REDress project helped make the red dress a symbol of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people. Empty red dresses were displayed in public places to bring attention to the violence Indigenous women experience.

Check out the Government of Alberta’s Red Dress Day page for local events or read the article for more information.

View the Article

Innovation Sandbox Year-in-Review

Starting in the first quarter of 2022, the Law Society began accepting applications for participation in the Innovation Sandbox. The Innovation Sandbox allows the Law Society to support innovators in testing new ideas and models for the delivery of legal services in a controlled environment, with the Law Society providing both guidance and oversight.

The types of organizations that have applied for the Sandbox are diverse, including technology, medicine, disability rights, real estate, constitutional law, immigration and corporations seeking to engage lawyers in new business structures.

Over the past year, the Law Society has received 25 applications and continues to receive applications from interested parties.


Read the Innovation Sandbox Year-in-Review report for more details. 

Read the Full Report

Court of King's Bench Announcements

New Process for Individuals Attending Remote Hearings via Video

Effective immediately, individuals attending remote hearings will no longer be required to complete and submit to the Court an Undertaking and Agreement for Non-lawyers. Instead, all persons attending a remote hearing via video will be required to certify that they have read and agree with the Court’s prohibition on recording, livestreaming or broadcasting by way of an “I agree” checkbox, prior to being admitted to a hearing.

View the announcement.

Court Case Management (CCM) System Pilot Release for Previously Booked Half-Day Civil Specials in Calgary

Effective today, a pilot program will begin as part of the Court Case Management (CCM) system, which will introduce digital document delivery to the judiciary for previously booked half day civil specials in Calgary. This pilot program will enable lawyers to upload electronic materials directly to the Justice assigned to the matter, with the goal of streamlining the process and improving overall efficiency.

Counsel with an impacted matter will be contacted directly by the Court with instructions and necessary information to ensure that the transition to digital document delivery is as seamless as possible.


View the announcement

Further Expansion of the Family and Divorce Filing Digital Service (FDS) and Mandatory Filing, Effective May 15, 2023

Effective May 15, 2023, use of the Family and Divorce filing system will be mandatory for counsel filing any Statement of Claim for Divorce in all judicial centres in Alberta. A grace period of two weeks shall be observed, until June 1, 2023, after which use of Family and Divorce Filing Digital Service for filing these materials will be strictly enforced.

View the full announcement.

Upcoming Events

But I Look Like a Lawyer screening (Calgary) | May 4, 2023

But I Look Like a Lawyer screening (Edmonton) | May 11, 2023

Visit our website for a full list of upcoming events.

Events Calendar


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