With so much information being shared about COVID-19 in the past few months, we wanted to ensure that lawyers are aware of previously announced changes to the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program made at the February Board Meeting.
The Law Society has suspended the mandatory Continuing Professional Development (CPD) filing requirement for the profession for the years 2020 and 2021. Although the mandatory filing requirement has been lifted, lawyers are still encouraged to develop an annual CPD Plan. Taking the time out to schedule professional development activities benefits you as a lawyer, your law firm or organization and your clients.
Beginning on July 1, you can access the CPD Planning Tool on the
to develop and declare your 2020 CPD Plan. Declarations can be made from July 1 until September 30, 2020 but are not mandatory or subject to administrative suspension.
All Alberta lawyers must remain committed to professional development activities that are of-interest or where there may be room for growth. The
Law Society Code of Conduct
, Chapter 3, imposes an ethical responsibility on lawyers to be competent in all legal services undertaken on a client’s behalf. It remains the responsibility of every Alberta lawyer to maintain their own competence and self-assess areas for improvement.
The Path Forward
The Law Society has suspended the mandatory CPD filing for 2020 and 2021 in order to rebuild a new competence model. Through this work, the Law Society of Alberta will promote high standards of competence and wellness. We want to:
- be sure that competency requirements are relevant and proportionate to the stage and setting of a lawyer's career;
- broaden the concept of competency to extend into non-traditional areas such as technology and general culture competence; and
- reduce stigma related to mental and physical health issues by creating a supportive environment for lawyers to ask for help or resources.
This work will focus on two important projects:
- We will work with our stakeholders to develop a new competence framework for a lawyer’s entire career that is proportionate, effective and dynamic, and incorporates wellness as a key component. We are committed to open dialogue as we work towards to this important goal.
- Establish an Indigenous cultural competency program for all Alberta lawyers to meaningfully address our obligation arising from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action.
We want to raise the bar by rebuilding a new competence model to empower and equip 21st century lawyers to provide the best legal services they can to Albertans. To find out more about the reasons for this decision, view:
Our Customer Service Representatives will be available to answer questions on the CPD program and using the Lawyer Portal on during our regular business hours.
Please contact us toll free at 1.800.661.9003