September 6, 2019
Setting the Bar High
Wade Brown Becomes the First Blind and Paraplegic Lawyer Called to the Alberta Bar

As Wade Brown heard his name called to the Alberta Bar on July 19, the joy of the moment was not only overwhelming for Wade himself, but for the entire courtroom. Emotion was written on the face of the Honouable Mr. Justice Douglas R. Mah as he delivered encouragement and affirmations to Wade in front of a crowd of more than 50 supporters, friends, family members and colleagues.

“It's amazing to be able to finally say that I’m a lawyer – that’s a huge mental breakthrough. It was a very emotional Bar call, almost surreal,” he says.

As the first-ever blind and paraplegic lawyer called to the Alberta Bar, Wade represents not just an example of incredible determination, talent and hard work – he represents the power of curiosity and education to change a life, despite challenging circumstances.

Recruiting Firms and Organizations for the 2020 Indigenous Summer Student Program
The Indigenous Summer Student Program (ISSP) for first and second year law students is recruiting firms and organizations to participate in the 2020 summer student cycle.
The purpose of the program is to:
  • Foster understanding - allow law firms and organizations and the legal profession to gain greater insight into Indigenous culture and issues.
  • Improve opportunities - for Indigenous students early in their legal careers to gain work experience in a law firm or organization.
  • Help Indigenous students achieve success - building ongoing mentorship and networking relationships between the students and practising lawyers.
  • Provide ongoing support - to participating firms and organizations and students through cultural awareness training, and application and interview preparation for students.
Firms and organizations that are interested in participating can find more information, review the criteria for program, and submit their application on the Indigenous Law Student Summer Employment Program page.
Over the past 14 years, this program has received wide support, with employment opportunities from small firms, large firms, government and organizations. The Law Society of Alberta does not have a role in the interview or hiring process or the employment relationship but will provide ongoing support and education to program participants, firms and organizations. 

We encourage you to submit your applications as soon as possible, and if you have questions please reach out to the Program Coordinator.
CPLED Update: PREP Pilot Launches, More Coming Soon
The Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED) has launched the first pilot for the new Bar admission course, the Practice Readiness Education Program (PREP). CPLED welcomed 27 Alberta students to the PREP orientation workshop on August 1.

Built on best practices around the world, CPLED’s PREP delivers practical skills and competencies in an integrated approach combining interactive, transactional learning and simulation. The program includes online modules, face-to-face workshops and something really unique – an interactive virtual law firm where students work as lawyers, managing cases in business law, criminal law, family law and real estate. Finally, students participate in a final capstone case and reflection before being called to the Bar.

Orange Shirt Day - September 30, 2019
We encourage lawyers to participate in Orange Shirt Day on September 30. Read more about Orange Shirt Day and how your firm/organization can participate.

Pictured right: Law Society of Alberta Benchers participate in Orange Shirt Day 2018
Upcoming Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Rule Amendment Webinar
We have adopted  amendments  to our client identification and verification rules, as well as accounting rules governing the receipt of cash and the permitted use of lawyers' trust accounts. The changes take effect on September 30, 2019.

We have held both online and in-person information sessions to provide lawyers with more details on these changes. The next opportunity to learn more about these changes is by registering for our September 19 Q&A webinar . We ask those attending the webinar to review information about these changes in advance either by reviewing the presentation or the recorded version of the previous webinar. The September 19 webinar will not repeat the presentation but provides an opportunity to get answers to FAQs from prior sessions and apply the amended Rules to various real life practice scenarios.
Reminder: Bencher Election Task Force Recruitment
The Law Society has established a Bencher Election Task Force to develop strategies for increasing the number and diversity of candidates for the 2020 Bencher Election and to increase voter engagement and turnout. 
The Law Society is seeking two members of the Law Society in good standing to join this new the Bencher Election Task Force. Lawyers from demographics that have been traditionally underrepresented in the Bencher election process in the past are encouraged to apply for this task force.
Participation on the Bencher Election Task Force is voluntary. Parking and mileage costs will be reimbursed in accordance with Law Society policy.
To apply, please email a letter of intent and CV to:
Deadline: September 13, 2019
Changes to Criminal Duty Counsel Service Delivery in Fort McMurray and Fort Chipewyan
Legal Aid Alberta is re-establishing criminal duty counsel using staff lawyers in Fort McMurray and Fort Chipewyan instead of using roster lawyers to provide criminal duty counsel services. Legal Aid Alberta’s staff lawyers will now appear as duty counsel in criminal courtrooms in these communities.