We met with lawyers across the province last fall to gather feedback on proposed amendments to the
Legal Profession Act
(LPA). The feedback was presented to the Board in early January and the LPA Task Force was instructed to develop a recommendation for moving forward. The recommendation was approved at the February Board Meeting.
Although we received positive indications that the proposed amendments could reach the legislative agenda in 2018, we recently learned that the LPA amendments will not be on the legislative agenda in 2018. The Minister of Justice has expressed her continued support of these amendments. The Minister advised that the LPA amendments could not be accommodated given the number of other important initiatives the Government is pursuing, and the limited time left in this Government’s current mandate. We understood from the beginning of the project that there was no guarantee of making the legislative agenda this year, but we undertook this important work because of our aligned interests with the Government to find solutions to access to justice issues for all Albertans.
While we are disappointed with this outcome, it takes nothing away from the excellent work that has gone into moving us to this stage. The LPA amendments are a tool to better support lawyers who want to innovate and a way for the Law Society to enhance our regulatory model and create efficiencies in our work. Our commitment to an improved and modern
Legal Profession Act
Our goal to find better ways to support lawyers who want to innovate in legal service delivery has not changed and we are looking at other strategies because keeping the profession relevant in a rapidly changing legal marketplace must continue.
We will maintain our solid working relationship with the Government and look for new opportunities to collaborate on important issues surrounding access to justice for Albertans. Addressing the issue of unmet legal needs remains an important goal for the profession and the Law Society.
We will share more information about our go-forward strategies and provide updates as our work progresses.
We would like to thank everyone who participated in our engagement process for the LPA amendments and we look forward to having ongoing discussions with lawyers and the public to ensure that we continue making thoughtful decisions that uphold our mandate to protect the public interest.