July 19, 2022
Statement on Oath of Allegiance in Alberta
To be called to the bar and join the legal profession in Alberta, articling students are currently required to swear allegiance to the Queen under the Oaths of Office Act. While it is not within the power of the Law Society to amend legislation, we support an amendment to the Oaths of Office Act that would create flexibility for articling students by making the oath of allegiance to the Queen optional.

A change of this nature would be consistent with the approach taken in several other Canadian jurisdictions and would remove inequitable barriers to the practice of law in our province.

Through our initiatives such as the Articling Program Assessment Survey in 2019 and the My Experience Project in 2020–21, we have heard from lawyers who experience inequities and barriers in their everyday practice. The Law Society recently issued an acknowledgment recognizing systemic discrimination in the legal profession and the justice system, and we are committed to addressing issues of equity, diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.
University of Toronto Study Reminder: Legal Ethics from the View of Practising Lawyers 
A reminder that there is still time to participate in the Legal Ethics study from the University of Toronto.

Dr. Albert Yoon, a professor in Legal Ethics at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, is conducting a study on how practising lawyers view legal ethics. Much of the current literature on legal ethics comes from a theoretical and normative framework, while this study focuses on how actual lawyers approach ethical issues in their practice.

To aid in his research, Dr. Yoon invites all Alberta lawyers to participate in a short survey on legal ethics. The survey is on a secure online platform and takes about 5 minutes to complete. Participation is voluntary and all responses are anonymous. Upon completion of the study, Dr. Yoon will share his findings with the Law Society of Alberta.

Participants who complete the study are eligible to enter a random draw to receive a new Apple Watch Series 7, iPhone 13 or iPad Air.

For more information and to complete the survey, view the study online.
Retired Lawyers are Eligible to Volunteer with a Status Change

As a retired lawyer, if you change your status to active, pro bono, you can be a volunteer lawyer with the Edmonton Community Legal Centre (ECLC) and provide free legal advice to low-income individuals. The ECLC has been offering free legal advice clinics to low-income individuals for 20 years, and the need has never been greater.

The Law Society offers a status known as active, pro bono. This status allows you to exclusively volunteer at an Approved Legal Services Provider and is the same annual cost as holding inactive, retired status. You do not need to purchase indemnity coverage with an active, pro bono status. If you are considering making a status change or planning to retire, we encourage you to consider electing an active, pro bono status instead of an inactive status.

Please email Ruth Thangiah or visit ECLC’s website to find out more about their flexible commitment—daytime or evening—and details like remote volunteering and training available in a variety of practice areas.
Business Venture Clinic – Volunteers Needed

The Business Venture Clinic is a student-run, pro bono legal clinic at the University of Calgary, Faculty of Law. Law students assist entrepreneurs in creating new businesses. Over the past five years, the clinic has worked with over 400 entrepreneurs.

  • Volunteers Needed: Lawyers in any area of the law that have been practising for three years or more.
  • Volunteer Role: Act as a mentor to students, reviewing and providing feedback on written agreements or memos generated by the students over the course of the academic year.
  • Time Commitment: Approximately one to two hours per month.
  • Contact: Email businesscliniccoordinator@gmail.com for more information.
Regulatory Amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulation
Regulatory amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) proposed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) have been approved. They were signed by Her Excellency the Governor General on June 20, 2022.

The regulatory amendments, which aim to strengthen protections for temporary foreign workers to prevent potential mistreatment or abuse during their period of employment in Canada, will come into force on Sept. 26, 2022.

The final Regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II on July 6, 2022. Please consult the Regulatory Impact Assessment Statement (RIAS) and Regulatory text here.
Court of Queen's Bench Announcement

A full-time position will be available in Red Deer as a Master in Chambers under the general direction of the Chief Justice and Associate Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta. In addition to presiding over Red Deer Masters matters, the Red Deer Master in Chambers will also cover Regional Master in Chambers work as well as province-wide Bankruptcy Registrar work.

Lawyers with at least 10 years at the bar can apply to become an Alberta Master in Chambers. Applications will be considered first by the Master in Chambers Interview Panel and if recommended, will be assessed or interviewed by the Judicial Council.
Upcoming Events
Well-Being in Practice | Oct. 4 – 5, 2022

Visit our website for a full list of upcoming events.