In serving the public interest, the Law Society of Alberta is aware of the legal environment in which it operates. As a regulator, the Law Society takes on new initiatives to address concerns and issues affecting members of the public.
The Law Society has undertaken the following initiatives to address concerns around public access to legal services, and to strengthen its regulatory structures to better serve the public:
- Access to Justice - Alternate Delivery of Legal Services
- Trust Safety
- Legal Aid
- Pro Bono Law Alberta
Access to Justice - Alternate Delivery of Legal Services
An Access Steering Committee, formed in March 2009, with leadership from the Law Society of Alberta, Alberta Justice, the Courts, Canadian Bar Association and Legal Aid Alberta is considering two access to justice initiatives: (1) alternate delivery of legal services, and (2) limited scope retainers (unbundling of legal services). Working groups on the two initiatives will provide policy advice and recommendations to the steering committee which in turn will provide advice and recommendations to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General. More ...
The new Trust Safety program will be among the most advanced integrated trust safety strategies employed in the regulation of legal professions in the world. The Law Society is now implementing its new program as of January 2011. This new regulatory structure for safety of trust property addresses concerns about rising threats to the security of trust funds. More ...
The Law Society is concerned about Legal Aid Alberta’s ability to deliver services. Funding for Legal Aid comes from the provincial and federal governments, and the Alberta Law Foundation. As a result of a significant portion of Legal Aid’s annual funding being tied to market fortunes, Legal Aid has experienced a funding shortfall of nearly $10 million or 15% of its budget. The Law Society believes that the current funding shortfall, which affects the ability of Legal Aid to deliver services has huge but hidden economic costs to the province. More...
Pro Bono Law Alberta
In 2007, the Law Society of Alberta celebrated its 100th anniversary and created a legacy to the people of Alberta by forming Pro Bono Law Alberta (PBLA). It is a charitable organization which promotes access to justice in Alberta by creating and promoting opportunities for lawyers to provide pro bono (free) legal services to persons of limited means. The network arranges partnerships between non-profit organizations and lawyers to deliver services that provide a wide range of legal services. More ...