The Advisory: Volume 8, Issue 1, January 2010

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From the President

Approach Will Lead to Adoption of 2010 Strategic Plan

By Peter Michalyshyn, QC, President, Law Society of Alberta

In 2009, the Benchers and the Law Society have adopted an increasingly strategic approach to achieving the goals and objectives of the Law Society of Alberta (LSA). I t’s an important initiative which we expect will result in the adoption of a strategic plan in 2010.

Our readers – both the lawyers we regulate and who elect us, and the public to whom we are accountable as our constituents – will legitimately ask: what are the LSA’s goals and objectives?

As a starting point, the LSA’s mission statement states that we “…serve the public interest by promoting a high standard of legal services and professional conduct through the governance and regulation of an independent legal profession.”

The LSA ’s goals are, not in order of importance:

  1.  To serve the public interest by promoting and ensuring high ethical standards and high standards of competence on the part of all those seeking admission to and practising law in Alberta;
  2. To preserve and demonstrate the value of a self-regulated and independent legal profession; and
  3. To uphold and preserve the fundamental principles of justice, including the rule of law, the independence of the bench and bar, effective and equal access to justice and to promote equity and diversity in the legal profession.

This mission and these goals sum up the work of the Law Society of Alberta. If the LSA did all of these things well, we’d be well advanced in our vision to be a model regulator in the public interest.

The LSA does tremendous work pursuing its vision, mission and goals. But of course we could do better, and resources are always limited. And if existing resources are to be used trategically, then the LSA through the Benchers in partnership with our administration need to make informed choices. A round every choice we should ask: how does this activity or that initiative work to ensure that our goals are being met?

As you continue reading this and future issues of the Advisory and other communications from the LSA, I’m hopeful you’ll view our activities and initiatives though the high-minded lens we’ve constructed as set out above. And I’m hopeful you’ll let us know if you think we’re moving in the right strategic direction.

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