The Advisory: Volume 9, Issue 3, December 2011

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Managing Risk: Credentialing Process Ensures Good Character

One of the aspects of managing risk at the Law Society is in the Credentialing process in which the Law Society ensures the good character and competence of new lawyers.

In the Credentialing process, the Law Society carefully screens law student applications along with their proposed principals. Weak new lawyers or weak principals may start on a risky foundation. In managing the risk of new lawyers, ensuring good character translates into lawyers beginning their law practices on a solid footing.

The work of the Credentials and Education committee is tied to the 2010-2013 Strategic Plan. Specifically, the Committee’s work assists the Law Society to achieve the goals of building public confidence and enabling the Law Society to be a model regulator.

The Credentials and Education Committee manages policy matters relating to admission and re-admission to the profession. It also handles specific applications and appeals by lawyers or students-at-law. Examples of the types of matters which may go before the Credentials and Education Committee include applications regarding the articling or bar admission process and appeals of decisions regarding good character and reputation. The Committee also handles reinstatement applications by former Law Society of Alberta members.

Students who wish to become a member of the legal profession in Alberta must be of good character and reputation, meet the academic qualifications, successfully complete a bar admission course and serve a term of articles. See Sections 37(1) and 40(1) of the Legal Profession Act.

The work of the Credentials and Education committee is part of our regulatory toolbox, and is vital to the work we do to protect the public interest.

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