The Advisory: Volume 10, Issue 1, January 2012

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Declaration Period Now Open For CPD Plans

By Jim Glass, QC, Bencher and Chair of the Continuing Competence Committee, Law Society of Alberta

With the start of the New Year, now is the time to evaluate your 2011 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) plan as the foundation for preparing your 2012 plan.

Any time between January 1, and March 15, lawyers are required to declare they have made a plan for this year.

The key component in preparing your 2012 Plan is to evaluate and keep track of your 2011 CPD goals and your achievements. It is important to keep track of the evaluation of your plan as the Law Society has now reviewed the CPD plans and activities of lawyers who have come to their attention through the Practice Review, and complaints and discipline process.

To evaluate your 2011 CPD goals, you may wish to ask the following four questions:

  1. What activities did I undertake pursuant to last year’s CPD plan?
  2. How did each CPD activity improve my competence as a lawyer?
  3. How much time did I spend on these CPD activities in 2011?
  4. What will be carried forward to my 2012 CPD plan?

In developing your 2012 CPD plan, you may consider what you need to do to improve your competence in legal service delivery to your clients. What can you do in your practice in 2012 to make yourself a better lawyer and more competent in legal service delivery to your clients?

Becoming Familiar with the Code of Conduct

Becoming familiar with the new Alberta Code of Conduct, which came in to effect November 1, 2011, is a CPD plan opportunity. On-line training modules are now available. The Law Society and Legal Education Society of Alberta have collaborated to prepare these online modules which enable lawyers to transition to the new responsibility rules. On completion, lawyers should have an understanding of the rules and structure of the Code of Conduct.

If you already have access to the LESA online classroom for Trust Accounting courses, you are already enrolled. You can use the same login procedures to take the Code of Conduct course. Visit the online learning modules by going to

Use the Online Tools and Resources

Online tools and resources for developing your CPD plan are available at

Any questions about the CPD program can be directed to or by phone at 403-229-4766.

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