Becoming a Member in Alberta
Applying to Become a Member in Alberta
For a lawyer of a Canadian Law Society to become a member of the Law Society of Alberta, the following are required:
- A Bachelor of Laws degree or a Juris Doctor degree from a faculty of common law at a Canadian university or equivalent qualification
- Good character and reputation
- Successful completion of the bar admission course and/or transfer examinations
- Submission of the application documents and fees (see below)
Application Documents and Fees
To make an application to transfer membership to the Law Society of Alberta from another Canadian jurisdiction, you must provide the following:
- Application for Enrolment as a Member
- Certificate of Standing from each governing body of which you are or have been a member, within or outside of Canada
- Errors and Omissions letter from each of your previous and current insurers which include any claims made against you
- Transfer application fee (fee schedule) payable to the Law Society of Alberta (making a payment)
Please send the information by fax, mail or email to Membership Services.
Permission to Practice Law Pending Completion of Your Transfer Application to the Law Society of Alberta
As of July 1, 2003, lawyers applying to transfer to Alberta cannot use the temporary mobility rules while the application for membership is pending if the applicant has triggered the economic nexus disqualification (Rule 72.3).
Before providing legal services in Alberta, you must first obtain the permission of the Law Society's Executive Director. This is done by completing a Request for Permission to Practice application form.
In order to obtain permission to practice pending completion of your transfer application, you must be a member of a jurisdiction participating in the National Mobility Agreement, entitled to practice law and have appropriate liability insurance coverage, among other requirements.
If you have a permit from the Law Society or an articling arrangement with a member of the Law Society (Rule 70), you are not required to complete the Request for Permission to Practice application form.
You must write transfer examinations unless:
Your application for membership is pursuant to section 42 of the Legal Profession Act and you will be employed in Alberta by a government department or a corporation and will be providing legal services solely in the scope of that employment. Enrolment as a member under this section of the Act restricts your membership status to legal services provided on behalf of the government department or corporation. If you wish to provide legal services in any other capacity, you will be required to make an application to the LSA to obtain full membership (Legal Profession Act, Section 42 and Rule 61 (3, 4, 5))
You are a member of a jurisdiction participating in the National Mobility Agreement and are currently entitled to practice law in that jurisdiction, and
- You certify that you have familiarized yourself with Alberta law to the extent required to be able to competently practice law in the areas you intend to practice, including the materials in the reading list (see list below) required by the Executive Director, and
- You agree that any restrictions on your ability to practice in another jurisdiction will apply to your membership in Alberta, and
- You have not unsuccessfully written Alberta transfer examinations.
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If you have responded "yes" to any of the questions listed on your transfer application, you must provide full disclosure and include all official documentation. That could include court documents, bankruptcy discharge documentation and medical reports.
Certificate of Character and Reputation
The certificates of character and reputation must be completed by a member in good standing of the legal profession in your home jurisdiction or a judge of a superior court of record in your home jurisdiction. The signatory on the certificates must have known you for a minimum of two years.
The materials in the reading list set by the Executive Director currently consist of:
- The Bar Admission Course resource materials
- The Law Society of Alberta’s Code of Conduct
- The Trust Accounting Rules (being part 5 of the Rules of the Law Society of Alberta)
Where material identified in the reading list is relevant to the work that you will be doing, you must review and understand that material. Where material is not relevant to the work that you will be doing you need not review that material. (Rule 61(3)(b) )
The basic requirement is that you must familiarize yourself with Alberta law to the extent required to be able to practise competently in the areas in which you intend to practise. If that requires the review of material not included in the reading list, then you must do that. Some areas of law are sufficiently specialized or advanced that this will be required. (Rule 61(3)(b) )
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