The Law Society of Alberta has published a new Professional Development Profile as part of an overhaul of the system of Continuing Professional Development in the province. In 2020, the Benchers of the Law Society of Alberta set out to enhance its approach to continuing professional development (CPD). One key goal is to make the annual CPD planning process more meaningful and engaging for Alberta lawyers, by providing guidance on what the Law Society sees as important areas of focus.
The profile sets out 9 domains in which it is important for lawyers to undertake professional development:
- Legal Practice
- Continuous Improvement
- Cultural Competence, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
- Lawyer-Client Relationships
- Practice Management
- Professional Conduct
- Professional Contributions
- Truth and Reconciliation
The purpose of the Profile is to:
- Guide lawyers in understanding what competencies are associated with safe, effective and sustainable legal practice.
- Support the CPD of lawyers through ongoing self-assessment and learning.
- Support lawyers in developing their professional identity throughout their career.
- Provide a definition of competence to offer guidance for other regulatory and educational purposes that support competency development.
- Assist employers and articling principals to develop work experiences and practices that support competency development.
- Inform continuing legal education providers about the competencies that are important to legal practice today to assist in future content development for lawyers.
- Support the Law Society’s development of a professional development program for lawyers.
The Profile is the first step in the Law Society’s enhanced approach to CPD. The Law Society will continue to develop guidance and resources to support lawyers in creating meaningful and effective CPD plans. The next step is to create an interactive tool, which is currently in development, to help lawyers with this process.