The Law Society of Alberta is currently piloting a part-time membership programme, which would be the first of its kind in Canada. In order to be eligible for the part-time membership, a lawyer must be in private practice, work fewer than 20 hours a week, and average fewer than 750 billable hours per year (not including pro bono), gross billings must be lower than $90,000 annually. Lawyers who meet the criteria would be eligible for reduced membership fees.
The Law Society hopes that the part-time membership programme will increase diversity in the profession, allowing more lawyers to continue working part-time, with research showing this will particularly benefit women in the profession, those who are moving towards leaving the profession and lawyers with health issues. They also feel that increasing the pool of active lawyers whilst managing costs in accordance with time will increase the accessibility of legal work, and therefore access to justice.