Act, Rules, Code & Guidelines
The Law Society of Alberta is a self-governing regulator of all practising lawyers in Alberta, and has been regulating lawyers since 1907. The Law Society of Alberta derives its authority from the Legal Profession Act of Alberta, and is financed and maintained by Alberta lawyers at no cost to the public. Serving in the public interest, the Law Society of Alberta sets out standards through Rules and its Code of Conduct.
Legal Profession Act
The Legal Profession Act (the Act) is provincial legislation enacted to establish the Law Society of Alberta as the organization responsible for regulating over 8,000 active (practising and non-practising) lawyers in Alberta. In accordance with the Act, the Law Society follows its mandate to serve the public’s interest by governing the professional conduct of its members, overseeing the admission of newly-trained lawyers and preventing the unauthorized practice of law. Similar legislation is in effect in all other Canadian provinces and territories. View the Act.
Rules of the Law Society of Alberta
The Rules of the Law Society of Alberta (the Rules) set forth the specific regulations, responsibilities and professional standards all lawyers are required to meet and uphold. Various sections of the Rules address the following key areas:
- Law Society organization and administration
- Membership in the legal profession, educational requirements for admission to the Alberta Bar, and ongoing professional development
- Professional conduct and disciplinary procedures
- Duties of lawyers and their law firms
- Assurance Fund (created to protect the public)
- Liability claims against lawyers who are members of the Law Society
View the Rules.
Code of Conduct
As a self-governing profession, Alberta’s lawyers are expected to conduct themselves and their law practices in ways which are highly ethical and above reproach. The Code of Conduct defines the principles and high standards which are applied to every lawyer in Alberta. View the Code.
The new Code is based on a Model Code of Conduct developed by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. The Federation developed the Model Code to facilitate lawyer mobility and promote public confidence in a self-regulated legal profession across the country.
The Code is in effect as of November 1, 2011 for all Alberta lawyers, students-at-law and visiting lawyers.
The Law Society of Alberta has adopted new conflict of interest rules in the Code of Conduct, effective December 1, 2012. Existing rules 2.04 (1) through (11) are being replaced by new rules 2.04 (1) to (13). The definition of “conflict of interest” and “lawyer” have also been amended. Review the new Alberta Conflicts Rules
The Law Society and LESA (Legal Education Society of Alberta) have collaborated to prepare new online learning modules on the Code of Conduct. This course is intended to assist lawyers in transitioning to the new professional responsibility rules. On completion, lawyers should have an understanding of the rules and structure of the new Code of Conduct.
If you already have access to the LESA online classroom for Trust Accounting courses, you are already enrolled, and you can use the same login procedures to take the Code of Conduct course. Access the online learning modules.
If you have any questions please contact the Practice Advisors.
Complaints and Inquiry Guideline
The Complaint and Inquiry Guideline provides general information about how the Law Society handles inquiries and complaints received regarding the conduct or activities of lawyers. The Guideline does not replace the Legal Profession Act or the Rules of the Law Society of Alberta. Read the Guideline.
Assurance Fund Guideline
The Assurance Fund Guideline explains the procedures for submitting an assurance claim and provides information about how such claims are handled by the Law Society. Read the Guideline.