- Become a Lawyer
- Application & Admission
- Articling Arrangements
- Bar Call & Enrolment
- Become a Principal
- Visiting Lawyers
- Membership Services
- Billing Cycles, Filing Deadlines and Other Key Dates
- How to Become a Member in Alberta
- Status Options & Contact Information Changes
- Making a Payment to the Law Society
- Membership & Indemnity Program Renewals
- Member & Indemnity Certificates
- Indemnity & Indemnity Exemptions
- Professional Corporations (PCs)
- Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs)
- Alberta Lawyers Indemnity Association (ALIA)
- About ALIA
- Report a Claim
- Group Policy
- Indemnity Levy
- Enhanced Surcharge Protocol
- Civil Litigation Filing Levy Pilot
- Universal Cyber Coverage Program
- ALIA Board
- Financial Reports
- Indemnity Forms
- Making a Payment to ALIA
- Continuing Professional Development
- Practice Advisors
- Trust Accounting & Safety
- Practice Management Consultations
- Equity Ombudsperson
- Fraud & Loss Prevention
- Approved Legal Services Providers
- Forms & Certificates
To become a member of the legal profession in Alberta, you must:
- Be of good character and reputation;
- Meet the academic qualifications;
- Have obtained a Canadian common law degree; or,
- If you do not have a Canadian common law degree, you must have your degree evaluated by the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA).
- Successfully complete the Practice Readiness Education Program (PREP), Alberta’s bar admission program, offered by the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED); and,
- Serve a term of articles.
- Starting January 1, 2023, a complete term of articles returned to 12 months (see this article for details on the changes to the articling term, including how PREP integrates). For students approved prior to January 1, 2023, a complete term of articles is 8-12 months (see this article for April 2020 changes to the articling term).
- While many students will complete their articling year at a single firm or organization, there are other options which can be reviewed under Articling Arrangements.
To apply to become a student-at-law, please review and follow our User Guide.
You must complete two electronic applications on the Lawyer Portal:
- Application for Admission as a Student-at-Law; and,
- Articling Agreement Application.
Please use this checklist to guide you through the application requirements.
- Due Date: per Rule 51, your Application for Admission, Articling Agreement Application, and all documents and fees must be received by the Law Society a minimum of 30 days prior to the proposed start date of your articles.
- Fees: Both the Application and Admission fees must be paid prior to filling out the Application for Admission. For information on required fees and payment instructions, please visit Making a Payment.
- Proof of Identification: Provide a copy of government-issued photo ID such as a passport or driver’s licence on which your full legal name appears.
- Certificate of Standing: From each governing body of which you are or have been a member, inside and/or outside of Canada.
- Education Requirements: If you are a holder of a Canadian common law degree, you must request an original transcript indicating your law degree has been conferred or a letter from the Dean confirming you have met all degree requirements. If you are a holder of a civil law or foreign law degree, an NCA Certificate of Qualification must be provided. These documents must come directly from the issuer to us and can be sent digitally (i.e. MyCreds).
- Principal Requirements: Your principal will be notified of your application via email. They must accept the Articling Agreement in their Lawyer Portal, complete the Mandatory Principal Training Course, and meet the requirements found in Rule 55.
- Police Check/Criminal Record Check: Applicants must obtain an official criminal record check from their local police department or the RCMP prior to submitting their application for admission as a student-at-law. This should come from the applicant’s home province, if other than Alberta, to ensure useful information is provided. This document should be included with the application to become a student-at-law and must be dated within 90 days from the date of submission. Alternatively, applicants can submit an online criminal record check obtained from a company such as Sterling Back Check or Commissionaires.
Please note that an application is not considered complete and will not be reviewed for approval until the above documentation and any additional requested documentation has been received. A completed application also includes acceptance from your principal, and all applicable fees paid in full.
If you are an internationally trained lawyer, additional resources can be found here.
If you have successfully completed your articling term and the PREP program, visit the Bar Call & Enrolment page for next steps.
We process applications in order of proposed start date and we will reach out to you via email should we require anything further after reviewing your application. If an enhanced consideration of good character is required or the suitability of your proposed principal requires additional analysis, this may impact the time it takes to review your application.
An enhanced review of good character may include an investigation and/or a good character hearing. You may begin your articles once you have received an email with approval from the Law Society, which will state your approved commencement date. Please ensure you check your junk folder in case the email ended up there.
Students are responsible to pay the application and admission fees. If a Firm Administrator is responsible for coordinating the payment of your fee(s), it is your responsibility to ensure they have been provided the invoice(s) for payment.
For Lawyers: Principals will be required to sign in to the Lawyer Portal and accept the Articling Agreement under their “My Students” tab. At the end of the agreed term, principals are required to log in to the Lawyer Portal and certify requirements were met.
For Judges/Justices: If you are clerking with a court, your principal does not need to accept an Articling Agreement. Once your articles have ended, your principal will be required to complete and submit a Certificate of Principal (Form 2-12/2-13).
If you have previously logged in, please sign into your Lawyer Portal and continue with your application. If it has been more than 24 hours since you received the login information and you have not logged in, please restart your application as your profile will have been automatically deleted.
You will need to apply for a waiver (see Rule 50(5)) of the three-year time limit under subrule (2).
The requirements are as follows:
- Write a letter requesting a waiver to Rule 50 and explain your reasoning for applying for the waiver, please also speak to what you have been doing since the completion of your education. In addition, please provide further information about your application to the Law Society of Alberta and reasons for applying here as a student-at-law. Please indicate if you have been denied admission in another jurisdiction or unable to complete bar admission requirements.
- Submit a detailed resume highlighting any areas relating to the practice of law.
Once your documentation has been received, this will be attached to your application for the Executive Director to review. Note that the Executive Director will review your application for a waiver to Rule 50 and may require additional conditions as it relates to your term of articles.