- Become a Lawyer
- Visiting Lawyers
- Membership Services
- Billing Cycles, Filing Deadlines and Other Key Dates
- Status Options & Contact Information Changes
- Fees & Refunds
- Membership & Indemnity Program Renewals
- Member & Indemnity Certificates
- Indemnity & Indemnity Exemptions
- Professional Corporations (PCs)
- Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs)
- Alberta Lawyers Indemnity Association (ALIA)
- Continuing Professional Development
- Practice Advisors
- Trust Accounting & Safety
- Responsible Lawyers
- Filing Requirements
- Anti-Money Laundering Model Rules
- Forms for Financial Records, Accounts & Trusts
- Trust Safety: FAQ
- Practice Management Consultations
- Equity Ombudsperson
- Fraud & Loss Prevention
- Approved Legal Services Providers
- Making A Payment
- Forms & Certificates
If you are a lawyer from a Canadian Law Society looking to become a member of the Law Society of Alberta, you must meet the following basic requirements:
- Hold a Bachelor of Laws degree or a Juris Doctor degree from a faculty of common law at a Canadian university or equivalent qualification
- Have good character and reputation
- Submit the following application documents and fees:
- Application to Become a Member in Alberta (Form 2-15)
- Certificate of Standing from each governing body 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
- Applicable transfer application and enrolment fees payable to the Law Society of Alberta
- If you have secured employment at an Alberta law firm, corporation or government position, you must first obtain the permission of the Law Society’s Executive Director before providing legal services in Alberta by applying for a Permission to Practise Law Pending Transfer. This is a temporary document while you are working between your home jurisdiction and your call to the Alberta Bar.
Please submit the required information and documents by mail or email to the attention of Membership.
Once your application has been approved and you are eligible to become a member of the Law Society of Alberta, you can make the necessary arrangements to schedule your call ceremony. View our Bar Call & Enrolment page for more information on this process. Please note that if you have conditions or restrictions attached to your practice or membership in any Canadian jurisdiction, these conditions and restrictions will automatically be applicable in Alberta.
If you are just visiting Alberta and do not want to become a permanent member of the Law Society of Alberta, view our Visiting Lawyers section for more information. There may be specific circumstances in which you are requested to submit a Visiting Lawyer Permit Application pending the completion of your transfer.
Please note that the term “transfer” does not mean that you will need to give up your bar admission in your home jurisdiction in exchange for practising in Alberta. It simply means that you are an applicant looking to practise in Alberta in addition to your home jurisdiction.
All transfer applicants will be required to write a transfer exam with the exception of the following two circumstances:
- 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 want to provide legal services in any other capacity, you will be required to make an application to the Law Society of Alberta 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, are currently entitled to practise law in that jurisdiction, and:
- You certify that you have familiarized yourself with Alberta law to the extent required to be able to competently practise law in the areas you intend to practise, including the materials in the reading list (see list below) required by the Executive Director,
- You agree that any restrictions on your ability to practise in another jurisdiction will apply to your membership in Alberta, and
- You have not unsuccessfully written Alberta transfer examinations.
To learn more about transfer exams and how to schedule one, contact Membership.
Permission to Practise Law Pending Completion of Your Transfer Application to the Law Society of Alberta
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 Practise application form.
In order to obtain permission to practise pending completion of your transfer application, you must be a member of a jurisdiction participating in the National Mobility Agreement, entitled to practise law and have appropriate liability insurance coverage as defined by Rule 47(d). Until you are called to the Alberta Bar, your membership in your home jurisdiction covers your eligibility to practise in Alberta.
If you have a visiting lawyer permit from the Law Society or you are an articling student with a member of the Law Society (Rule 70), you are not required to complete the Request for Permission to Practise application form.
The materials in the reading list are set by the Executive Director:
- The Alberta Practice Manual resource materials from the Legal Education Society of Alberta (LESA) in the area in which you intend to practice. This material is also available through a subscription to the LESA Library – 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.
- The Law Society of Alberta’s Code of Conduct – mandatory
- The Trust Accounting Rules (being part 5 of the Rules of the Law Society of Alberta) – mandatory
You will only be expected to know the material identified in the reading list that is relevant to the work that you will be doing (Rule 66(4)(b)). 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 and this will be required.
Some of the material included in the reading list set by the Executive Director is completely irrelevant to the areas that I intend to work in. Do I need to read them anyway?
No. All lawyers have an ethical obligation to take on and perform only work which they are competent to do. This includes an obligation to know what you are competent to do, and to act accordingly. It is up to you to determine the nature of the work you will perform in Alberta, and to ensure that you have sufficiently familiarized yourself with the law in that area to be competent.
Where material identified in the reading list is relevant to the work that you will perform, you must review and understand that material. Where material is not relevant to the work that you will perform you need not review that material.
Reference: Rule 66(4)(b)
Do I need to review any material in addition to what is included in the reading list set by the Executive Director?
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 accomplish that. Some areas of law are sufficiently specialized or advanced that this will be required.
Reference: Rule 66(4)(b)
I have previously written the Alberta transfer examinations with unsuccessful results. What does this mean for me?
If you are a member of an NMA governing body, and are currently entitled to practise there, you may deal with your unsuccessful transfer examination standing by satisfying the Executive Director that you will only practise law in areas in which you are competent to do so.
Reference: Rule 66(5)