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- Become a Lawyer
- Articling Process
The Law Society of Alberta admission program requires completion of an articling term where you work with your principal to gain hands-on, practical experience in the profession. Until January 1, 2023, a complete term of articles is 8 – 12 months (see this article for April 2020 changes to articling term). Starting January 1, 2023, a complete term of articles returns to 12 months (see this article for details on the changes to the articling term, including how PREP integrates). While many students will complete their articling year at a single firm or organization, there are other options such as composite articles and secondments that students and employers can pursue.
Your principal must be an active/practising member of the Law Society with a minimum of four years of active practice experience and must be approved by the Law Society as a suitable supervisor. Your principal can also be a judge or a justice.
The traditional article is with one principal for 12 months. This can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis, provided that the Law Society is aware of your arrangement. The Law Society also allows composite articles to complete the admission requirements.
The general process for articling is as follows:
- Secure your articling position. The Law Society does not currently have a program to assist in finding an articling position for you.
- Apply for student-at-law status through the Lawyer Portal using this checklist. Please note that there is a fee for both application and admission for articling. The amount of this fee is subject to change annually and can be found on the Fee Schedule, where all current fee amounts are listed. This fee must be paid at the time you apply and is required as part of a complete application.
- Enrol in the Practice Readiness Education Program (PREP) administered by the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED).You are not required to be approved as a student-at-law in advance of registering for the program and you can enrol in the program at any time. There is a tuition fee associated with the PREP program. Please contact PREP directly for information on paying for the program.
- Complete your articles and the PREP program. Both components must be completed successfully prior to applying for enrolment as a member.
- Apply for enrolment. There is no fee to apply for enrolment however annual membership fees and ALIA indemnity fees (if applicable) are due at the time you apply for enrolment. Please click here to view the fee schedule for information on membership fees and the ALIA indemnity levy.
Some of these steps may overlap or be completed simultaneously. View the links above for more information on each step.
The Practice Advisors are available to you for confidential professional advice regarding legal, ethical and practice concerns during this time.
Other Information About Articling
Certificate of Principal or Principal Certification
Your principal needs to certify your articles through the Lawyer Portal on the “My Students” page. If you applied prior to April 1, 2019 by submitting paper forms, a Certificate of Principal must be submitted by each principal you have articled with.
Approved Working Arrangement
You may remain working with your current principal for 90 days after your end date. If you will be working as a student-at-law beyond that period, you will need a supervisor and your supervisor will need to submit an undertaking to enter into an Approved Working Arrangement (see Rule 52). Alternatively, should your principal or supervisor change at any time, please contact Membership as soon as possible.