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The Law Society is suspending the mandatory Continuing Professional Development (CPD) filing requirement for the profession for the years 2020 and 2021. Suspending the CPD program allows the Law Society to refocus its thinking and dedicate resources toward the next phase of lawyer competency.
It is important for us, as regulator, to be accountable and demonstrate to the public that lawyers maintain and strive for high levels of professionalism and competence in the practice of law. We are committed to self-regulation of the legal profession, and to establishing the highest standards of governance and protection of the public.
While the mandatory aspect of the program has been suspended, we encourage all Alberta lawyers to remain committed to professional development activities that are of-interest or where there may be room for growth. It remains the responsibility of every Alberta lawyer to maintain their own competence and self-assess areas for improvement.
The CPD declaration period continues to be July 1 – September 30. Remember to check with your plan and reflect on your progress through the lawyer portal.
For further information, please contact CPD at 403.229.4700 or toll free at 1.800.661.9003.
Goals and Objectives
The goal of the CPD program is to enhance lawyer competence and to be accountable to the public for the ongoing professional development and competence of lawyers. The objective is to ensure that each lawyer in Alberta strives for excellence in the delivery of legal services through the mandatory annual planning and implementation of an effective CPD Plan.
The CPD Program is structured to foster a self-directed and life-long learning approach to continuing professional development that enhances lawyer competence.
The Law Society Code of Conduct, Chapter 3, imposes an ethical responsibility on lawyers to be competent in all legal services undertaken on a client’s behalf.
When determining competence, the Rules of the Law Society of Alberta, define CPD as:
Continuing Professional Development
67.1 (1) “Continuing professional development” is any learning activity that is:
(a) relevant to the professional needs of a lawyer;
(b) pertinent to long-term career interests as a lawyer;
(c) in the interests of the employer of a lawyer or
(d) related to the professional ethics and responsibilities of lawyers.
(2) Continuing professional development must contain significant substantive, technical, practical or intellectual content.
(3) It is each lawyer’s responsibility to determine whether a learning activity meets these criteria and therefore qualifies as continuing professional development.