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 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
- Successfully complete the bar admission course and/or transfer examinations
- 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 (fee schedule) payable to the Law Society of Alberta (making a payment)
- If you have secured employment at an Alberta 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 Practice Law Pending Transfer. This is a temporary document while you are working between your home jurisdiction and your call to the Alberta Bar.
Once you have completed the permission to practice application and meet the requirements, you will receive official permission from the Law Society’s Executive Director.
Please submit the required information and documents by mail or email to the attention of Membership Services.
If you’re unable to find what you’re looking for under our Membership Services section of our website, do not hesitate to contact us.
Permission to Practice Law Pending Completion of Your Transfer Application to the Law Society of Alberta
As of July 1, 2003, 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 Practice application form.
In order to obtain permission to practice pending completion of your transfer application, you must be a member of a jurisdiction participating in the National Mobility Agreement or Territorial Mobility Agreement, entitled to practice law and have appropriate liability insurance coverage as defined by Rule 47(d) of the Rules of the Law Society of Alberta. Until you are called to the Alberta Bar, your membership in your home jurisdiction covers your eligibility to practice in Alberta.
If you have a permit from the Law Society or an articling arrangement with a member of the Law Society (Rule 70), you are not required to complete the Request for Permission to Practice application form.
Certificate of Standing
You must provide a Certificate of Standing from each governing body of which you are or have been a member, in or outside of Canada.
If you have responded “yes” to any of the questions listed on your transfer application, you must provide full disclosure and include all official documentation. That could include court documents, bankruptcy discharge documentation and medical reports.
All transfer applicants will be required to write a transfer exam with the exception of:
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 wish 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 practice law in that jurisdiction, and
- You certify that you have familiarized yourself with Alberta law to the extent required to be able to competently practice law in the areas you intend to practice, including the materials in the reading list (see list below) required by the Executive Director,
- You agree that any restrictions on your ability to practice in another jurisdiction will apply to your membership in Alberta, and
- You have not unsuccessfully written Alberta transfer examinations.
The materials in the reading list are set by the Executive Director:
- The Bar Admission Course resource materials
- The Law Society of Alberta’s Code of Conduct
- The Trust Accounting Rules (being part 5 of the Rules of the Law Society of Alberta)
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. 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 61(3)(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 that this will be required. (Rule 61(3)(b))