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Our Practice Advisors are available as a free and confidential service to help Alberta lawyers, legal support staff and articling students with legal, ethical and practice inquiries. They are available to mediate and arbitrate inter-lawyer disputes, assist lawyers in accessing resources for practice-related stress issues and give presentations to firms and organizations on a variety of ethics-related topics on request. They also provide their confidential services to lawyers from the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Practice Advisors do not provide advice to the public. If you are a member of the public, contact our Customer Service team.
The response time for non-urgent inquiries will be up to five business days. Inquiries may receive a response earlier depending on call and email volumes, but callers should be prepared for up to five days.
Every day, a significant number of inquiries they receive are flagged as urgent. To ensure that time sensitive calls receive a timely response, inquiries are triaged. Matters that are considered urgent and will receive a response within the same or following business day are:
- Same day or next day real estate closings
- Same day or next day court matters
- Public, client and lawyer safety concerns (Please note: Safety concerns are defined as immediate threats of harm by clients or the public to themselves or to others, including the lawyer.)
Other matters submitted as time sensitive or urgent will be reviewed by the assigned Practice Advisor and they will prioritize accordingly in their call queue.
Practice Advisors will try to limit conversations to a maximum of 30 minutes so they can help as many lawyers as possible. To ensure a timely response, please do not send multiple requests.
Our Practice Advisors are:
- Deborah Book
- Jonathan Griffith
- Jesse Mackenzie
Practice Advisor inquiries are streamed to the central phone number and email address below.
Toll free: 1.866.440.4640 Local: 587.390.8462
If you have left a voicemail message or an email, please wait to be contacted. We ask you to refrain from sending multiple inquiries on the same issue or leaving both a voicemail and an email, as this may delay response times.
- If you leave a voicemail message, please also:
– provide your full name, including the spelling of your surname,
– provide your phone number (saying it twice is helpful),
– identify if your inquiry falls into one of the urgent matters listed above, and
– if you are legal support staff, please include the name of your law firm.
- If you send an email, please indicate if you have also left a voicemail message. This will help match your email to your voicemail and assign to a single Practice Advisor. Fill out all the required fields in the email form provided below.
Our Practice Advisors respond to over 6,000 inquiries per year. They are available to lawyers to assist with accessing appropriate resources, respond to inquiries about ethical and practice matters, and give presentations to firms and organizations on ethics and practice-related issues on request. The following list clarifies the matters in which our Practice Advisors may provide advice and assistance.
Practice Advisors do advise on
Practice Advisors do not advise on
It is the Practice Advisors’ job to listen, provide information and guidance, and when necessary, give feedback on how to resolve a problem. It is their role to help lawyers understand professional obligations and assist them to find the best way forward. As a lawyer, legal support staff or articling student, please consider the following tips:
- Provide as much information as you can in the voicemail or email inquiry. By doing so, the Practice Advisor assigned to your inquiry will be better prepared to assist you.
- Call or email us yourself. Often a lawyer will ask an assistant or an articling student to contact our Practice Advisors on their behalf. This may not result in the best response as they may not have sufficient first-hand information.
- Identify if this is a follow-up to an earlier inquiry. If you have already spoken to a Practice Advisor and you are calling or emailing back on the same matter, please identify who the Practice Advisor was and the subject of the earlier inquiry
The Law Society of Alberta offers practice advice to lawyers in a variety of different ways:
- AdvisorLink: A program where lawyers or students-at-law are provided with the contact information for lawyers in the community who have agreed to serve as a resource to less experienced members of the Bar. These lawyers are available to answer one-off inquiries in a wide range of practice areas.
- SoloNet: An online community hosted by the Office of the Practice Advisor for sole and small firm practitioners.
- Office of the Equity Ombudsperson: Provides confidential advice, information and assistance to lawyers, articling students and support staff working in the legal profession on issues of discrimination or harassment by lawyers.
- Resource Centre: A regularly updated library of Law Society-produced materials including articles, courses, model policies and checklists, webinars and more. You may also want to refer to the Legal Profession Act, the Code of Conduct or the Rules of the Law Society of Alberta.