“My Experience” Project

September 30, 2020

Over the past few months, issues of systemic racism and discrimination affecting BIPOC communities have been highlighted in Canada and around the world. In response, the Law Society is adopting a listen, learn and act approach to issues of racism and discrimination within the legal profession, specifically as it relates to our regulatory mandate. We want to hear about the experiences of those impacted by racism and discrimination in Alberta’s legal community. From there, we can learn about where we, as the regulator of the legal profession, can make a difference through resources, policies, programming and other areas within our regulatory jurisdiction.

We are inviting Alberta lawyers, articling students, law students and internationally trained lawyers (including those who are not yet called to the Alberta bar) to submit stories about their own experiences where racial discrimination or stereotyping impacted their legal career.

The Law Society, in doing this work, recognizes the importance of its own self-reflection and welcomes any feedback from the project that highlights issues that need to be addressed by the Law Society itself. Read more about equity, diversity and inclusion work at the Law Society in this update.

You can submit your experience by video, audio or written format and have the option to share it anonymously. Your experience can be submitted on our engagement website, Law Society Listens. Video or audio submissions can be shot using a webcam, cell phone, iPad or any other recording device. Please ensure that the audio is clear and that videos are shot using a horizontal orientation. We ask that submissions are no longer than 750 words or two minutes long.

Experiences gathered through this project will inform the future work of the Law Society’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee and the Indigenous Advisory Committee. Experiences will also be shared with the profession.

We will contact you to confirm receipt of your submission. Before we share your experience in any public format, we will confirm your consent to do so. For that reason, participants are required to provide an email address.

In order to be considered for this project, submissions must not include:

    • identifying information, including names, places of employment or any other identifying feature of any other individuals or organizations without their consent; or
    • profanity.

Submissions for the “My Experience” Project will close on October 30, 2020. Questions about the project can be directed to the Law Society’s Communications department.

Assist Support for My Experience Participants

The Law Society has partnered with the Alberta Lawyers’ Assistance Society (Assist) to offer their support services for lawyers and students participating in this project. There are three types of support available:

    1. Peer Support: A member of the Assist team will connect you with culturally appropriate peer support. Call 1-877-737-5508 (Monday to Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
    2. Professional Counselling: As part of Assist’s confidentiality protocol, the Assist office does not receive any information about the identity of individuals who contact the psychological services office. Your call will go directly to Forbes Psychological Services Ltd. Call 1-877-498-6898 (Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
    3. Crisis Counselling 24/7: Please follow the prompts to be connected to the psychologist handling crisis calls. Call 1-877-498-6898 (24/7)

Use of Assist’s programs is confidential. Psychologists are subject to their profession’s confidentiality duties, and peer support volunteers are trained in confidentiality and ethical obligations — see more information.