The Law Society of Alberta is the self governing body for Alberta’s lawyers. Its authority comes from Alberta’s Legal Profession Act.
The Law Society recognizes the importance of privacy and the sensitivity of personal information it obtains in carrying out its regulatory functions. Personal information is managed in accordance with the Personal Information Protection Act and other applicable laws.
This policy outlines the principles and practices the Law Society follows in administering personal information. It applies to the Law Society and to the Alberta Lawyers’ Insurance Association (“ALIA”), a subsidiary corporation of the Law Society established under the Legal Profession Act. It also applies to anyone providing services on the Law Society’s behalf.
What is personal information?
“Personal information” means information about an identifiable individual, including name, address and phone number, age, gender, identifying numbers, financial information, educational history, and regulatory information.
What personal information does the Law Society collect?
The Law Society collects personal information relevant to regulating lawyers who provide legal services in Alberta. The activities in which personal information is collected include:
- lawyer accreditation and membership, including lawyers practising in Alberta under inter jurisdictional agreements;
- administering insurance matters by ALIA;
- complaints or disciplinary investigations and hearings, which can lead to a reprimand, a fine, the imposition of conditions, a suspension and/or disbarment;
- Assurance Fund investigations and hearings, which can lead to an individual being compensated for funds misappropriated or wrongfully converted by a lawyer;
- auditing of law practice accounts, records, and funds, to assist in the prevention and detection of misuse of client funds;
- practice review proceedings and investigations;
- good character hearings, including any necessary investigations;
- applications for reinstatement by disbarred, suspended and inactive members, including investigations; and
- the investigation and prosecution of cases involving the unauthorized practice of law.
The Law Society usually collects personal information from the subject of the information. It may collect information from other sources with permission or as authorized by law.
When the Law Society collects personal information directly from an individual, it will inform the individual of the purposes for which it is collecting the information, except when the individual voluntarily provides the information for an obvious purpose.