Updated Eligibility for Mentorship Programs
Since the Law Society’s mentorship programs first launched, every admitted lawyer or articling student in Alberta has been eligible to be a mentee. During COVID, the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED) candidates became eligible to join as well.
Our recent work with internationally trained lawyers has led us to take a closer look at the criteria we used to determine eligibility for these programs.
Internationally trained lawyers who have been called to the bar in Alberta have always been eligible to participate. However, we are expanding the criteria for mentees to include those internationally trained lawyers who are still in the process of being called to the bar. These lawyers have completed their law degrees and have often practised in other jurisdictions for many years before coming to Canada. As professionals, they are confronted with all the written and unwritten rules and traditions of the Canadian legal system. Finding a job can be a challenge, even more so in a new country where they may have few contacts, friends or family members to guide them.
Providing these individuals with access to mentors would support their efforts to integrate into the Canadian legal community and give them critical information and insight into the types of employment they could pursue while they work towards being called to the bar.
Effective immediately, any mentee with a completed law degree who confirms their intention to pursue their legal career in Alberta will be eligible to participate in Mentor Connect, Mentor Express and Table Talks.
This change will allow the Law Society to support the professional development of Canadian-trained lawyers and articling students, lawyers from foreign common law jurisdictions, non-common law jurisdictions such as Ukraine and Afghanistan, and graduates with Civil Law degrees.