Distinguished Service Awards

 Legal News: Alberta, News  Comments Off on Distinguished Service Awards
Nov 282016

Distinguished Service Awards 2017Distinguished Service Awards 2017

Nominations for the 2017 Distinguished Service Awards are due this Wednesday, November 30, 2016. 

These prestigious awards, presented by the Law Society of Alberta and the Canadian Bar Association – Alberta, recognize Alberta lawyers for the remarkable contributions they provide.


If you are a member of the legal profession, you may be eligible to submit a nomination in one of the following four categories:

  1. Legal Scholarship
  2. Pro Bono Legal Service
  3. Service to the Community
  4. Service to the Profession

The awards are chosen by a selection committee comprised of Law Society and Canadian Bar Association – Alberta Branch representatives and members of the legal/academic community. Awards recipients are chosen based on the following selection criteria:

  • role model for other lawyers,
  • dedication,
  • results achieved,
  • creativity,
  • initiative,
  • individual achievement,
  • obstacles overcome,
  • significance of achievement,
  • impact, and
  • effective contribution to the role of law in society.

Additional Information

Don’t miss the opportunity to be recognized for your hard work and dedication to Alberta’s legal community. Click here for more information.

If you have questions or concerns, contact:
Distinguished Service Awards
Canadian Bar Association – Alberta Branch
710, 777 – 8 Avenue SW
Calgary, AB T2P 3R5
P: 403.263.3707, F: 403.265.8581



Update on Advance Care Planning Survey

 Legal News: Alberta, News  Comments Off on Update on Advance Care Planning Survey
Oct 282016

Advance Care Planning Collaborative Research & Innovation Opportunities Program

The Advance Care Planning Collaborative Research and Innovation Opportunities research program (ACP CRIO) greatly appreciates the support of the legal community – including LESA, the Law Society, and CBA – for this survey.

Thank you for providing information about ACP in your practices, barriers to assisting clients with ACP, and resources that might address these barriers.

These results have implications for practice change and greater interprofessional collaboration between the medical and legal communities. This infographic summarizes our preliminary findings and proposed next steps. Our final results and publications relating to the survey will be posted on www.acpcrio.org. We are planning to launch this survey in three additional provinces and in Australia in the coming year.


June 2016 Upcoming Legal Events

 Calgary, Edmonton, LESA Update, News, Upcoming Seminars  Comments Off on June 2016 Upcoming Legal Events
Jun 012016

June 2016 Upcoming Legal events

June Programs

Find out what programs and events are coming up in June 2016, including the last programs offered by LESA in the 2015/2016 educational year!

Criminal Law 25

Register online to attend in Calgary (June 3) or in Edmonton (June 10).

Issues in the area of criminal law are multifaceted and increasingly complex. Gain insight from multiple perspectives, including the Judiciary, Crown, and Defence, and learn the practical considerations one must take into account where court interpretation becomes a quandary at Criminal Law 25.

Read our blog with seminar chair the Honourable Justice R.P. Belzil for more details, including why this program is valuable.

The Constitution in the Insolvency Tool Box

Register online to attend in Edmonton (June 9).

How do insolvency proceedings interfere with a regulator’s powers under provincial legislation? How have recent Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decisions shaped the paramountcy doctrine? How has the priority ranking of creditors been molded by constitutional doctrine? Find out all of this and more at the Constitution in the Insolvency Tool Box!

Check out our blog with seminar co-chair Dr. Anna Lund for more details, including a sneak preview of her discussion topic.

34th Annual Intensive Advocacy

Register online to attend in Calgary (June 13 – 18).

There is 1 spot available in the 34th Annual intensive Advocacy program! Don’t miss the opportunity to attend the most intensive advocacy skills course for litigators in Western Canada. Learn how to examine-in-chief, cross-examine, object to improper questions, enter exhibits, and much more!

Visit our blog with experienced panelist Tim Mavko for more details, including a sneak peek of what this week-long workshop has to offer.

ESILaw Boot Camp

Register online to attend in Edmonton (June 13) or in Calgary (June 14).

Are you a timekeeper, bookkeeper, firm administrator, or lawyer looking to enhance your ESILaw skills? If so, join us for the ESILaw Boot Camp! Discover valuable tools and learn time saving tips for managing clients, producing comprehensive reports, covering year end procedures, and more!

Read our blog with experienced faculty member Cathy Boyd to find out what you can expect from this program.


LESA is currently recruiting facilitators and evaluators for both the 7 online modules and the 3 face-to-face sessions that comprise the CPLED program. Please note that CPLED facilitators and evaluators must have a minimum 4 years at the bar.

Visit our blog for more information, including how you can get involved! Questions? Contact LESA’s Education Coordinator, Bronwyn Connolly.

Legal Community Events

Annual AJEFA Banquet and Meeting

The Association des jurists d’expression française de l’Alberta (AJEFA) is hosting their Annual Banquet and General Meeting on June 10, at the Derrick Golf & Winter Club in Edmonton.

Check out our blog for more information, including discussion topics, speakers, ticket pricing, and more!


If you are looking for a way to help those affected by the Fort McMurray wildfires, we invite you to join Pro Bono Law Alberta(PBLA), Legal Aid Alberta(LAA), the Law Society of Alberta (LSA), the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) and pro bono clinics across the province to assist Fort McMurray residents through a one-day Fort McMurray Dial-a-Lawyer initiative.

Read our blog to find out how you can get involved!

University of Alberta Alumni & Friends of the Faculty of Law Association: Life After Articling

The University of Alberta Alumni and Friends of the Faculty of Law Association are hosting a dinner seminar for current CPLED students and junior lawyers. Life After Articling: Succeeding as a Junior Lawyer dinner seminar is part of the, Law Alumni & Friends “Pizza and Practice” series.

Read our blog for event details!

If you want LESA’s help to raise awareness about an upcoming event relevant to the Alberta legal community, contact Andrea Maltais, Communications Coordinator.
780.969.0555 or andrea.maltais@lesa.org

Support Fort McMurray with Your Legal Skills

 Calgary, Edmonton, Legal News: Alberta, News, Volunteer  Comments Off on Support Fort McMurray with Your Legal Skills
May 312016

Dial-a-Lawyer Initiative

If you are looking for a way to help those affected by the Fort McMurray wildfires, we invite you to join Pro Bono Law Alberta (PBLA), Legal Aid Alberta (LAA), the Law Society of Alberta (LSA), the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), and pro bono clinics across the province to assist Fort McMurray residents through a one-day Fort McMurray Dial-a-Lawyer initiative.


The Dial-a-Lawyer Initiative aims to provide legal information and advice concerning issues arising from the wildfires to residents of Fort McMurray and surrounding areas. This event will be held on Saturday, June 11, from 9:30AM – 3:30PM, and will be conducted in both Edmonton and Calgary from Legal Aid’s offices.


Volunteers are needed to give advice in the following areas:

  • Insurance;
  • Employment;
  • Landlord-tenant;
  • Family; and
  • Immigration (temporary foreign workers).

Volunteers can participate in half-day shifts (9:30AM – 12:30PM & 12:30 – 3:30PM) or for the full day (lunch and refreshments provided by the CBA).


If you or your colleagues would like to volunteer, please navigate to the volunteer portal. For technical assistance with registration, please contact Lee-Anne Wright.

If you want LESA’s help to raise awareness about an upcoming event relevant to the Alberta legal community, contact Andrea Maltais, Communications Coordinator.
780.969.0555 or andrea.maltais@lesa.org

LESA Turns 40!

 LESA Update  Comments Off on LESA Turns 40!
Nov 192015

LESA is celebrating 40 years!LESA is celebrating a special milestone today – our 40th anniversary as an organization!

The Legal Education Society of Alberta was incorporated as a non-profit society 40 years ago today, on November 19, 1975. Today’s blog will take you through a brief history of our first 40 years. Enjoy the travel back in time!

A Brief History

In 1964, the Law Society of Alberta arranged the first bar admission courses in Alberta – a decision that eventually led to the creation of LESA, when, in 1975, the Law Society identified overlap between its own bar admission activities and the professional development opportunities provided by CBA Alberta. To streamline these efforts, the Law Society recommended establishing an independent organization that would facilitate both bar admission courses and continuing legal education for the profession.

Peter Owen QC served as LESA’s first Executive Director from 1976–1979, locating LESA’s offices in downtown Edmonton in order to be close to those practicing in the profession. When William Galloway took the job of Executive Director (which he held until 1983), he worked to develop LESA’s connections in Calgary, where he was located. With offices in both Edmonton and Calgary, program responsibilities were divided between the two locations. Galloway was followed by Professor John Law, who held the office of Executive Director for 9 months. At this time, LESA moved its Edmonton offices into space at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Law.

Next, in 1984, Hugh A. Robertson QC became Executive Director and ushered in a new era of LESA’s growth. He was instrumental in developing LESA’s relationships with other continuing legal education providers, through LESA’s association with groups like ACLEA and the CBA’s International Initiatives. Paul F. Wood QC then succeeded Hugh Robertson in 2008, helping to expand access to LESA’s programs through our Access Bursaries, which offer registration discounts for those who have to travel long distances to attend in-person programs. Jennifer Flynn stepped into the role of LESA’s current Executive Director in 2013, and she has worked tirelessly to expand the availability and quality of LESA’s offerings – both in regards to our live seminars as well as our print and digital resources. One of the most significant recent developments LESA has seen under her watch is the launch of the LESA Library – a comprehensive, online resource – that was opened to the profession on September 30, 2015.

Although its responsibilities, functions, and mandate have evolved over time, LESA continues to maintain relationships with the various organizations involved in its founding. From the beginning, LESA’s Board of Directors has included representatives from other organizations that have an interest in the activities under LESA’s purview, including CBA Alberta, the Law Society, the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary, and other members of the legal community. LESA continues to work with the universities on some of our ongoing programming: the annual Constitutional Law Symposium is held in conjunction with the Centre for Constitutional Studies at the University of Alberta and the Intensive Advocacy program (which is going into its 34th year in 2016) is hosted at the University of Calgary. Our longstanding relationship with the Law Society now sees us deliver the CPLED Program (Alberta’s bar admission program) on their behalf. We also work with them to identify educational needs, including having Practice Advisors speak at our seminars, amongst other things.

LESA’s Mandate

Its original mandate tasked LESA with educating students-at-law and members of the legal profession as well as the general public. Today, LESA continues to focus on providing quality in-person education to the whole range of legal professionals – lawyers, students-at-law, and legal support staff – while also preparing quality resources, in both print and digital formats. In its early days, LESA contributed to public legal education by making its educational resource materials available to other organizations that played a role in educating the public. Through the years, other public legal education efforts involved contributions to a Calgary Herald column (“Legally Speaking”) and a program called Saturday Morning at the Law School (held in both Edmonton and Calgary), but by 1999, public legal education was removed from LESA’s mandate, allowing LESA to focus all of its resources on educating the profession.

Continuing Legal Education – Live Events

The goal of helping practicing lawyers and their support staff refresh their knowledge and update their skills has been at the heart of LESA since the beginning. Even from the start LESA’s seminars have been highly valued by the profession: in 1976/1977 1,650 lawyers participated in our programs, by 1978/1979 that number had already climbed to 2,559 lawyers and 966 paralegals.

In the past few years, LESA’s program offerings have grown substantially, with approximately 3,700 seminar registrants attending an average of 40 distinct programs offered each year (most of which are held in both Edmonton and Calgary, with some programs held in other centres, such as Red Deer and Lethbridge). This year, in 2015/2016, LESA is offering over 45 live events, more than ever before!

CPLED Program – Bar Admission Training

While bar admission training has changed greatly over the years, one thing has remained constant: providing quality education for students-at-law has occupied much of LESA’s time and resources. Today, this training is offered as the CPLED Program, and LESA has several full time staff committed to the program delivery, assisting both the students taking the Program and the lawyers who provide the education in the online and face-to-face modules.

Recent years have seen over 400 students enter the CPLED Program each year, with 2014/2015 boasting a record breaking 478 students. These students complete 3 face-to-face modules, 7 online modules, and 1 online self-study course. This means that each year LESA administers around 1,400 in-person learning exercise, more than 2,500 assignments, and approximately 5,000 competency evaluations, while coordinating roughly 45 learning group facilitators and evaluators.

Educational Resources – Print and Digital

LESA’s first formal publishing venture was single volume Alberta Law for the 80s, a joint project between LESA and Butterworths that eventually turned into a 3 volume publication. By 1986 the publications program had grown large enough to require establishing a Director of Publications position. We have now sold over 5,600 books in our Practice Manual Series – not counting updates – along with thousands of other publications.

Since 2014, LESA has expanded its online resources in two significant ways:

  1. We have grown our Educational Resources to include about 30 offerings – including seminars on demand (that allow viewers to stream video recordings of seminar presenters and download course materials as PDFs) and online courses (that allow users to access information in a self-study module format).
  2. We have launched the LESA Library, an online resource that allows users to access Alberta-specific legal information, anytime, anywhere – all for one low price. Annual subscriptions to the LESA Library provide users with seminar papers as well as Practice Manual series and Fundamental series content (including precedents, checklists, and fillable forms).

To Conclude

There’s so much more we could say about what LESA is doing now and where we have come from in the past, but we’ll wrap things up by saying that we are forever grateful to the volunteers who generously donate their time, knowledge, and abilities to help make our seminars, CPLED Program, and educational resources run smoothly.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the trip down memory lane and learned a thing or two you didn’t know about LESA. Thanks for reading!

Law Day – Saturday, April 18, 2015

 Legal News: Alberta, News  Comments Off on Law Day – Saturday, April 18, 2015
Apr 102015


Did you know that Law Day was introduced by the CBA in 1983 to commemorate the signing of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

This year’s celebrations take place next week on Saturday, April 18.

Together with its various partners, the CBA Alberta branch has organized activities in 10 Alberta communities. Activities vary by city and include exhibits, mock trials, high school mock trial tournaments, courthouse tours, citizenship ceremonies, and more.

As part of Law Day, the Dial-a-Lawyer event is also running on Saturday, April 18. Dial-a-Lawyer is targeted to members of the public who need legal advice and who are unable to get to a courthouse with activities. Volunteer lawyers are taking calls from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm, providing free 15-20 minute consultations, and directing callers to additional resources where necessary.

If you are interested in serving as a Dial-a-Lawyer volunteer, contact Pro Bono Law Alberta’s Deputy Executive Director Kendall Moholitny at kmoholitny@pbla.ca. Make sure you reach out soon, as the list of volunteer lawyers is in the process of being finalized.

See you at the Alberta Law Conference!

 Legal News: Alberta, LESA Update  Comments Off on See you at the Alberta Law Conference!
Jan 282015

ALC logo

The CBA’s annual Alberta Law Conference (ALC) runs in Edmonton at the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald on January 29–30, and LESA is excited to be attending.

Tomorrow morning starts off with 3 plenary sessions:

  • Lawyering in the Future: Where are we Headed?
  • Changing the Conversation: Alternative Business Structures
  • Law and Happiness 101: A Joint Session with the National Judicial Institute

In the afternoon, there are 3 panel presentations to choose from, and Friday’s itinerary features panel presentations throughout the day.

With so many sessions to attend, you’ll want to check out the ALC schedule to learn more about who’s speaking and what issues will be covered. There’s something for everyone: topics include real estate, disaster response, mental health, advocacy outside the courts, the intersection of industrial development and Aboriginal rights, family law, and more.

If you haven’t registered yet, head over to the ALC registration page.

In anticipation of this two day conference, LESA hasn’t held any programing of our own this week, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to see you! Stop by our exhibitor’s booth to say hi to Carolyn and Renee. They’ll be giving away LESA coupons, talking about upcoming programs, and introducing recently available resources. If you have any questions or suggestions about our LESA programing and materials, they’d love to hear from you, and they’ll give you a coupon for stopping by, so don’t be shy.

We hope to see you there!