May Upcoming Legal Events

 LESA Update, News  Comments Off on May Upcoming Legal Events
May 012017

May Upcoming Legal Events

Discover what legal events are coming up this May, from LESA programs, to CPLED, and more.

LESA Programming

Civil Advocacy Series: Evidence | Edmonton, May 2 | Calgary, May 4
Every litigator requires honed skills to effectively lead evidence at trial. Develop practical and effective techniques to adduce evidence in support of your cause of action and requested relief. View the brochure for more details.

Corporate Procedure Fundamentals | Edmonton, May 3 | Calgary, May 10
Discuss how corporations are distinguished from other structures, review basic corporate practices and procedures, and learn how to maintain a minute book (including how to properly fix an out-of-date one). Read the brochure for more information.

Talent Management | Lake Louise, May 6
Proficiency in talent management is vital to the success of any law practice. Explore strategies for recruiting and retaining top talent, developing high-performance teams, mitigating burnout risks, and minimizing staff turnover. View the brochure to learn more.

50th Annual Refresher: Practice Excellence | Lake Louise, May 7–9
Deepen your substantive legal knowledge in civil litigation, family law, transactions (real estate and business), or wills and estates. Leverage powerful tips to strengthen your practice, and connect with top practitioners from across Alberta. View the brochure for program details.

Cultural Competence, Diversity, and Inclusion | Calgary, May 11 | Edmonton, May 12
Canada’s population has become increasingly diverse, which affects all members of the legal community. Increase your cultural competence skills, develop bias awareness, and identify potential cultural awareness blind spots. Read the brochure for details.

Mediation of Family & Divorce Conflicts | Calgary, May 15–19
Mediation is increasingly important in the practice of family law. This in-depth program provides over 40 hours of intensive, hands-on skills training and is recognized by collaborative law associations in Alberta. Read the brochure to learn more. Note: This seminar is full. Register online to join the waitlist.

Personal Property Security and Debt Recovery Essentials | Edmonton, May 17 | Calgary, May 24
Review recent developments, discuss key issues and procedures, and examine common challenges in personal property security and debt recovery. Read the brochure for more information.

Foreclosures Fundamentals | Edmonton, May 18 | Calgary, May 23
Review the substantive and procedural issues framing the foreclosure process, including orders, priorities that arise in a foreclosure context, and available options. Read the brochure for program details.


The registration deadline for the 2017/2018 CPLED Program year is May 31, 2017. Click here to complete your online application. Students who do not apply by this date are subject to a non-refundable late filing fee.

Visit our CPLED for Students page for more information, or contact Craig Edhart, Student Coordinator.

Legal Community Events

Association des jurists d’expression française de l’Alberta (AJEFA)

The Early Bird registration deadline for AJEFA’s Annual Banquet and General Meeting is May 18. Click here to learn more about these meetings, including dates, speakers, pricing, and more.

Durvile Publications’
More Tough Crimes: True Cases by Canadian Judges & Criminal Lawyers

The third book in Durvile Publications’ True Case Series will be available soon. More Tough Crimes: True Cases by Canadian Judges & Criminal Lawyers is scheduled for release on May 31, 2017. Click here to learn more about book release receptions and how to pre-order your copy.

Alberta Lawyers’ Assistance Society (ASSIST)

Assist has partnered with the Chartered Professional Accountants’ (CPA) Assistance program to offer a series featuring celebrity speakers on the importance of mental health in the legal profession. Members of the legal community, support staff, and guests are invited to the Elevate Dinner featuring guest speaker, Margaret Trudeau on May 30 (Edmonton) and May 31 (Calgary). Click here for more information.

Apr 032017

April Upcoming Legal Events

Discover what legal events are coming up this April, from LESA programming, to CPLED, and more.

LESA Programming

Child and Spousal Support 2017 | Edmonton, April 4 | Calgary, April 11
Gain an in-depth understanding of child and spousal support. Learn about the latest support developments, and discover practical strategies for addressing challenging issues. View the brochure for more details.

Estate Litigation Fundamentals | Edmonton, April 5 | Calgary, April 12
Cover the fundamentals of estate litigation and court practice, from applications, to chambers, to trial. Analyze common issues, and discover practical litigation strategies. Read the brochure for more information.

Rules of Court 2017 | Edmonton April, 6 | Calgary, April 20
Concrete knowledge of the Rules of Court is critical for every litigator. Revisit the “must-know” rules (including updates you might have missed), and discover practical tips for running effective litigation files. View the brochure to learn more.

Client Relationship Essentials | Edmonton, April 18
Clients are the foundation of most legal practices. Explore proven strategies and innovative ideas for developing strong relationships and communicating effectively with clients, for working effectively with challenging clients, and for exceeding client expectations. View the brochure for program details.

Family Law: Chambers Advocacy and Practice Pointers | Red Deer, April 21
In family law, critical points of dispute are frequently resolved in chambers. Discover insightful approaches to successful chambers advocacy and practice-oriented tips to use in addressing common issues that arise in chambers applications. Read the brochure for details.


The reserve period for the 2016/2017 CPLED Program year is now underway. Contact Craig Edhart, Student Coordinator for more information or visit our CPLED for Students page.

Legal Community Events

The National Privacy and Data Governance Congress is happening this April 5–7 in Calgary. This year’s Congress theme – A World of Change – will focus on the most critical and timely privacy and data protection issues facing organizations today: those that foretell significant consequences for employers, employees, and policy makers. Read the agenda for details on this year’s Congress content.

The Alberta Lawyers’ Assistance Society (ASSIST)
ASSIST is holding their Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, April 5. Click here for more details.
• Assist’s New Parents’ Peer Support session runs in Edmonton on April 11. This free-of-cost session gives new and expecting parents the opportunity to discuss their journeys while juggling the demands of practicing law. Click here for more details.

March Upcoming Legal Events

 Calgary, CPLED, Edmonton, Legal News: Alberta, News, Upcoming Seminars  Comments Off on March Upcoming Legal Events
Mar 012017

March Upcoming Legal Events

This month, we’ve got a variety of upcoming legal events to offer Alberta’s legal community. Discover what programs we have to offer, learn important dates for the upcoming 2017/2018 CPLED Program year, and more.

LESA Programming

Capacity and Influence | EDMONTON: March 1, 2017 | CALGARY: March 8, 2017

Feel empowered to act appropriately when confronted with capacity or influence “red flags”. Learn how to assess capacity, recognize signs of influence or control, and determine which steps to take in those circumstances. Read the program brochure for more details. Register online today.

Buying and Selling a Business | EDMONTON: March 2, 2017 | CALGARY: March 9, 2017

Tackle issues and questions confidently, including pre-transaction considerations, structuring hybrid asset/share deals, and potential tax implications that arise in the purchase or sale of a private business. Get more details, and register online today.

Top 10+ (Things Every Lawyer Should Know) | EDMONTON: March 4, 2017

Lawyers are often called on to answer legal questions by clients, family, and friends in areas of practice outside their area of expertise. Learn how to competently answer the most common questions raised in multiple practice areas. Read the program brochure for more information. Register online today.

Drafting Wills and Trusts | CALGARY: March 7, 2017

Clear and concise language is critical when drafting wills and trusts. Improve your drafting skills, understand how to appropriately incorporate plain language, discuss common challenges, and review situation-specific sample clauses. Read the program brochure for details. Register online today.

Real Estate Essentials | EDMONTON: March 10, 2017 | CALGARY: March 17, 2017

Analyze common issues and mistakes, and discuss best practices for real estate matters. Learn practical tips to avoid Land Titles rejections, and to deal with trust conditions and trust accounting issues. Read the program brochure for more information. Register online today.

Intersection of Family and Criminal Law | CALGARY: March 11, 2017 | EDMONTON: March 18, 2017

Criminal issues sometimes arise in family law matters. Learn about protection orders, domestic violence issues, and cyber-related offences as they relate to custody, parenting, and reconciliation. Get program details, and register online today.

Immigration Fundamentals | CALGARY: March 14, 2017 | EDMONTON: March 23, 2017

Build a foundation in immigration law. Examine the basics of temporary study and work permits, the express entry program, family class immigration and refugee applications, and immigrant settlement procedures. Read the program brochure for more details. Register online today.


2017/2018 CPLED ProgramRegistration for the 2017/2018 year opens today. You can view the CPLED Program Key Dates for details about when the face-to-face sessions and online modules are running.

The registration deadline is May 31, 2017. Students who do not apply by this date are subject to a non-refundable late filing fee.

Visit our CPLED for Students website to find out what to expect from the CPLED Program and for other key information.

If you have any additional questions about the CPLED Program or the registration process, contact LESA’s Student Coordinator, Craig Edhart direct: 780.969.3554 or by email.

Legal Community Events


Alberta Lawyers' Assistance Society

  • LESA is proud to sponsor the upcoming Hand-to-Hand event featuring Olympian Clara Hughes on March 8, 2017. Join the Alberta Lawyers’ Assistance Society, CPA Assist, and the U of A Faculty of Law for an evening with Clara Hughes that will inspire you to live your best life. Click here for more details.
  • On March 8 from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM, attend the free-of-cost New Parents’ Peer Support session. Discuss both the benefits and challenges of your journey while juggling the demands of practicing law with other new and expecting parents. Get more details.

2017 Summer Student Positions Available

 LESA Update, News  Comments Off on 2017 Summer Student Positions Available
Feb 072017

Top 70 Alberta Employers 2016

LESA is now hiring 2017 summer students. We’re looking for current law students who have completed at least 1 year of law school.

Benefits & Expectations

Join our innovative, dynamic organization and make a meaningful contribution to the legal community as part of our LESA team.

Gain experience and knowledge in key areas of law while refining your research and writing skills. Get the opportunity to work with LESA’s Legal team to research, write, review, and update LESA’s print publications and online resources. You will also have the opportunity to contribute here – on LESA’s blog.

Value of Being a LESA Summer Student

As one of Alberta’s Top 70 Employers in 2016, LESA is a great place to work. One of our past summer students – Kelsey Dick – knows this first hand, joining LESA’s Legal team in the fall of 2015. Here’s what she had to say about working as a LESA summer student.

What did you enjoy about being a LESA summer student?

It allows you to stay involved in legal work during the summer and keep up-to-date on changes in the law, in an office atmosphere that is relaxed and friendly. Plus, LESA’s staff are wonderful to work with and always willing to help.”

What did you get to learn while working at LESA that you may not have learned elsewhere?

While summer students don’t have access to the CPLED Program materials, you do have the opportunity to work alongside the people involved with the program, so you can gain a better understanding of what CPLED is, how it works, and what LESA does. I think this is really beneficial as a student before starting the bar admission program, as it makes the CPLED Program a little less intimidating when you start articling.”

How did working at LESA as a summer student help shape your future career trajectory and opportunities?

It allows you to see the different opportunities available in the legal field, outside of the traditional firm career path. One of the real benefits of choosing a legal career is that it opens up a lot of doors to different employment opportunities. After I finished my law degree, I articled and worked at a large Edmonton law firm for a few years. I was interested in making a change around the same time LESA was looking for another lawyer to join their staff, and … I am now a Staff Lawyer at LESA.”

Want to learn more about the kind of work LESA summer students do? Check out what last year’s law students, Angela Beierbach and Katie Moore enjoyed about spending a summer with us.

Apply Now

View the job posting for complete details about the 2017 summer student positions. If you’re interested in joining the LESA team, apply by February 24, 2017 to Chris Mendez.

February Upcoming Legal Events

 Calgary, Edmonton, LESA Update, News, Upcoming Seminars  Comments Off on February Upcoming Legal Events
Feb 012017

Monthly Upcoming Legal Events
January is over, but February is brimming with exciting legal events. Find out what’s going on in Alberta’s legal community this month.

LESA Programming


Interviewing & Advising begins the week of February 6 in both Calgary and Edmonton. This face-to-face session is a mandatory part of the CPLED Program.

The Client Relationship Management online module begins on February 16 and will run until March 9.

Click here for CPLED Program info and key dates.

Volunteer Spotlight – Michael Kraus QC

 LESA Update, Volunteer Profile  Comments Off on Volunteer Spotlight – Michael Kraus QC
Jan 252017

Volunteers are integral to our success here at LESA. That’s why we like to take the time to thank our LESA volunteers for dedicating their time, talent, and energy in the mutual pursuit of continuing legal excellence.

There are many ways we thank our volunteers, from appreciation programs – such as this year’s program Cultural Competence, Diversity, and Inclusion – to brochures, and feature articles on our blog. While we would love to feature every one of our volunteers, this time we’ve chosen to give Michael Kraus QC the spotlight.

Michael has been involved with LESA for more than 15 years, during which he has been a program panelist many times and a CPLED instructor for various modules.

We recently interviewed Michael to learn a bit more about him, his practice, and why he is inspired to volunteer at LESA.

Happy reading!

Volunteer Spotlight: Michael Kraus QCQ: Can you tell me a bit about your practice?

A: I have been a lawyer since 1990. During the first 10 years or so of my career, I practiced in just about every area of the law that you can imagine. Over the last 15 years or so, I have become so busy practicing family law, that family law is all I do at the present time. It helps that I am at an excellent firm, Emery Jamieson LLP, so clients who need other types of work done can be serviced by other lawyers at my firm.

Q: How did you become interested in Law?

A: I became interested in the law when I was a student. During my undergraduate studies, I had to make an important decision. I was also interested in academics. I had to decide whether to pursue an academic career or legal career. I decided to go to law school and to pursue a career as a lawyer in private practice. I have had no regrets about that decision.

Q: How did you get into your practice area?

A: There was a stigma about family law in law school and the stigma still exists today to some extent among lawyers. When I was a young lawyer, I was given the opportunity to practice family law because the lawyers that I worked with often did not want files in that area. To their surprise – and perhaps even to my surprise – I very much enjoyed the challenges of practicing in the family law area. I enjoy the type of work that I do and the people that I deal with including clients, experts, and other lawyers. I have nothing but good things to say about the practice of family law, well almost nothing.

Q: Can you tell me about your involvement as a volunteer at LESA?

A: I have been a volunteer with LESA for over 15 years. I have been fortunate to participate in many different capacities, including being a program panelist, competency evaluator, and instructor. When CPLED was known as the Bar Admission Course, I was a Family Law instructor. Since the Bar Admission Course became CPLED, I have instructed Oral Advocacy, Interviewing and Advising, as well as Professional Responsibility.

Q: How do you enjoy your time outside of the office?

A: The practice of family law can be very demanding, as with other practice areas. Balance and outside interests are important. I volunteer with other professional and community organizations. I like to ski, mountain bike, travel, and golf. I am also considering making a comeback to resume my men’s league hockey career. Most importantly, I like to spend time with my family. My wife, Lori, and I have been married for over 20 years, and we have three wonderful children.

Q: Do you have any advice to give a newly called lawyer?

A: I would encourage newly called lawyers to work, if possible, in diverse practice areas. The experience of being exposed to and working hard in many areas of the law will make them better lawyers in the future. Even if some of the time they spend getting up-to-speed is not billable, the trade off is worth it. They will learn what areas of the law they like and those they do not like. They can then choose what type of a career to pursue.

Q: What would you tell someone who may be considering volunteering at LESA?

A: If you have an opportunity to volunteer with LESA, I would encourage you to do so. There are many benefits of volunteering with LESA. There is a learning component, which is very important. There is the satisfaction of being recognized and knowing that others may have benefited. There is also a social element. You will get the opportunity to interact with LESA staff, with students, and with other practitioners. All of these benefits are very rewarding.

Thank you to each and every one of our LESA volunteers. Your continued service to the profession has built the foundation of LESA’s reputation for excellence in legal education.

We’re proud to have you as our partners in continuing legal excellence!


Important Changes to LESA’s CPLED Team

 CPLED, LESA Update, News  Comments Off on Important Changes to LESA’s CPLED Team
Jan 182017


The New Year has brought changes to LESA’s CPLED team; our former Education Coordinator, Bronwyn Connolly, has officially gone on maternity leave.

We are happy to inform you that as of January 2, 2017, Ashley Iachetta (previously the CPLED Student Coordinator) became LESA’s new CPLED Education Coordinator. Ashley is now the primary point of contact for all Learning Group Evaluators (LGEs) and Learning Group Facilitators (LGFs).

In addition, Kathy Fortier (our current Meeting & Relations Coordinator) has taken over some of the CPLED Education Coordinator responsibilities. She is now the primary point of contact for CPLED Face-to-Face Instructors and Evaluators.

Furthermore, Craig Edhart has taken on the role of CPLED Student Coordinator, and is now the primary point of contact for all student-related matters.

Contact our office at 780.420.1987 if you have any questions.

Monthly Upcoming Legal Events

 Calgary, Edmonton, LESA Update, News, Upcoming Seminars  Comments Off on Monthly Upcoming Legal Events
Jan 022017

Monthly Upcoming Legal Events

Find out what’s going on in Alberta’s legal community this month.

January Programs

Effective Legal Support

Explore strategies with program chair Michelle D. Millard for getting (and staying) organized, efficiently prioritizing, using office technology more effectively, and for providing more meaningful support overall.
Edmonton (January 17).
Calgary (January 19).

View the program brochure for more details.


Oral Advocacy and Professional Responsibility begins the week of January 2 in Calgary and the week of January 9 in Edmonton. This face-to-face session is a mandatory part of the CPLED Program.

Legal Community Events

Alberta Lawyers’ Assistance Society (Assist): Peer Support Training

Give back to the legal community by getting involved in a volunteer peer role to provide confidential help to lawyers, law students, and their immediate families with personal issues.

Join Assist’s Peer Support Training Session on January 28 in Calgary. Click here for more information.

2016 Reflection and Holiday Office Closure

 LESA Update, News  Comments Off on 2016 Reflection and Holiday Office Closure
Dec 202016

Reflection and Holiday Office Closure

The holiday season is a special time – a time to reflect and thank all of our staff and volunteers for their hard work and dedication serving Alberta’s legal community.

LESA thanks the hundreds of devoted volunteers who have shared their time and expertise while working with us this year. Your contribution and genuine intent to give back to the profession is truly appreciated.

The commitment of our staff and volunteers has resulted in a successful 2016 year for LESA.

  • The 2016/2017 CPLED Program has held 4 online modules and 3 face-to-face sessions so far, with over 470 registered students.
  • We offered 38 continuing professional development programs in the areas of business law, criminal law, real estate, litigation, family law, wills and estates, as well as programs designed for legal support staff.
  • In its first year of operation, the LESA Library has proved to be a great success. More than $6,000 worth of seminar papers have been uploaded, various Practice Manuals and Fundamentals Series have been updated, and audio recordings from some of our top live events have been made available to more than 490 LESA Library users.

From all of us at LESA, thank you for your support in 2016. We wish you a happy holiday season and a prosperous new year!

LESA will close for the holidays at 4:30 PM on December 23, 2016 and will re-open January 2, 2017.

We look forward to welcoming you back at LESA in January!

November Upcoming Legal Events

 Calgary, Edmonton, LESA Update, News, Resource, Upcoming Seminars  Comments Off on November Upcoming Legal Events
Nov 022016

Monthly Upcoming Legal Events

October is over, but there are many upcoming legal events in November that LESA couldn’t be more excited about. Find out what’s going on in Alberta’s legal community this month.

LESA Programming


Negotiations & Practice Fundamentals begins the week of October 31 in Calgary and the week of November 7 in Edmonton. This face-to-face session is a mandatory part of the CPLED Program.

The deadline to commence the CPLED program for the 2016/2017 year ends December 1. Click here for CPLED Program info and key dates.

Legal Community: News & Events

Alberta Lawyers’ Assistance Society (Assist)
  • Healthy Habits Lunch (Edmonton): Join the Alberta Lawyers’ Assistance Society (Assist) and U of A law students on November 16 for an educational lunch, and learn about healthy habits that will help improve the law school experience. Click here for more details.
  • Speaker Series: Former NHL Goaltender Chris Malarchuk. In partnership with the Chartered Professional Accountants’ (CPA) Assistance program, Assist will be holding 2 Speaker Series events in November (Calgary November 23) and (Edmonton November 24).These sessions will feature engaging speakers who will be addressing topics on mental health and wellness for professionals. Click here for more details.
  • AssistFit: Barre Body. Join Assist in Calgary on November 26 for this low-impact, energizing workout that combines the movements of yoga, pilates, and dance. Click here for more details.
Canadian Bar Association (CBA)
  • CPR-C Training (Adult, Child & Infant Course): Calgary (November 26). In partnership with the Assist and Peak Safety Services, CBA is holding a CPR training for CBA members and other members of the legal community (including non-CBA members). The CPR course covers all aspects of CPR skills and theory for adult, child, and infant victims. Click here for more details.
Edmonton Community Legal Centre (ECLC)
  • Volunteer Appreciation Christmas Party (Edmonton): Join the festivities with ECLC board, staff, and friends on November 24, and help celebrate the contributions of ECLC volunteers with snacks and wine. RSVP here for your spot by November 17.