2016/2017 CPLED Opportunities

 CPLED, LESA Update, News  Comments Off on 2016/2017 CPLED Opportunities
May 132016

2016/2017 CPLED OpportunitiesEach year, LESA partners with experienced legal professionals to host Alberta’s bar admission CPLED Program. We’ve already had more than 335 students apply for the 2016/2017 CPLED year, and we’re still taking applications. Having this many students means we need a lot of support from Alberta’s legal community to help the CPLED Program run smoothly. That’s why today’s blog shares upcoming CPLED opportunities that you can get involved with.

One of the CPLED Program goals is to help students develop entry-level lawyer competencies. As such, LESA recruits facilitators – who provide feedback to students in preparation for their competency evaluations – and evaluators – who grade these final submissions.

The desire to help new, aspiring lawyers develop their competencies is one reason why more seasoned lawyers choose to be a part of the program. If you’re one of those lawyers who wants to give back, you’re in luck – LESA has plenty of CPLED opportunities to fill.

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 (see the 2016/2017 Key Dates).

Online Modules

Each online module is open for 3 weeks.

Learning Group Facilitators (LGFs) commit about 10–20 hours a week to CPLED while the module is open, including time spent providing feedback on assignments. LGFs monitor the progress of their learning group (usually 18–20 students) and interact with students through an online learning management platform. The responsibilities of LGFs include:

  • preparing for each module;
  • facilitating online discussions;
  • responding to student questions;
  • reviewing weekly student submissions; and
  • providing feedback.

Learning Group Evaluators (LGEs) grade approximately 30–40 competency evaluations (final submissions). LGE duties conclude approximately 2 weeks after a module closes.

Both LGFs and LGEs are provided with mandatory training to explain the duties and expectations of their roles. Additional module-specific LGF training occurs about a week before each module opens.

Face-to-Face Sessions

Each face-to-face session runs over 3 or 4 days in Edmonton and Calgary, and individual volunteers usually commit 1 day of their time to the CPLED Program. LGFs help guide discussion and answer questions on teaching and learning exercise days, and LGEs grade final assessments on competency evaluation days.

LESA provides training materials and a pre-session conference call to ensure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities.

Apply for CPLED Opportunities

Please note: CPLED facilitators and evaluators must have a minimum 4 years at the bar.

If you would like to get involved, complete the applicable application form(s).

Separate application forms must be completed for face-to-face and online modules. Send all inquiries and application forms to Bronwyn Connolly at bronwyn.connolly@lesa.org.

If you are currently on our face-to-face volunteer list but would no longer like to be contacted, please email Bronwyn Connolly (bronwyn.connolly@lesa.org), and we will remove your name.

LESA recruits experienced members of the Alberta legal profession as facilitators and evaluators. These individuals are critical to delivering a highly-valued educational experience and defensible, high-stakes competency evaluations. In scheduling facilitators and evaluators, considerations include optimal fit, diversity, program sustainability, and a desire to create a rewarding experience for all involved. LESA strives to consider a mix of demographics, practice areas, practice contexts (e.g. private practice, government, in-house, etc.), firm size, geographical locations, learning styles, experiences, abilities, and perspectives. LESA values the contributions of seasoned LGFs; it also strives to create opportunities for new LGFs. This approach supports long-term sustainability and avoids overburdening a limited subset of individuals.

Feature Learning Group Facilitator: Donna Moore

 LESA Update  Comments Off on Feature Learning Group Facilitator: Donna Moore
Feb 182014

Donna MooreLearning Group Facilitators (LGFs) and Learning Group Evaluators (LGEs) provide valuable assistance and feedback to articling students in the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED) Program. Each year, LESA recruits approximately 40 experienced members of the Alberta legal profession to become LGFs/LGEs.

Donna Moore is one of the LGF/LGEs recruited in 2007. She was called to the Bar in Saskatchewan in 1997, in Alberta in 2004 and in British Columbia in 2009, and she currently practises Aboriginal law and litigation at Eagle Law Group near Calgary on the Tsuu T’ina Nation.

Donna decided to volunteer with the CPLED Program after working as a graduate student lecturer and sessional lecturer at the University of Saskatchewan while she was working on a Masters in Sociology and attending the College of Law. She was also a board member of the Public Legal Education Program in Saskatchewan and active in community legal education, so it seemed natural for her to get involved with LESA when she came to Alberta.

“When I moved to Alberta, I started looking around for similar opportunities to share and give back. When a colleague of mine mentioned that the Bar Admission Program (now CPLED Program) was looking for people, I contacted LESA immediately,” shares Donna.

One of the things Donna enjoys most about working with CPLED students is engaging with the learners.

“I see how they explore issues and analysis in different ways. When we introduce ourselves to our learning group at the start of a new module, I ask for a reply with a little bit about them in it. I enjoy hearing about their lives, education, families, children, and articling experiences. Many are happy to share, and I read about long days, triumphs, stresses and new babies. The learners’ ideas, perspectives, and hard work inspire me. I have been doing this for a long time now, and so I get to ‘see’ them develop in their careers, and I am proud of the work CPLED does in shaping excellent lawyers.”

Donna also appreciates the connections and support she gets from the CPLED community.

“CPLED has continually grown and improved since I started as an LGF/LGE, and I am excited for what is yet to come.”

Thank you to Donna Moore and all our LGFs and LGEs who volunteer their time to the CPLED Program.

If you are interested in volunteering as a LGF/LGE, contact Bronwyn Connolly at bronwyn.connolly@lesa.org.


Written Advice and Advocacy Online Module

 LESA Update  Comments Off on Written Advice and Advocacy Online Module
Dec 192013

CPLED students will begin their fifth online module on January 16, 2014. As suggested by the name, the Written Advice and Advocacy online module will give students a chance to improve their communication skills.

Learning Group Facilitator (LGF) Marcy Krafft of Arch Insurance Canada has been a lawyer for 11 years and for a LGF for five years. Written Advice and Advocacy online module is one of the courses that she has experience facilitating, and she believes it can have positive impact on students.

“I think the Written Advice and Advocacy module provides a very practical and realistic scenario allowing learners to showcase their communication skills.”

This is important because lawyers can have challenges in communicating at a level appropriate for their audience. But, according to Marcy, the Written Advice and Advocacy online module, “provides students with valuable tools to hone those skills and to avoid the use of legalese and complex language while communicating legal advice and information.”

Thanks to Marcy and all our LGFs and LGEs. The CPLED Program wouldn’t be the same without you!

 If you have questions about the Written Advice and Advocacy online module or the CPLED Program in general, please contact Student Coordinator Amanda Properzi.

Feature Learning Group Facilitator: Donna Hallett

 LESA Update  Comments Off on Feature Learning Group Facilitator: Donna Hallett
Dec 172013

cpled-logo2010-newThe Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED) Program delivers pre-call training to articling students each year. A significant portion of the program is delivered online with the assistance and feedback of Learning Group Facilitators (LGFs) and Learning Group Evaluators (LGEs).

Donna Hallett, experienced lawyer and registered collaborative family lawyer at Getz & Associates in the Town of Strathmore, has been an LGF/LGE for approximately 10 years. She initially got involved because she enjoys teaching and wanted to “give back.” In addition, she realized that it was difficult to accommodate a student’s educational needs in a small firm.

“When a colleague mentioned to me that the Bar Admission Program (now CPLED Program) was looking for LGFs, it seemed like a good fit,” explains Donna.

Over the past decade, what Donna has appreciated most about being an LGF is her interaction with students and others involved in the CPLED Program.

“I enjoy contact with students very much, but I also value the opportunity to interact with the rest of the CPLED community, whether that’s administrative staff, program staff, or other LGF/LGEs.  I know I benefit from seeing students develop their skills, and from the discussion boards and conference calls each module.”

It’s because of the dedication and commitment of LGFs and LGEs like Donna Hallett that CPLED students can gain practical experience as lawyers. LESA is grateful for all the LGFs and LGEs who support the CPLED Program with their time and expertise.

If you are interested in becoming an LGF/LGE, contact Bronwyn Connolly at bronwyn.connolly@lesa.org.


Feature Learning Group Facilitator: Lorrie Adams

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Nov 072013
Lorrie Adams

Learning Group Facilitator
Lorrie Adams

Every year LESA delivers pre-call training through the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED) Program. Articling students receive assistance and feedback in the online environment from Learning Group Facilitators (LGFs) and Learning Group Evaluators (LGEs).

One of LESA’s LGFs is Lorrie Adams. She has been a dedicated LGF/LGE for many years. In fact, Lorrie was involved when it was called the Bar Admission Program and continued to work as a LGF/LGE once the CPLED Program was introduced.

Dedicated Teacher and Learning Group Facilitator

Lorrie was admitted to the bar in 1993 and practiced mainly in insurance litigation with occasional forays into immigration law until about three years ago. It was then that she decided to limit her practice to pro bono work and began teaching business law, civil procedure, employment law and international business transactions at MacEwan University as well as commercial law at Athabasca University. She is also the Chair of the Legal Assistant program at MacEwan University.

As if she is not busy enough teaching at MacEwan University and Athabasca University, Lorrie commits her time to the CPLED Program because she sees it as an opportunity for students to practice and develop their competence in areas that they might not encounter in their articling year. She believes it is important for students to develop a basic level of competence in key practice areas.

“I find that students genuinely appreciate the opportunity the CPLED program gives them to hone their basic practice skills,” explains Lorrie. “Another great thing about the CPLED program is that students have the opportunity to receive individualized feedback and improve on their skills before their competency is formally assessed in each of the practice areas covered by CPLED.”

Thanks to the commitment and dedication of LGFs and LGEs like Lorrie Adams, CPLED students continue to gain the knowledge they need to become successful lawyers.

If you are interested in becoming an LGF/LGE, contact Bronwyn Connolly at bronwyn.connolly@lesa.org.

CPLED Drafting Pleadings Online Module

 LESA Update  Comments Off on CPLED Drafting Pleadings Online Module
Oct 312013

Learning Group Facilitator
Alison Gray

Drafting Pleadings, the CPLED online module starts on November 7 and is the third of seven competency evaluations that CPLED students will complete in the online environment.

Alison Gray, a Partner in the Litigation Department at Bennett Jones LLP, is a Learning Group Facilitator for Drafting Pleadings. She has been instrumental in designing the module to give students good exposure to “real world” litigation legal practice.

“It does not serve students well to provide them with perfect facts and perfect information, as in practice the facts are rarely, if ever, perfect, and clients often (unintentionally) do not provide all the information needed.”

Drafting Pleadings teaches students how to think about the client’s problem, how it might be solved, and what information is needed in order to advance the client’s claim or defend against a claim.  It also gives them exposure to the various pleadings they might encounter in practice, so they can have some familiarity with them.

“Even if they never practice litigation, they will at least have some idea of what litigation involves, which will enable them to serve their clients better by having a basic understanding of the nature of the problems and learn how to properly refer them,” says Alison.

As students prepare for the next online module, dedicated legal professionals like Alison Gray are also preparing to share their knowledge and give their time as online Learning Group Facilitators.  It is their dedication to the CPLED Program that has made it the success it is.

Questions about the CPLED experience? Contact Student Coordinator Amanda Properzi.



Legal Research and Writing: Bridging the Gap from Law School to Practice

 CPLED, LESA Update  Comments Off on Legal Research and Writing: Bridging the Gap from Law School to Practice
Aug 292013

p-phThe Legal Research and Writing module is the first online module for CPLED students in the 2013/14 educational year. The session begins on September 5. Thanks to our Learning Group Facilitators, students will have experienced lawyers to guide them through the assignments and help prepare them for their competency evaluations.

One of our Learning Group Facilitators is Carrie Styczen. She was called to the Alberta bar in 1998, and practiced at Thornborough Smeltz Gillis (now Thornborough Smeltz LLP) before taking time off to be a stay-at-home mom. While practicing law, Carrie focused on civil and matrimonial litigation, real estate, and wills and estates work.

Carrie, who has been a Learning Group Facilitator since 2005, believes the Legal Research and Writing module will likely look more familiar to the students than other modules because they are used to conducting legal research from their years in law school.

“What I like about this module is that it acts as a bridge between the academic focus of law school research and the practical aspect of real world legal research,” explains Carrie. “Law school research assignments are designed to foster creative legal thinking and to develop and test the students’ knowledge of the subject matter. In practice, a lawyer conducts research for a specific purpose – to address a client’s specific issue and to assist the lawyer in providing informed and practical recommendations tailored to the client’s circumstance and needs.”

This module, and the CPLED Program in general, helps the students in this transition of melding the academic and the practical, which is necessary to succeed in a career as a practicing lawyer.

Thanks to Carrie Styczen and all the Learning Group Facilitators for their commitment and support of CPLED students.

Questions about the CPLED experience? Contact Student Coordinator Amanda Properzi  at 780-969-0551 or  visit www.lesa.org.