The Law Society of Alberta has approved a permanent part-time membership status option for lawyers, to be implemented in 2024. The decision was made at the April 27, 2023 Board Meeting, after extensive review and consideration of the original goal of the pilot program, which began in February 2020.
The aim of the part-time membership status was initially to retain young female lawyers in private practice, but the Benchers recognized that it could benefit any lawyers facing financial barriers to practising law on a full-time basis.
The program will assist those who would otherwise be required to pay the full active membership fee, enabling them to practise law on a part-time basis.
The Law Society conducted an extensive review of the parameters and eligibility criteria throughout 2022 and 2023 before approving a two-year extension of the pilot program at the December 2021 Board Meeting.
The updated eligibility criteria for the permanent part-time membership status option were approved at the recent meeting, which align with the goal of equity, diversity and inclusion and access in the Strategic Plan of the Law Society.
Lawyers who currently hold part-time membership status or who apply for it in 2023 will continue to use the existing eligibility criteria. Further information will be released in the coming months about how the new criteria will be implemented and its effect on current part-time members.