Legal Aid Alberta 50


Albertans value the rights and freedoms we are guaranteed as Canadians. Legal Aid Alberta stands up for these fundamental legal rights, 50 years and counting.

Celebrate access to justice in Alberta

Welcome to the Legal Aid Alberta 50th anniversary commemorative website. 

For 50 years, Legal Aid Alberta has been at the forefront of the fight for equal access to justice. Though the law, society and our organization have changed in many ways over the years, demand for legal aid services has stayed constant. Fifty years after helping our first clients we are still here – legal protectors for Albertans in cities and towns everywhere.

This occasion offers the opportunity to discover access to justice through a historic lens. Explore how legal aid services have evolved since our humble beginnings in 1973, to our current work breaking down barriers within an adversarial justice system. Learn about our ongoing efforts to make legal aid services more efficient and accessible for all Albertans.

Resolving legal problems for Albertans and protecting the rule of law for everyone has guided us for the past 50 years, and it will continue to be the foundation of our work for the next half-century. 

Taking a stand for legal rights

Where it started and where it’s going

Discussions regarding legal aid in Canada have a rich history that traces back to the 1930s. In the province of Alberta, the initiative to establish legal aid services took shape during the 1960s and reached a significant milestone with the official establishment of Legal Aid Alberta on May 24, 1973.

Back then, we had just 16 employees between Calgary and Edmonton. Just shy of 7,500 case files were started in that first year.

Today, Legal Aid Alberta services and impact have grown exponentially along with the need. Our 300 employees and 1,200 roster lawyers work tirelessly to solve complex legal problems for people across the province. We are among the most influential voices for access to justice and we are Alberta-wide.

Legal Aid Alberta Fast Facts

Learn about our impact across Alberta.

Legal Aid Alberta through the years

1973 HighlightLAA incorporates under Legal Aid Society of Alberta
1994 HighlightLAA's Staff Duty Counsel Program begins
2021 HighlightDuty Counsel Day celebrated across Canada

News Archive

The threads of Legal Aid Alberta’s history are woven into the fabric of the province in public record sources including news media. From the outset, news outlets followed the growth of a new organization dedicated to helping Albertans facing serious legal challenges.

This archive provides a glimpse into our story in those early days.

active files
clients across Alberta
bail hearings per year
duty counsel issued certificates
EPO applications per year
staff and roster

We are Alberta wide.

Access to justice is a fundamental right no matter where you live. Legal Aid Alberta’s reach spans the province.

This map shows the locations where there are active files for criminal, family and immigration cases from 2022-23. Hover over the circle icons to view areas of the province with over 1,000 active certificates.*

*certificates are documents issued by LAA to a lawyer, authorizing him/her to act on behalf of a client for specific legal issues.


20,473 certificates


16,552 certificates

Red Deer

2,814 certificates


2,481 certificates

Medicine Hat

1,464 certificates

Grande Prairie

1,647 certificates


1,497 certificates

St. Paul

1,168 certificates

Fort McMurray

1,118 certificates

red circle

Locations with active certificates

Public Education Series

We’re here to help you understand your rights and how to deal with legal challenges.

What happens when a youth is charged with a crime?

October 4
12 - 1 p.m.

Know your legal rights and how to exercise them.

October 25
12 - 1 p.m.

How to help someone in a family violence situation.

November 15
12 - 1 p.m.

Defining moments

Milestone: Legal Aid Alberta surpasses 120,000 bail hearings

Criminal Trial Group is taking on Alberta’s most complex client cases

Legal Aid Alberta faces increase in requests for emergency protection orders

Get involved

Join us in celebrating Legal Aid Alberta’s 50th anniversary.
Share a story, repost visuals on social media and tell your friends and colleagues.

Spread the word.

Let's commemorate our special milestone with a social media post, poster and more.

Be part of the story.

Your first-hand account can inspire and contribute to a broader understanding of the impact legal aid has in our communities.

Messages from the community

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