LAA Policies

Roster Agreement

Legal Aid Alberta Roster Lawyer Agreement

April 30, 2021

As part of our strategic commitment to operate as a unified, innovative, and sustainable organization, LAA introduced a roster lawyer agreement in May 2021. The agreement is a contract that helps eliminate any uncertainties about your legal relationship with LAA. For example, in the agreement:

  • You agree to comply with LAA’s Tariff and other policies, as amended by LAA.
  • LAA agrees to pay your accounts in accordance with the Tariff and our other policies.
  • You agree to submit your accounts using Lawyer Portal.
  • We both agree that you form a direct lawyer-client relationship with the clients you represent on certificates, subject to LAA’s ability to manage aspects of the certificate, such as discretionary disbursements.

The roster agreement isn’t a significant change from the status quo. For the most part, it just spells out some key rules that already exist – the same rules that roster lawyers have been following for years. For example, when you accept a certificate from LAA, you are already agreeing to represent the client in accordance with the Tariff and our other policies.

Why an agreement?

As demand for LAA services continues to climb, we need to update existing business processes and practices to better serve our clients and valued roster lawyers. LAA’s management, our Board of Directors, and other stakeholders have identified a roster agreement as a strategic priority. Many other legal aid plans in Canada already require their roster lawyers to enter into similar written agreements. And because LAA is a publicly funded organization that is accountable to its funders, this kind of agreement is one way to reduce business risk and protect our collective future in Alberta.

You, our roster lawyers, are too important for LAA to leave ambiguity in our relationship. Our roster is – and will be – the most important way we deliver services to low-income Albertans. In a typical year, roster lawyers earn about $70 million representing clients on certificates. Not many businesses would pay contractors this much money without a written agreement in place.

We consulted with stakeholders on the roster about the agreement. We’re confident the agreement is both fair and easy to understand. And we’ve made it really easy to sign – just a few clicks on Lawyer Portal.

How to sign the roster agreement

  • Log into Lawyer Portal
  • Click Certificates and a pop-up window appears
  • Click the link to read the agreement
  • After you’ve read the agreement, you can click to sign it – and then you’re good to go

Confirm your lawyer profile information once every year

In addition to the roster agreement, please log into Lawyer Portal to update your lawyer profile information every year. It’s similar to what the Law Society requires – once a year, we ask you to review your biographical information, such as address, phone number, and banking information, and let us know whether you’re practicing using a professional corporation.

If you don’t confirm your profile information once a year, we’ll stop issuing you certificates until you do. But again, the process will be easy and pain-free. When you log in to Lawyer Portal, a pop-up will explain where you need to click to confirm your information. It shouldn’t take more than a few seconds to confirm your details.

We know many of you rely on legal assistants to accept offers and submit accounts using Lawyer Portal – but you’ll need to confirm your contact information using your own Lawyer Portal account.

We appreciate your continued support and thank you for sharing in our goal to serve and stay accountable to our most important stakeholders – Albertans.

After May 1, 2022

If the Roster Agreement is not signed by May 1, 2022 you will be removed from the roster and will not receive any new certificate offers from LAA. Measures are in place to ensure there is no impact on clients.

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