September 22, 2022 – The Board of Directors of Legal Aid Alberta (LAA), the CEO and Executive Leadership Team, having met on September 20, 2022, ratified the following statement of principles in response to the current service disruption and recent concerns regarding the Legal Aid Governance Agreement and Legal Aid funding.
September 1, 2022 – We are focused on continuing to serve clients and to minimize service disruptions.
August 19, 2022 – As the Legal Aid Board Chair, on behalf of the Board and Legal Aid Alberta, it is our honour to partner with the over 1,200 roster lawyers that deliver essential legal services to tens of thousands of disadvantaged Albertans every year. We value your work and shared commitment to access to justice in Alberta. You are essential to a properly functioning justice system.
August 19, 2022 – Yesterday, Legal Aid Alberta learned through media reports that criminal defence lawyers participating in job action are planning to escalate withdrawal of legal aid services starting on September 1, and will begin refusing certain types of criminal cases.
August 10, 2022 – Roster lawyers are integral to LAA. If a withdrawal of services escalates or continues longer term, we anticipate a greater impact on the justice system and disadvantaged Albertans. We’re aware of potential further action by private sector criminal defence lawyers and are actively planning to support our clients.
August 5, 2022 — Yesterday, members of three criminal defence organizations who do legal aid work voted in favour of withdrawing provincial court duty counsel services for two weeks starting on Monday, August 8.
July 15, 2022 – As you know, we launched the Roster Management Strategy (RMS) Committee at the beginning of April and have been busy working behind the scenes on improvements. We would like to share our progress on what we’ve been working on.
July 13, 2022 – Summer has arrived in Alberta! We hope you are enjoying the season far. Here at LAA, we’ve been making good progress on modernizing the tariff. Let’s bring you up to speed.
July 13, 2022 – Tips and tricks for managing situations that involve not-so-easy-to-work-with individuals.
July 6, 2022 – Legal Aid Alberta’s new centralized duty counsel scheduling system, Shiftboard, is now operational for our roster duty counsel lawyers. We have prepared a FAQ to help answer some common questions about using this system.
June 10, 2022 – Advice from Legal Aid Alberta staff lawyers on how to build your way to a successful career.
June 10, 2022 – As LAA works towards a modernized tariff, we are pleased to provide a Tariff Handbook for both the criminal and family tariff to assist in understanding and billing under the current tariff.
May 20, 2022 – To better connect marginalized Albertans with the expertise they need, Legal Aid Alberta has established lawyer panels in the areas of child representation, youth criminal law and complainant counsel.
May 16, 2022 – An email has been sent to all roster duty counsel with your login and password information for Shiftboard, a new, user-friendly scheduling system to help roster lawyers manage duty counsel scheduling. Roster lawyers will receive a separate email invite to sign up for July and August duty counsel shifts.
May 12, 2022 – To mitigate concerns that are specific to our roster lawyers, we have put together two Tariff Consultation Committees made up of 8-10 roster lawyers each, representing the two main areas in which Legal Aid Alberta provides services: criminal law and family and immigration law.
May 9, 2022 – Legal Aid Alberta’s Duty Counsel Manual has been updated and is now available.
May 4, 2022 – Many of you work directly with our tariff. And you find it lacking – to put it politely. We know it has become an outdated administrative burden for roster lawyers and members of our own teams. It is too demanding of your time and energy. And ours. That’s about to change. In consultation with the Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General, Legal Aid Alberta has been asked to lead the review and update of our tariff – something that has not been done in many years.
May 4, 2022 – Thank you for being on Legal Aid Alberta’s roster lawyer team. This past year, you signed an agreement to partner with us and almost 1,200 other skilled lawyers from across the province to represent and support Albertans.
April 26, 2022 – We have received some questions from roster lawyers about how not signing the Roster Agreement could affect them. As you know, roster lawyers who do not sign the agreement by May 1, 2022 will be removed from the roster and will not be offered new certificates. Measures are in place to ensure there is no impact on clients.
March 29, 2022 – Further to Legal Aid Alberta’s continued goals of accountability for billings, roster lawyers are now required to submit an annual interim invoice for every certificate rather than waiting years to bill legal aid.
March 29, 2022 – Further to Legal Aid Alberta’s continued goals of accountability for billings, both for clients and roster, LAA roster lawyers are required to upload timesheets with any invoice charging for additional hours (Tariff 7.04 or 7.05) for all areas of law for certificates issued on or after April 1, 2022.
March 29, 2022 – Never miss an important message (or payday) from Legal Aid Alberta, especially if you move or change firms.
March 4, 2022 – On Feb. 28, Legal Aid Alberta hosted an Immigration and Refugee Law Training webinar for LAA roster lawyers featuring LAA staff lawyer Ruth Williams, and members of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.
March 4, 2022 – A Legal Aid Alberta Criminal Trial Group marking its first year of operations has been in court defending youth and adults who have changed lawyers multiple times and are facing extraordinarily challenging personal issues such as mental health, addiction, and housing.
February 2, 2022 – As a lawyer, helping Alberta’s most disadvantaged citizens can be a profound source of job satisfaction. Together we are helping thousands of people overcome their legal challenges and get their lives back.
February 2, 2022 – Soon, schedules for duty counsel lawyers working across Alberta will be available in one easy-to-access location so you can check on your computer or phone, wherever you are. System testing is underway and we expect training sessions to be scheduled in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.
January 28, 2022 – Legal Aid Alberta has received reports from our justice system stakeholders and from duty counsel lawyers about some individuals in custody who are struggling to gain access to telephones to call LAA to apply for coverage.
January 6, 2022 – LAA is excited to announce a series of informative webinars in 2022. Become more knowledgeable of LAA policies and procedures, build your skills in certain areas of law and learn something new.
January 6, 2022 – Why do I see multiple courthouse locations on a single offer? What’s the difference between transfer of certificate and change of counsel? Get answers to these and other burning questions about working with legal aid.
November 3, 2021 – Legal Aid Alberta is now accepting applications for the Child Representation Panel and the Complainant Counsel Panel.
November 2, 2021 – Most actions funded by Legal Aid Alberta fall outside the scope of this new levy, since criminal and family matters are not covered.
Duty counsel scheduling is changing
September 16, 2021 – A brand new way to schedule duty counsel shifts is coming soon, and will make your life way easier.
August 25, 2021 – Duty counsel scheduling is moving from different systems for every court to one centralized system for all of Alberta. This makes LAA processes more efficient and makes it easier for us to respond to requests and changes. The new system is called Shiftboard and will be introduced to roster lawyers this fall.
August 6, 2021 – The new Adjournment Digital Service (ADS), an online adjournment service developed by the Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General, will complete its provincial roll-out by launching in Edmonton and surrounding areas the week of August 9.
July 13, 2021 – During COVID, many self-represented accused could not access the courthouse to speak to duty counsel due to closures of in-person services. In response, Legal Aid Alberta and our roster lawyers pitched in with a program called Advanced Appearance Duty Counsel to ensure continued access to legal advice, guidance and support. Now known as Early Appearance Assistance, this service is being provided permanently, effective July 15, 2021.
July 13, 2021 – Over the summer, the Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General is rolling out a new online adjournment service for Criminal Provincial Court known as Adjournment Digital Services (ADS). Lawyers and duty counsel can use this service for initial appearances that would have typically been handled at a court location that has a Case Management Office (CMO).
July 13, 2021 – It was a year like no other. We came to know terms and ideas we’d never imagined—social distancing, lockdowns, work-from-home. At Legal Aid Alberta, our response to the pandemic was to do what we do best: help each other out. LAA didn’t miss a beat, maintaining and then innovating and improving our support for vulnerable and disadvantaged Albertans. Our experiences and impact are documented in the 2020-21 Annual Report.