Roster Updates

News and Notices

Family lawyers will now receive clients’ documents directly to their email

April 28, 2023 – Effective Monday, May 1, documents associated to a clients’ family matter will be emailed directly to the appointed lawyer by a member of the Administrative Support Team within the Contact Centre.

New modernized LAA tariff now in effect

April 3, 2023 – On April 1, the newly modernized LAA tariff officially launched. Updates to the Lawyer Portal were completed overnight on March 29, and invoicing under the modernized tariff is now up and functioning.

New LAA tariff coming on April 1: Everything you need to know

March 20, 2023 – As we draw closer to the newly modernized LAA tariff implementation date of April 1, 2023, we realize roster lawyers may be wondering what this change will look like and how it will affect them.

Register today for LAA’s Modernized Tariff Implementation Training

February 24, 2023 – As we draw closer to Legal Aid Alberta’s new tariff implementation date of April 1, all roster lawyers are invited to register for one of our upcoming online training sessions to learn about the new LAA criminal tariff structure and how to use it.

Update to allocated hours on family certificates

January 24, 2023 – As of now, all family offers accepted on and after Nov. 28, 2022 are now allocated a minimum of 20 hours.

Register today to attend the first Roster Update Session of 2023

January 12, 2023 – All roster lawyers are invited to join us for the first Roster Update Sessions of 2023 to learn where we are with the LAA Tariff Modernization Project implementation timeline and the new Client Gateway.

Increase to hourly tariff rate announced by Alberta Ministry of Justice

December 21, 2022 – Effective at 12 a.m. on January 1, 2023, the Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General has authorized an increase to the tariff rate. This brings the hourly tariff rate to $125 from $100.  Block fees will also be increased accordingly.

Team effort: Modernized LAA tariff proposal makes its way to the Ministry of Justice as scheduled

November 4, 2022 – Legal Aid Alberta has fulfilled its commitment of proposing a modernized tariff framework for staff and roster lawyers.

Changes to expiry dates on certificate offers: Start helping clients sooner

October 24, 2022Legal Aid Alberta is changing expiry dates on certificate offers to reduce client stress and wait times for a lawyer. Starting November 7, we’re changing the expiry timeline on certificate offers from three working days to two.

LAA Client Gateway Online: The faster way to get additional coverage for existing criminal clients

October 24, 2022Legal Aid Alberta is introducing an alternative way for roster lawyers to get additional coverage for existing criminal clients without having to call and apply.  Join us for an info session to discover the benefits to you and your clients. 

New tariff rate in effect since Oct. 6, modernization ongoing

October 14, 2022 – Legal Aid Alberta has received some questions from roster lawyers and our partners in the justice system about legal aid services in relation to the job action by some criminal defence lawyers. We know this is an uncertain time for many in our community. We commit to keeping you informed.

Register today to attend an upcoming virtual Tariff Modernization Information Session

October 11, 2022 – Legal Aid Alberta is continuing our work to modernize the tariff structure and remove administrative burdens that have developed over the years. We would like to invite you to the first round of information sessions to tell you about the ongoing work that has been occurring.

Interim increase to hourly tariff rate and Financial Eligibility Guidelines

October 5, 2022 – Effective at 12 a.m. on Oct. 6, the Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General has authorized an 8.225 per cent interim increase to the tariff rate. This brings the hourly tariff rate to $100 from $92.40. Block fees will also be increased accordingly.

A message to roster lawyers from the LAA Board of Directors, CEO and Executive Team

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.

Legal Aid Alberta adjusting operations in response to escalating job action by criminal defence lawyers

September 1, 2022 – We are focused on continuing to serve clients and to minimize service disruptions.

A message from the Chair of the LAA Board of Directors

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.

Legal Aid Alberta prepares for escalating job action by criminal defence lawyers

August 19, 2022Yesterday, 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. 

One day at a time: Legal Aid Alberta managing withdrawal of duty counsel services by contracted criminal defence lawyers

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.

Legal Aid Alberta responds to possible withdrawal of services by some private sector roster lawyers

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.

Update: Roster Management Strategy Committee

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.

Tariff modernization update

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.

How Legal Aid Alberta lawyers navigate challenging client relationships

July 13, 2022 – Tips and tricks for managing situations that involve not-so-easy-to-work-with individuals.

Shiftboard FAQ now available

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.

Students-at-law: four tips for making the most of your experience as a roster articling student

June 10, 2022 – Advice from Legal Aid Alberta staff lawyers on how to build your way to a successful career.

Criminal and family tariff handbooks now available

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.

Lawyer panels bring high quality legal expertise to Alberta’s most disadvantaged

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.

Shiftboard launches today

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.

Next steps: Tariff Consultation Committees

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.

Updated version of the LAA Duty Counsel Manual now available

May 9, 2022 – Legal Aid Alberta’s Duty Counsel Manual has been updated and is now available.

Paving the way for a new tariff — and we need you to be part it

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. 

Thank you, LAA roster lawyers – our partners in access to justice

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.

A note to our valued roster lawyers about the Roster Agreement

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.

Process update: Interim invoices required every year on certificates created after April 1, 2022

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.

Process update: Charging for additional hours? Timesheets are required on certificates issued after April 1, 2022

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.

Confirm your lawyer profile information once every year

March 29, 2022 – Never miss an important message (or payday) from Legal Aid Alberta, especially if you move or change firms.

Challenges faced by immigrants and refugees in the claimant process

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.

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

March 4, 2022A 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.

Work with purpose: Tips to get the most of your work as a roster lawyer

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.

System testing underway for centralized duty counsel scheduling system

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.

Temporary measure to assist individuals in custody who are struggling to access phones

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.

Training and skill development webinars for roster lawyers

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.

Answers to four common questions by roster lawyers

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.

Call for applications

November 3, 2021 – Legal Aid Alberta is now accepting applications for the Child Representation Panel and the Complainant Counsel Panel.

LAA client matters are exempt from the ALIA Civil Litigation Levy

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.

New duty counsel scheduling system goes live for small group of test users

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.

Adjournment Digital Services online as of August 10

August 6, 2021The 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. 

Update on early appearance assistance, interactive voice response system and call prioritization

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.

Adjournment Digital Services and Legal Aid Alberta

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).

Legal Aid Alberta releases Annual Report 2020-21

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.

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