June 1, 2021
"My Experience" Project: Weekly Submissions
Each week, we will feature experiences in our eBulletins collected through the “My Experience” Project. We encourage you to read each experience in its entirety, so it is viewed the way the participant intended. To read more experiences, complete self-reflection questions or submit your own experience, visit the Law Society Listens website.
“As a Muslim, East-Indian woman, practicing as in-house legal counsel at a large organization, I was subjected to inappropriate comments about my religion, my culture, and about being a female by the other male lawyers. Some of the comments and incidents I was subjected to include the following:

...At an office function, the Director made up a limerick about me, suggesting I looked like a man and I was a Transgender individual.

I was told since I did not have a family or a spouse, I should not complain about working weekends and evenings, as the other lawyers had a family to go home to.

A colleague purposely added rum to my non-alcoholic beverage at an office retreat, knowing I did not drink alcohol.

A Senior Male Lawyer while in the presence of General Counsel and the Director of Legal Services gawked directly at my breasts and stated the following, ‘Are you pregnant, as I love, love, love how fast the milk starts coming in….’ the Director and General Counsel laughed and thought the comment was very funny. This same colleague also called me a “whore” at an office retreat...”

"...During my practice of law several years ago I was in attendance at a consultation meeting in [a small town in Alberta] with municipal government officials. A town councilor with distain referred to ‘those people’ in reference to a nearby aboriginal community. I immediately interrupted asked the person to clarify who ‘those people’ were. A colleague next to me put a hand on my arm and quietly asked me to let it go. The councilor was uneased and backtracked on his words. I let it go but was visibly angered. A different councilor approached me immediately after the meeting to assure me that they weren’t racist, just frustrated with the community. I could do nothing but walk away.

...Too often I hear the generalized complaints about Indians getting something/everything for free. If I have the opportunity I have to ask, like what? And too often there is nothing but stuttering to follow as there is no real knowledge behind anything that was just said. The point, if possible, is to have the person acknowledge/realize that s/he has spoken in ignorance..."

The Path (Law Society of Alberta) Education Update
It has been just over a month since Alberta lawyers could begin taking the Indigenous Cultural Competency Education called The Path (Law Society of Alberta) — Your Journey Through Indigenous Canada. Details on how to access the education were provided in an email on April 21

Since the launch, 502 lawyers have successfully completed The Path (Law Society of Alberta), and 1096 have started the course. This course has five modules and takes approximately five hours to complete. Alberta lawyers can complete the education all at once or in stages. All active Alberta lawyers have 18 months to complete The Path (Law Society of Alberta) or certify eligibility for an exemption or extension. 

Please follow the detailed steps provided in this How-To Guide to register and enrol in The Path (Law Society of Alberta). There are also important steps included to complete the course and details about certifying for an exemption, for those who qualify.

Extension Requests

Lawyers who require an extension on the due date of The Path (Law Society of Alberta) can now complete the extension request through the Lawyer Portal. Extensions may only be requested in the event of maternity/parental leave or medical leave/illness. To request an extension, follow the steps provided in the How-To Guide.

Enrolment Key

During the registration process, lawyers will be prompted to provide an enrolment key. The enrolment key, provided in the How-To Guide, is LSA#&

It must be inserted exactly as indicated with no extra spaces. Note: this enrolment key is only to be used by active and inactive Alberta lawyers required or eligible to take The Path (Law Society of Alberta). 
The Law Society has negotiated preferred pricing and group rates for non-lawyer members of law firms, organizations, government, educational institutions, and the judiciary. Please contact NVision directly for details.

Contact Information

Throughout The Path (Law Society of Alberta), there are topics covered that occurred in Canada that are disturbing to some viewers. If you need to talk to someone, or need support, we encourage you to reach out to the Alberta Lawyers’ Assistance Society (Assist).

Lawyers can review the How-To Guide and FAQ for answers to common inquiries about taking the course and related background information. If you have other questions, reach out to Customer Service at the Law Society. Technical questions about navigating The Path website should be directed to technicalhelp@nvisionthepath.ca.
Recruiting Mentors for Mentor Express 2021
An expanded version of the Mentor Express program is launching in September 2021 to accommodate the automatic enrolment initiative for new lawyers. Given the influx of new mentees coming to the program, we need more mentors from all areas of practice and practice settings to volunteer their time.

Mentor Express is a non-traditional mentorship program. It is like online shopping, except mentees are shopping to gain from mentors’ experience and insight. Mentees browse an online listing of mentors and choose sessions with the mentors they are interested in meeting. The self-match system allows mentees to seek guidance and insight relevant to their own career development with a variety of mentors in different work settings.

Mentor Express is an easy, low-commitment way for new lawyers to connect with experienced members of the legal profession. If you have practised for at least five years and have no formal disciplinary complaints pending, you can serve as a mentor in Mentor Express.

As a mentor, you will meet with several new lawyers on a schedule that works for you. Mentors only need to commit to 10 one-hour sessions per year, providing flexibility for busy lawyers interested in giving back to the profession. Register to participate as a mentor in the program through the Law Society website.

All other lawyers and articling students are still welcome to participate as mentees in the Mentor Express program. Register to participate as a mentee in the September program on our website.

For further information about Mentor Express, visit our website or contact the Mentorship team by email.
Court of Queen's Bench Announcement

It has been determined that the Court of Queen’s Bench will return to operations as they were being conducted prior to Master Order 5, which expired on May 28, 2021. All matters scheduled for the week of May 31, 2021, and for subsequent weeks, will proceed as scheduled in all Judicial Centres, subject to any further Announcement of the Court, unless otherwise ordered in individual cases.

All trials and hearings involving oral evidence will proceed in person. All other matters will continue to be conducted remotely.
Upcoming Events

Visit our Events page for a full list of upcoming events.