1.2 Small Firm Practice Course FAQ
What is the Small Firm Practice Course?
The Small Firm Practice Course is the first course available on our Online Learning Centre and is part of our Early Intervention approach.
Our statistics tell us that sole and small firm practitioners are disproportionately represented in concerns reported to the Law Society. Common concerns reported involve practice management or client service issues. For many sole or small firm practitioners, there is no one down the hall to get advice from – on a range of issues from technology to trust safety and everything else in between.
Armed with more information and better tools, we believe that sole and small firm practitioners will have a more efficient practice, a happier clientele, fewer concerns coming to the Law Society and perhaps even a stronger bottom line.
The Law Society of British Columbia licensed us to use the design of their Small Firm Practice Course and we made the content applicable to Alberta lawyers. We added new material and links to related resources.
Designed to be self-paced and self-testing, the course offers modules on key practice areas of interest to sole and small firm practitioners, ranging from practice management to trust accounting to technology issues and various pitfalls of practice. Each module is made up of a textbook, quiz and related resources.
Why is the Law Society providing this course?
The Law Society of Alberta aims to be a proactive model regulator, supporting Alberta lawyers in delivering quality legal services. We’re working hard to develop new resources that focus on better practice management. We have designed the Online Learning Centre with enhancing lawyer competency as the focal point.
Lawyers tell us that that they want accessible resources that support practitioners in sole and small firm settings. Many people who contact the Law Society are surprised to learn that lawyers do not receive formal training in the business of running a legal practice. This course is one of the ways we are addressing this need.
How was the course material determined?
The course is based on the design and content of the Law Society of British Columbia’s course. We made the content applicable to Alberta lawyers, added new material and links to related resources.
Is the course mandatory?
No, the course is not mandatory. Lawyers can select materials relevant to their own interests and complete at their own pace.
Law Society staff may request that a lawyer complete the course or specific modules as part of our early intervention approach.
If the course isn’t mandatory, why would I take it?
The course and its modules are available to lawyers as a free resource. You can complete modules as part of your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Plan or access individual modules to strengthen your practice management skills. We believe that all Alberta lawyers and articling students can benefit from taking the course regardless of the size of the firm where they practice.
How do I take the quizzes?
While you will be able to view all textbook material on the Online Learning Centre without registering, you must register in order to access the quiz material. You must create a new user account and password for the Online Learning Centre. Registration is not linked through the Lawyer Portal because the Law Society does not track quiz results. For detailed information, visit our Online Learning Centre FAQ.
I forgot my password, how do I reset?
Do I have to complete the quizzes?
No. The quizzes are provided so that you can assess your understanding of the material.
Questions are drawn from the textbook for each module and not linked resources.
What constitutes a small firm for the purposes of the course requirement?
When we use the term small firm, we mean a law firm with less than ten lawyers. It does not refer to the legal structure in which a group of lawyers operates. This means that an association of independent practitioners can be considered a small firm, regardless of whether they are partners.
How is the course organized?
The course is presented in modules that can be completed at your own pace. The modules feature a textbook with chapters, a quiz and links to resources.
Will I receive any confirmation that I have completed the course?
There is no certificate of completion and the Law Society does not monitor quiz results. For your own tracking purposes, you will receive a badge upon successful completion of all quizzes contained within a course.
What's the easiest way to find the specific Rules referenced throughout the course?
We encourage you to open a copy of the Legal Profession Act, the Rules of the Law Society of Alberta and the Code of Conduct available in the 1.3 Related Resources section as you navigate through the course. You can search a specific Rule by using "Control F" and typing in the reference you are looking for.
How do I find more information about the Online Learning Centre?
View our Online Learning Centre FAQ.
Questions or comments?