CPD and Mentoring

The Law Society of Alberta requires members to declare their intentions about continuing professional development each year. Each March members of the bar are required to think about and report on the activities they will undertake to maintain their competence. Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador are the only jurisdictions without a minimum hours requirement for CPD.

I was thinking about the requirements for lawyer CPD while chatting with my match from the Canadian Association of Law Libraries Mentoring Program. My mentee and I chat on the phone, engage in email correspondence and very occasionally meet in person. Every time we chat, even though I am technically the mentor, I learn something.

If I were a lawyer in BC, some approved mentoring activities would count toward my CPD hours. The Law Society in BC must approve a mentorship plan in advance.

If I were a lawyer in Ontario, mentoring articling students or paralegal field placements counts for CPD hours.

Mentoring, for me and I hope for my partner, is a valuable activity that enhances my personal professional development. I see CBA matched lawyer mentors and mentees (outside of the articling student/principle relationship) touring through our Alberta offices. Our firm has a formal internal mentoring program as well.

My questions for Slawyers: Do you consider mentoring part of your continuing professional development?


  1. For your information Quebec also gives Continuing Legal education credits for mentoring a lawyer.

  2. I’m a librarian, so CPD requirements don’t apply to me, but I have to say that my experiences over the years as a mentor have been a great development opportunity for me. I get to meet someone I may never have otherwise encountered, and bash around ideas with someone with fresher eyes and hopefully a different perspective on libraries, information and how we work. In my last couple of mentoring relationships, I found that I asked more questions than I answered, because the work and projects that my mentees were involved in was fascinating, and they were happy to share. Those stories helped me to look at my own work with a new perspective.

    I’m happy to know that the Law Societies have embraced mentoring for CPD credits, acknowledging the value to both parties.