Table of contents

Queen’s Counsel appointments

It is tradition to appoint lawyers as Queen's Counsel (QC) who have made particular contributions to:

  • the legal profession, or
  • public life

The Lieutenant Governor in Council makes QC appointments under authority of the Queen's Counsel Act.

Submission deadline for QC appointment applications:

  • 4:30 pm MT, Friday, November 5, 2021
  • no exceptions

Selection criteria

Legal leadership

The Minister of Justice and Solicitor General will consider certain criteria when considering an application for Queen's Counsel (Her Majesty's Counsel, learned in the law, for the Province of Alberta) and will award the appointments of Queen's Counsel to those lawyers who, in accordance with the Queen’s Counsel Act (Alberta), have been called to the bar for at least ten years, and have demonstrated the following attributes to the extent that they make the applicant a leader in the legal profession.

Competence, including:

  • sound intellectual ability with a thorough, comprehensive, and current knowledge of law and practice in the applicant's field
  • distinguished legal service with demanding and challenging legal work that contributes to the development of the law and practice
  • a recognized expertise in a particular area of law and practice (which may include the general practice of law)
  • an outstanding ability as a lawyer in the applicant's field, to a standard to be expected of Queen's Counsel

Professional qualities, including:

  • a history of honesty, integrity, discretion, and candid dealings in professional and personal matters including dealings with professional colleagues, clients, lay people, and the courts and in the execution of duties as an officer of the court
  • the trust and confidence of others
  • the respect of fellow lawyers
  • the respect of the Bench and administrative tribunals before which the applicant may appear
  • demonstrated mentorship of junior members of the Bar

Contributions

The Minister of Justice and Solicitor General may also consider the following in awarding a Queen's Counsel:

Contribution to the administration of justice, including:

  • a demonstrated commitment to make legal services available to all who require them, regardless of the ability to pay
  • a superior commitment to access to justice

Contribution to the community, including:

  • a superior contribution to the life of the community including leadership on community, cultural, and philanthropic organizations
  • contributions to the community in order to further the well-being of the community
  • providing service and support to communities and community organizations in ways that encourage initiative, self-help, cooperation, and partnership building

Contribution to the legal profession, including:

  • a superior contribution to the legal profession through leadership in governance of the profession or Bar-related activities
  • a superior contribution to legal scholarship through teaching or legal writing and research
  • a recognition of superior contribution in a variety of legal practices, including service to government, business corporations, non-profit organizations, administrative tribunals, academic institutions, Crown Prosecutor's office, and the Law Society

Equality

The Minister of Justice and Solicitor General is committed to consider each application on the established merits of the individual alone without regard to law firm affiliation, and will consider each application on an equal basis regardless of gender, age, race, ethnic or national origin, religion, sexual orientation, marital or family status, disability, or political affiliation.

Review process

Applications will be reviewed by the Queen's Counsel Screening Committee. The committee advises the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General whether each applicant is:

  • highly recommended
  • recommended
  • not recommended at this time

Queen's Counsel Screening Committee

The committee is comprised of:

  • President, Law Society of Alberta
  • President-Elect, Law Society of Alberta
  • President, Canadian Bar Association - Alberta branch
  • Chief Justice of Alberta, or nominee
  • Chief Justice, Court of Queen's Bench, or nominee
  • Associate Chief Justice, Court of Queen's Bench, or nominee
  • Chief Judge, Provincial Court, or nominee
  • an Assistant Chief Judge
  • the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, or nominee
  • a Lay Bencher
  • a representative from each of the North, Central, and Southern Districts
  • the Deputy Attorney General, or nominee

How to apply

Physical submissions will not be accepted – online applications, only.

Submission deadline for QC appointment applications:

  • 4:30 pm MT, Friday, November 5, 2021
  • no exceptions

Tips for avoiding possible problems:

  • do not wait until the last day to apply
  • applications cannot be amended after submission
  • the application form has no SAVE function
    • give yourself up to 2 hours to complete the online form
  • read the whole application form before you begin
    • it has instructions about how to cut and paste text into the form
  • have your required documents ready
    • the files must be in Portable Document Format (PDF)
    • other file types are not accepted
    • we cannot help you convert your documents to PDF files

Required documents

Each document must be a Portable Document Format (PDF) file – no other file types are accepted.

The maximum size of each file is 5MB.

You will upload 4 separate files through the application form:

  • a PDF of your resume
    • name the file “Current Resume”
    • a cover letter is optional and it must be part of the same PDF file
  • 3 separate PDFs of letters of reference named:
    • “Letter of Reference 1”
    • “Letter of Reference 2”
    • “Letter of Reference 3”

Each letter of reference:

  • maximum of 2 pages
  • must include this statement, “This letter may be disclosed to Alberta Justice and Solicitor General, the Law Society of Alberta, the Queen's Counsel Screening Committee, and as otherwise required for use in the Queen's Counsel selection process.”

Web application form

Allow up to 2 hours to complete this application.

There is no SAVE function.

No IT support is provided.

Nominations will not be accepted.

Lawyers must be eligible under the Queen's Counsel Act and must submit an application to be considered for a QC appointment.

Complete the application form’s fields, carefully:

  • the data you enter will be used on official documents

Queen’s Counsel application form

We will send an email to the address listed in your application form if you are selected to receive a QC appointment.

We cannot provide any status updates about the:

  • QC process
  • timing of announcements.

Contact

If you have other questions unrelated to the status of your appointment application, connect with:

Office of the Deputy Minister
Alberta Justice and Solicitor General
Hours: 8:15 am to 4:00 pm (Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-5032
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]

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