The Alberta Law Foundation, the Government of Alberta, and the federal government fund legal aid. This in-year increase within the existing budget envelope was made possible due to increased federal funding that recently became available.
The Legal Aid Alberta tariff modernization project is on track to be delivered on schedule to government this month. As part of a comprehensive review of legal aid, the modernization aims to ensure that the tariff reflects current court processes and legal practices to ensure remuneration and lawyer efforts are properly matched.
In line with past practice, Alberta’s government has issued a request for proposal to complete a comprehensive review of legal aid tariffs and the financial eligibility guidelines in order to inform future decisions for funding levels and to inform the development of Budget 2023-2024.
Currently, Alberta ranks sixth provincially for the hourly tariff rate of $92.40 for roster lawyers with 10 years of experience. An 8.225 per cent increase raises the tariff rate to $100 per hour, which raises Alberta’s ranking to fourth among provinces.
“With the modernization project on track to conclude this month and increased funding available through the federal government, there is now an opportunity to increase legal aid funding earlier than anticipated. Our commitment to review all aspects of legal aid funding remains in place. This in-year funding increase is a first step and we look forward to the results of the modernization project and the results of the comprehensive review."
The tariff is how much criminal defence lawyers who take legal aid clients get paid.
Financial eligibility guidelines is a calculation used to determine eligibility to receive representation through legal aid.
Block billing is a set of common activities for cases that are paid a flat rate rather than an hourly rate.