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Aryxal

Alberta Bar Call

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I am getting called in Alberta in the summer, but I am most likely going to leave my firm after my articles conclude but before my bar call. I do not have a good relationship with my principal. I am wondering whether if it is required that my principal attend the bar call?

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11 minutes ago, Aryxal said:

I am getting called in Alberta in the summer, but I am most likely going to leave my firm after my articles conclude but before my bar call. I do not have a good relationship with my principal. I am wondering whether if it is required that my principal attend the bar call?

Pretty much.

Have you attended an Alberta bar call ceremony?  Unlike other jurisdictions its an individual ceremony - your principal presents you to the court and asks for you to be admitted to the bar.  Usually they try and collect some amusing anecdotes to tell about you.  Then the judge gives a more solemn speech about what an accomplishment it is, and the responsibility it brings.

Not sure what you mean by "do not have a good relationship".  I can say that a lot of principals are not particularly close to their students.  Even if your relationship has been less than perfect I strongly suspect your principal would be hurt if told you did not want him or her to conduct your ball call.

Not all students stay on with their articling firm, so the fact you're likely leaving doesn't really factor in much.

That being said I don't know that your principal is 100% required to present you.  After all people get bar calls after being admitted in another jurisdiction and they don't have a principal to present them.  But it would be highly unusual.

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21 minutes ago, Malicious Prosecutor said:

Pretty much.

Have you attended an Alberta bar call ceremony?  Unlike other jurisdictions its an individual ceremony - your principal presents you to the court and asks for you to be admitted to the bar.  Usually they try and collect some amusing anecdotes to tell about you.  Then the judge gives a more solemn speech about what an accomplishment it is, and the responsibility it brings.

Not sure what you mean by "do not have a good relationship".  I can say that a lot of principals are not particularly close to their students.  Even if your relationship has been less than perfect I strongly suspect your principal would be hurt if told you did not want him or her to conduct your ball call.

Not all students stay on with their articling firm, so the fact you're likely leaving doesn't really factor in much.

That being said I don't know that your principal is 100% required to present you.  After all people get bar calls after being admitted in another jurisdiction and they don't have a principal to present them.  But it would be highly unusual.

Ah ok, Thanks!

We have a lot of tension between us, but it hasn't gotten to the point of being toxic. 

The reason I asked the question is because I am planning on leaving my firm right after my articles conclude, but there is a one month minimum waiting period before the bar call, so I was wondering if it would be strange to have him conduct the bar call given I left the firm a month ago. 

Based on your response, it does not matter as much as I thought it would. 

Now I need to figure out if I need to invite the rest of the firm. 

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51 minutes ago, Aryxal said:

Now I need to figure out if I need to invite the rest of the firm. 

I think that depends on who is paying.  Sometimes the firm will pay - if so then of course the firm gets to decide who to invite.

If you, or your parents/extended family are paying, then invite whomever you darn well feel like.

You have me thinking back to my own bar call.  My principal was a nice fellow - but he hardly ever gave me any work to do!  I worked a lot more, and was a lot closer, to some of the other partners t the firm as a result.  But still it was my principal who presented me.  He didn't know me that well, but he called up my parents, and spoke with the other articling students, and got enough stories to do a credible job of it.

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3 hours ago, Malicious Prosecutor said:

Pretty much.

Have you attended an Alberta bar call ceremony?  Unlike other jurisdictions its an individual ceremony - your principal presents you to the court and asks for you to be admitted to the bar.  Usually they try and collect some amusing anecdotes to tell about you.  Then the judge gives a more solemn speech about what an accomplishment it is, and the responsibility it brings.

Not sure what you mean by "do not have a good relationship".  I can say that a lot of principals are not particularly close to their students.  Even if your relationship has been less than perfect I strongly suspect your principal would be hurt if told you did not want him or her to conduct your ball call.

Not all students stay on with their articling firm, so the fact you're likely leaving doesn't really factor in much.

That being said I don't know that your principal is 100% required to present you.  After all people get bar calls after being admitted in another jurisdiction and they don't have a principal to present them.  But it would be highly unusual.

MP, last year they piloted a mass bar call at the Edmonton court house. I don't think submissions were made by each principal. So this could be an option for OP but they should follow up with appropriate contacts to see if a mass call will be happening again this year. 

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Yeah, I checked regarding the group call. No plans to do it this year, but hopefully they do.

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On 1/16/2020 at 10:46 AM, Aryxal said:

Ah ok, Thanks!

We have a lot of tension between us, but it hasn't gotten to the point of being toxic. 

The reason I asked the question is because I am planning on leaving my firm right after my articles conclude, but there is a one month minimum waiting period before the bar call, so I was wondering if it would be strange to have him conduct the bar call given I left the firm a month ago. 

Based on your response, it does not matter as much as I thought it would. 

Now I need to figure out if I need to invite the rest of the firm. 

Having your principal present you is definitely customary, but not required. Any active member of the Law Society can apply for you to be admitted. 

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Your principle does not have to make the application. I have seen other people swap in at the last minute when the principle has a scheduling conflict. Your principle definitely does have to sign all the forms to the Law Society though.

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On 1/16/2020 at 9:46 AM, Aryxal said:

I am getting called in Alberta in the summer, but I am most likely going to leave my firm after my articles conclude but before my bar call. I do not have a good relationship with my principal. I am wondering whether if it is required that my principal attend the bar call?

Have you been called yet and how did that go? In terms of using a lawyer that wasn’t your principal ? Did the judge or justice you used asked the lawyer doing your call to comment on your work and other character attributes as it relates to your competency to practice law ?

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On 1/16/2020 at 9:20 AM, Malicious Prosecutor said:

Usually they try and collect some amusing anecdotes to tell about you. 

Wow haha glad I was not called in Alberta. My principal is super nice but does not have a personal connection with people...would have been super cringy if they would have tried to deliver an anecdote...

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2 hours ago, BeetleGirl said:

Wow haha glad I was not called in Alberta. My principal is super nice but does not have a personal connection with people...would have been super cringy if they would have tried to deliver an anecdote...

No really it's a lovely little ceremony to mark an important life milestone.

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