The Alberta Law Foundation was established under the Legal Profession Act, in 1973. The Foundation is the recipient of the interest which financial institutions pay on clients' funds held in lawyers' pooled trust accounts. This does not include interest paid on a specific trust investment held for an individual client. The interest is made available to help fund the costs of Legal Aid Alberta and by way of grants to organizations engaged in activities which are considered to be in keeping with the Foundation's objects.
All of the Foundation’s objects are aimed at increasing access to justice for all Albertans. This means that the Foundation’s and its grantees’ work is intended to ensure that the law and administration of justice reflects the current values of Albertans, that Albertans are aware of and understand their rights and responsibilities under the law and that Albertans can effectively exercise their rights under the law.
In 2018-19, the Foundation Board approved 45 grants for a total of $14.5 million and allocated $7.8 million to Legal Aid Alberta.
Although we are making progress towards a more inclusive, responsive and accessible justice system, increasing access to justice for all Albertans requires the cooperation of stakeholders working towards the same goal. That is why the Foundation launched the Bridging the Gaps initiative in early 2018. This initiative brings together Foundation grantees and other justice stakeholders from across the province to identify and respond to gaps in legal services. Together, this group has identified the areas of highest need and is working cooperatively to respond with innovative solutions to bridge these gaps.
As we pursue our mission to lead and support efforts to build a better justice community in Alberta, we feel privileged to work with passionate champions of access to justice. As Helen Keller said, alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.
For more information about the Foundation and the organizations we fund, please visit our website.