Sent on behalf of Don Cranston, QC, Law Society President
Executive Director, Don Thompson, QC (pictured right) announced today that he will be stepping down as the Executive Director and CEO of the Law Society and the Alberta Lawyers Insurance Association at the end of 2018.
“Throughout my time at the Law Society there have been two constants in my work: fascinating and challenging issues, and great people. I’m thankful for the wonderful opportunity I’ve had to lead a great organization,” said Don. “But now, after 17 years in the Executive Director position and closing in on 19 years of employment with the Law Society, it’s time to pass the responsibility on to a new leader.”
A leader in local and national affairs involving the legal profession, Don joined the Law Society of Alberta in 1999 as the Deputy Executive Director, and was appointed Executive Director and CEO in 2001.
Don has been involved in the regulation of the legal profession since 1983. His leadership skills have been exemplified through his work in continuously improving regulatory and business processes that meet local, provincial and national demands of customers, partners and key stakeholders in the legal profession. His passion for an accountable, responsive and proactive regulator has led to many successful initiatives.
“There are many fascinating challenges that continue to face the profession and its regulator. They require focusing on the strategic issues while at the same time delivering operational excellence,” said Don. “They also require advancing the continued relevance of an independent legal profession, which is a key part of our democratic society, while facilitating the delivery of more accessible legal services. That will be no small task going forward, but I’m sure everyone involved is up for it.”
Don has also been a leader on the national stage through his involvement with the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, playing an instrumental role in developing the National Mobility Agreement, (which allows for temporary and permanent mobility among jurisdictions within Canada), the National Committee on Accreditation, Requirements for Canadian Law Degrees and the National Admissions Standards project. He has been an author, presenter and facilitator at national and international conferences and organizations. His work has included professional education and competence, national and international lawyer mobility, and governance of the legal profession.
“Over the course of my time as Executive Director, I’ve had the privilege to meet many lawyers who are doing great work with their clients, the public and the profession. I’m very thankful for the opportunity to serve.”
The responsibility for recruiting and appointing the new Executive Director lies with the Board of Directors (known as Benchers).