Sandra Petersson, KC

Alberta Law Reform Institute, Edmonton

Call: 1992


I extend my thanks to those who made it possible for me serve as an elected Bencher this past term. It has been a privilege to contribute to the Law Society’s ongoing work as an independent, innovative and responsive regulator. I am a strategic and innovative thinker and a reflective listener who brings a balanced perspective. With professional training in both project management and coaching, I value the benefits of a diverse group of people working to solve complex problems. My governance experience and professional service includes:

  • Law Society of Alberta, Bencher: 2021-
  • Canadian Bar Association, Law for the Future Fund, Trustee: 2021-
  • Legal Education Society of Alberta, Board of Directors: 2014-20
  • Canadian Bar Association, Alberta Branch Council: 2012-19
  • Canadian Bar Association Alberta Governance Review Task Force: 2017, 2023
  • Institute of Corporate Directors, Not for Profit programme: 2018
  • Federation of Law Reform Agencies of Canada, President: 2014-17

My motivation for running as Bencher in 2020 and now is two-fold. First, I believe it is important for lawyers to engage in the governance role of our profession. In 2017, only 40% of eligible lawyers voted, increasing to 46% in 2020. Make your voice heard and support candidates who will contribute to the effective governance of our profession.

Second, as an active mentor to many younger lawyers, I have followed the Law Society reports documenting the challenges too often faced by women and racialized lawyers – challenges that force far too many young lawyers to leave our profession. Competence, wellness and retention are complex, interrelated issues that impact access to justice for the public. Meaningful change to advance equity for all lawyers has been slow but it is happening. I would like the opportunity to continue to work on these issues and to learn from lawyers whose experience does not reflect my own.

Over the past three years, I have applied my skills on Bencher committees dealing with policy and regulatory reform, finance, and strategic planning. All Benchers also serve on regulatory and disciplinary committees. This work has deepened my understanding of the multiple challenges that lawyers face in day to day practice. Ours is not an easy career path and I am proud of the many supports that the Law Society now offers to lawyers at all stages of their careers.

For most of my own career, I have worked at the Alberta Law Reform Institute – first as legal counsel and now executive director. I am passionate about ensuring that the law makes sense and keeps pace with societal change. I have facilitated law reform training for lawyers across Canada and for lawyers from Samoa, South Sudan and Trinidad and Tobago.

On the personal side, I prefer knitting over working out and reading fiction over case law. I live in Edmonton with my husband, our daughter and a menagerie of dogs and cats.