Alison Koper

Lawyer, Alberta Energy Regulator (AER)

Describe a typical day

One of the things I love about the law is that there is no typical day. Every day presents new challenges that can push you out of your comfort zone. The continual learning is really rewarding and exciting. At the AER, I am involved in processing applications, regulatory appeals and hearings, enforcement matters, providing legal advice on a variety of issues and advancing broader strategic organizational objectives. There is opportunity for both collaboration with colleagues and independent work like research and writing. It’s a great balance. Outside of work, a good day includes spending time with friends and family, exercise (yoga, jogging, spin), being outside (skiing, hiking, golf) and reading or enjoying movies.

Perks of your job and things you like about your current company.

I’ve always been fortunate to work for organizations with values that I believe in and share. At the AER people come to work each day wanting to make a difference and contribute. It is a very inspiring corporate culture to be a part of. My work is very fulfilling and I feel like I am making a positive and meaningful contribution. This is one of my top priorities in work.

Proudest accomplishments both in and outside of work.

Being called to the bar was a big accomplishment for me. I had worked towards this goal for many years (since I was about 7!). However, my proudest accomplishment was creating a network of support that allowed me to reach this goal. I have been blessed over the years to have the support of family, friends, teachers, mentors and colleagues who have each played a critical role in my success. I would not be where I am today without their support and I am so grateful for it. I will pay it forward at every opportunity.

Thoughts on the future of the industry as it relates to your field.

Perceptions about the impact of the energy industry on the environment will have an increasingly large effect on the future of the industry. The drafting, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policy will play a critical role in ensuring that energy resources are developed in an environmentally responsible way. This makes it a very exciting time to be part of the AER. Since the implementation of the Responsible Energy Development Act there has been a lot of change. While this change has created challenges, it has also created an opportunity for the realization of an increasingly efficient and effective regulatory system in Alberta. I believe there is a very positive future ahead.

Current community involvement efforts.

I volunteer each month with Calgary Legal Guidance and mentor a university student through the Fuse Collective executive mentorship program. I also volunteer with the Calgary Drop-in & Rehab Centre.

Why YWE?

I believe mentorship is truly important, both giving and receiving. What drew me to YWE was the opportunity to connect with and learn from an exceptional group of women involved in the energy industry.

What are you reading?

I have several books on the go right now: (a) Conscious Capitalism, (b) The Fault in Our Stars, (c) Girl with the Pearl Earring (I am taking a continuing ed art history class and this book was highly recommended by the instructor) and (d) Slowing Down to the Speed of Life.