Strategic Policy Counsel, Indigenous Initiatives

JOB PURPOSE:

The Strategic Policy Counsel, Indigenous Initiatives provides legal research, advice and  support for the policy-making responsibilities of the Law Society, particularly in the area of Indigenous matters, facilitating a coherent approach to policy development throughout the organization, and tackles issues that require creative, proactive and specialized strategic approaches. Acts as a resource and has in-depth understanding (local, national and international) regarding policy development and policy issues, with an emphasis on Indigenous matters and undertakes special projects primarily at the direction of the Executive Director, Policy and from time to time the CEO, Benchers, and committees. This includes acting as a resource in the area of Indigenous affairs, to committees, task forces, working groups, advisory groups, Convocation and staff of the Law Society, conducting research focused on Indigenous affairs, developing and delivering equity and diversity education programs, contributing to the development of programs and initiatives focused on Indigenous affairs for the Law Society, the profession and the public. Strategic Policy Counsel, Indigenous Initiatives thinks creatively to craft options for approaches to policy challenges that strategically align with the Law Society’s priorities, are comprehensive, are practical, are creative, innovative and progressive and ensure that the Law Society, not only keeps pace with developments, but also leads, in regulation. 

Client / Customer Service Delivery 

  • When acting as the key resource and support for Indigenous initiatives specifically the Indigenous Advisory Group (IAG) would assist in the preparation of materials, agenda and follow up.
  • Assesses requirements to support IAG activities according to its Terms of Reference, providing contextual information, interpretation of actions / decision points, and apprising the Executive Director, Policy, relevant counsel and relevant senior managers on matters as appropriate.
  • Assists other Law Society staff in the development of policy related initiatives, keeps staff informed of Indigenous initiatives.
  • Responds to staff inquiries related to the development of Indigenous initiatives.
  • Acts as staff resource to Benchers by advising, guiding, analyzing and researching policy initiatives and policy changes predominantly in the areas of Indigenous affairs.
  • Makes presentations to committees, working groups and task forces, including providing “in camera” information and analyses.
  • Conducts a variety of comprehensive legal, policy and other research, consults with internal and operational staff on challenges and opportunities, synthesizes and analyzes data/information gathered from the research and consultations, prepares a variety of reports, documents and papers as a result of the research and consultations and delivers oral briefings on the research and consultations. 
  • Acts as secretary to committees, working groups and task forces, drafts and circulates reports for the committees, working groups and task forces, prepares agenda, minutes, and summaries of meetings, and manages timelines to meet reporting requirements.
  • In addition, in conjunction with the Executive Director, Policy, Law Society staff, Benchers and others, contributes to the achievement of the strategic direction and position of the Law Society regarding Indigenous affairs. 
  • Works to ensure collaboration between the Law Society, the Indigenous community and the legal profession, and develops Indigenous initiatives, projects and programs that promote equity and diversity in the legal profession. 

Special Projects and Initiatives 

  • Working directly with operational departments to address points of intersection with Indigenous initiatives and issues.
  • In collaboration with operational departments leads the planning and implementation of outreach and consultation with Indigenous community and the Indigenous legal providers as needed. 
  • Meets regularly with the Indigenous community, the Indigenous bar and other members of the public and the profession in order to exchange information, develop and implement Indigenous initiatives, and continually expand the network of mutual interest and support.    

Research 

  • Conducts and manages a variety of comprehensive legal, policy, and other research in the areas of Indigenous affairs, both recurring and ad hoc, as directed by the Executive Director, Policy, and others as required.
  • Has strategic and in-depth understanding (local, national and international) of developments, emerging issues and trends in the regulation of the legal and other professions, of developments and trends in the delivery of legal services by lawyers and paralegals, of practice, ethical and business issues related to the delivery of legal services by lawyers and paralegals, of the challenges in the administration of justice and in promoting access to justice and of equity, diversity and inclusion issues in the legal professions.
  • Under the direction of the Executive Director, Policy  manages project planning and implementation, working with sponsoring parties to assess resource requirements (staff, financing, facilities), obtain funds via grants and other sources, retain and manage project staff, develop RFPs and manage the vendor selection process.  
  • Under the direction of the Executive Director, Policy monitors project budgets, drafting legal and service contracts as appropriate with the assistance of Procurement (Finance Department) and counsel in the Office of General Counsel. 
  • Provides substantive legal content to projects, such as articles, publications and related documentation, and develops reports and recommendations upon project termination. 

Team Development 

  • Works closely with staff in the Policy Division, and staff in all areas of the Law Society, Benchers, and other key constituents to ensure a comprehensive and consistent approach to the development of Indigenous initiatives within the Law Society. 
  • Acts as a resource and leader predominantly on Indigenous affairs, to Bencher committee(s) and Convocation by providing appropriate analysis, commentary and applied expertise to the issues under consideration. 
  • Facilitates the development of a broader team‑based approach throughout the Law Society by ensuring complete and timely dissemination of information and policy direction, as appropriate, including working as required with Communications staff.  

Relationship and Partnership Building 

  • Acts as a public face to the Law Society in the area of Indigenous affairs and access to justice to outside parties, including other law societies, legal organizations, law firms, equity-seeking and Indigenous communities, stakeholders and the general public.
  • Prepares and presents papers and submissions related predominantly to Indigenous affairs and access to justice on behalf of and for the Law Society.
  • Develops and maintains a network of key stakeholders and decision makers, communicating the position of the Law Society regarding Indigenous affairs, equity and access to justice, and building good will and credible influence among interested parties.
  • Builds and maintains a network of mutually beneficial relationships and enhances the credibility of the Law Society and the legal profession predominantly in the area of Indigenous affairs, equity and access to justice.
  • We offer a collegial work environment with competitive salary and benefits.

QUALIFICATIONS/EXPERIENCE REQUIRED: 

  • An LL.B. / J.D.*.
  • The Strategic Policy Counsel, Indigenous Initiatives is expected to support the Executive Director, Policy and to work independently, conducting research and implementing decisions of considerable importance to the Law Society and providing guidance and advice on policy to Benchers and senior managers, requiring a minimum of 8 years’ experience working for a professional governing body, government, post-secondary education organization or in legal practice, in relation to the Indigenous community. A minimum of 5 years (of the 8 years’ experience) must be in a position wherein the incumbent provided strategic policy advice.  Equivalent experience may be considered.
  • Solid understanding of related legislation, theory and practice, including human rights legislation, jurisprudence, and best practices.
  • Solid knowledge of Law Society practices, procedures, and protocols.
  • Solid understanding of the Law Society Act and its regulations, Law Society policies, and governance model.
  • Solid understanding of Indigenous affairs, culture and communities and the relationship between the Law Society and the Indigenous community.
  • Significant research and analytical ability in support of policy development decision-making processes.
  • Proven ability to navigate the implementation of a broad-based framework within a multifaceted and complex organization and across operational areas.
  • Proven ability to assess challenges from multiple and different perspectives, to think big and differently and to craft creative solutions.

*By submitting your application for employment, you agree to a clearance check of your regulatory history with the Law Society, if you are a member, and to the use of this information in assessing suitability for employment at the Law Society.

For further information, or to apply for this position, please visit the Current Opportunities page of the Law Society’s website at www.lso.ca.

The Law Society of Ontario values and respects diversity.  We are committed to creating an accessible, barrier-free and inclusive workplace in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Please make any requirement you may have for accommodation during the recruitment process known when contacted.  If you are unable to apply to this position due to the requirement for an accommodation of any kind, please email us at recruitment@lso.ca or call 416 947-3475.