The BCCLA seeks a lawyer who is passionate about using their legal skills to uphold civil liberties and human rights in Canada.
The position will commence as soon as possible. Applications close on September 16, 2016. Apply here.
About us: The BC Civil Liberties Association is one of Canada’s leading social and democratic justice not-for-profit organizations. With a mandate that includes work on police accountability, government transparency, voting rights, prisoners’ rights, national security issues and women’s rights, we are one of the most vibrant and visible advocacy groups in Canada. The BCCLA is a small team with a big reach, and we want you to be a part of our work.
About the position:
The successful candidate will work on a wide range of constitutional and administrative issues to uphold rights in Canada. We are working on a wide range of issues including: the rights impacts of national security law, solitary confinement, privacy, discrimination and racial profiling, patients’ rights, police and CBSA accountability, criminal law reform, and many more.
It is expected that the candidate will have the capacity and appetite to become a national-level thought leader on the issues on which they work.
The counsel in this position will have the following principal responsibilities:
- Engaging in law and policy reform research, writing and advocacy;
- Developing and delivering public legal education resources and events;
- Engaging with media regularly;
- External collaboration with coalitions and diverse allies to achieve common objectives; internal collaboration with legal and non-legal staff on organizational projects and objectives;
- Managing project budgets and working with development staff to source funding, and prepare updates and reports for funders and the BCCLA board, including financial reporting;
- Providing support to policy director, executive director and litigation director on an as-needed basis;
- While this position is envisioned as principally a law reform/policy position, all lawyers may be involved in cross-cutting work that includes work on BCCLA’s litigation and other organizational functions such as planning.
You possess the following attributes:
- You are a top-notch legal thinker with strong legal research, analysis, writing and advocacy skills – you can quickly analyze a new statute, policy or judicial decision and understand the key human rights and civil liberties issue at stake and formulate a creative and pragmatic response;
- You are someone who is eager to thoughtfully challenge and argue in service of the BCCLA’s objectives;
- You have excellent problem-solving and divergent thinking skills;
- You have well-developed relationship-building and inter-personal skills;
- You possess an understanding of the state of civil liberties and human rights in Canada, of current events and the political environment, and the ability to identify and prioritize the areas of opportunity to advance the BCCLA’s cause;
- You have dynamic communications skills with an aptitude for public and media communications and community outreach – You can communicate the BCCLA’s legal analysis in a way that is credible, understandable and relatable to members of the public, media, to the academy and policy makers alike;
- You are a comfortable public speaker;
- You can analyze and articulate legal concepts and communicate them to a variety of audiences, including to the public and policymakers;
- You are able to strike the right tone to be effective in a variety of settings, whether community meetings, meetings with allied groups, testifying before a Parliamentary committee or press conferences;
- You are a thoughtful strategist with an aptitude developing proactive law reform solutions;
- You are capable of working in a self-directed and self-learning way, with appropriate support from your colleagues;
- You have experience in supporting and advancing organizational goals and are comfortable with project and budget management;
- You are committed to the organizational goals of the BCCLA;
- You are able to able thrive in highly charged situations and adapt to changing conditions to get the job done.
The successful candidate will work on a wide variety of issues. Important current focuses of our work include national security and human rights; criminal law and sentencing reform including discrimination against Indigenous people and people of colour; drug policy; police and Canada Border Services Agency accountability and reform; civil forfeiture and many more. Candidates need not have a current understanding of each of these areas but an aptitude to engage on a range of issues simultaneously is a requirement of the position.
Experience and Qualifications:
- Demonstrated interest in and commitment to human rights, civil liberties and social justice is an asset;
- Member of the Law Society of British Columbia or eligible for call to the BC Bar;
- J.D. or LLB degree; other advanced degrees an asset;
- Preference is for a minimum of three but preferably at least five years of legal and law reform experience;
- Excellent legal research and writing skills;
- Ability to engage in complex legal analysis and fact investigation in an impact litigation setting;
- Excellent oral and written communication and analytic skills;
- Excellence in media and public relations or potential to develop it;
- A deep understanding of the national and provincial policy environment in which we conduct our work is an asset;
- Experience in community outreach preferably including work with marginalized communities a strong asset;
- Ability and willingness to travel periodically within BC and Canada;
- Ability to work long hours when needed, for an employer that strives to ensure its employees can enjoy a balanced lifestyle;
- Ability to work independently as well as within a team; and
- Ability to manage several projects in a fast-paced work environment.
Salary is based on the BCCLA’s Salary Structure, and commencing at $60,000 for a first year call and proceeding through to $90,000 for 16th year of call and beyond. Benefits include extended health and dental plan for the employee, spouse and dependents, a life insurance plan, as well as four weeks’ annual vacation and generous sick leave policy. Our progressive workplace environment includes the possibility for flexible work arrangements. Although the position will begin as a one-year contract position, our intention is to continue the position as permanent if funding is available. We are also open to discussing a longer initial term length for an appropriate candidate.
Application and Selection Process
We are accepting applications here until September 16th, 2016.
The BCCLA offers a welcoming and respectful work environment. The BCCLA is an equal opportunity employer that is committed to building an inclusive and diverse workplace, and encourages applications from all qualified applicants. We encourage applicants from traditionally underrepresented or marginalized groups including Indigenous people, people of colour and queer people to self-identify in their covering letter or in the body of their email when they send us their application.
Please submit your resume and cover letter as PDFs. In your cover letter, please include up to two writing samples as appendices: one sample of your legal writing, and, if available, one sample of your writing for a public audience. Please provide the contact information for three professional references in the designated field.
When submitting your application, please name and save your attachments with your first and last name in the title, in the format: “Ann_Smith_Cover_Letter.pdf” and “Ann_Smith_Resume.pdf.”
Candidates are invited to share their LinkedIn and Twitter profiles, but are in no way expected or required to do so.
Closing date: September 16, 2016
We thank all applicants for their interest, but we will respond only to candidates who are being considered for an interview.
Interviews will be conducted by BCCLA staff at our office in Vancouver. The BCCLA will make appropriate accommodations if needed for candidates that we interview.