Position: Litigation Staff Counsel

Desired Start Date: July 2022
Application Deadline: May 29, 2022 at 11:59 pm PST

Applications including cover letter and resume in one combined PDF can be emailed to [email protected] with the subject line “Litigation Staff Counsel Application” and are due by 11:59pm PST on May 29, 2022.

About the position:

The BCCLA’s Litigation Staff Counsel position requires a talented person to support and carry-through the public interest litigation efforts of the association. This is a full-time, 1.0 FTE permanent position.

The Litigation Staff Counsel reports to the Litigation Director and supervises the Litigation Coordinator. This position works closely with members of the litigation department, comprised of another Staff Counsel position, a Litigation Coordinator, and articling/summer students. Ultimately, all staff are accountable to the Executive Director.

We are seeking a talented individual to execute litigation of cutting‑edge, impact‑driven cases and interventions on a wide range of issues at the trial and appellate levels of court, often in partnership with pro bono lawyers. The Litigation Staff Counsel represents the BCCLA as in-house counsel for court interventions, public hearings and commissions, and through speaking engagements and media interviews. This position collaborates with staff in other departments in their efforts to translate complex legal work in service of fundraising and public education materials. This position also engages in non‑litigation advocacy to uphold civil liberties and human rights throughout Canada.

Our current legal cases include a legal challenge to prohibit the use of lockdowns in federal prisons. We also litigate high profile interventions at the Supreme Court of Canada and all other levels of court across Canada, such as interventions related to online entrapment and challenging Canada’s designation of United States as a “safe third country” under the Safe Third Country Agreement.  

The successful candidate will have a deep knowledge of and interest in human rights and civil liberties issues, strong ethics, and a deep commitment to equality, justice, and freedom.

This position is based at our office in Vancouver at #306-268 Keefer St, on unceded Indigenous lands belonging to the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlil̓wətaʔɬ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil Waututh) nations.

In light of COVID-19, this position will work partially in-person, in incompliance with WorkSafeBC guidelines for in-office work during the pandemic, and partially remotely. A laptop and access to all required platforms will be provided.

We anticipate interviews will be conducted by BCCLA staff through video-conference in mid-June, with an ideal start date of July.

What We Offer:

Compensation: Salary is based on the BCCLA’s Salary Structure, with a base at $72,000 for a first year call, $81,000 for a fourth year call, and proceeding through to $96,000 for a 12th year of call and beyond. For this position we are currently aiming to hire a lawyer with at least 3 years of call.

BCCLA also offers a holistic and competitive work package:

  • Room for salary growth over the lifetime of all staff positions
  • Annual salary progression for all staff, and regular COLA increases.
  • Comprehensive health benefits that includes extended health and dental plan for all staff, spouses and dependents.
  • Life insurance, Long-term Disability Insurance, and AD&D for staff, family and dependents included within health benefits.
  • Health benefits starting immediately and not dependent on completion of probationary period.
  • 20 days of paid Annual Vacation, plus an additional 1-2 week December office closure.
  • 10 Statutory and 1 other paid days off every year.
  • 15 days of paid Sick Leave, including sick days, family care days, and personal wellness days.
  • Paid breaks.
  • A generous parental leave policy including a parental leave top-up.
  • Annual professional development funding for each staff.
  • Team-wide professional development and training.
  • Team-wide staff celebrations and staff appreciation.
  • A family-friendly, child-friendly, and dog-friendly work environment that supports flexible work arrangements and time in lieu arrangements with an emphasis on work life balance.
  • A workplace where your experience and voice are valued.
  • A staff team of diverse backgrounds that is committed and passionate about civil liberties, human rights, equity and justice.

Application Process:

To apply, please email your resume and cover letter in one combined PDF to [email protected] with the subject line “Litigation Staff Counsel Application” no later than May 29, 2022, at 11:59pm PST. Candidates are invited to share their LinkedIn and Twitters profiles, but are not expected or required to do so.

The BCCLA is committed to ensuring that equity, diversity, and inclusion are priority considerations, including in building a workplace that honours the particular experiences and expertise of communities marginalized through state violence and social oppression. The BCCLA strongly encourages applications from all qualified Indigenous people, Black people, immigrants and refugees, people of colour, working class people, and LGBTQ+ people. Applicants are encouraged to self-identify, should they feel comfortable doing so, in their cover letter and are invited to share how their lived experience would inform their approach and ethics in this position.

About the BCCLA:

The BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) is a non‑partisan, not‑for‑profit national leader whose mission is to promote, defend, sustain, and extend civil liberties and human rights. The BCCLA is the oldest and most active civil liberties and human rights group in Canada. The BCCLA has been actively advancing human rights and civil liberties through litigation, law reform, community-based legal advocacy, and public engagement and education for the last half century. Though we are based in BC, our work is national in scope with legal interventions and law reform advocacy across Canada.

BCCLA focuses on the relationship between people and the state, and the ways in which the state can limit or advance human rights and liberties. BCCLA’s work pays particular attention to the needs of vulnerable individuals and oppressed communities, who would otherwise have difficulty getting redress for violations and limitations on their rights despite being the most susceptible to state regulation and violations of their fundamental rights. We recognize that liberty, dignity and equality are mutually-reinforcing, and that such rights are inalienable and necessary for the flourishing of individuals and human society.

With a mandate that includes work on police accountability, government transparency, democratic rights including freedom of expression, prisoners’ rights, patients’ rights, privacy rights, surveillance and national security issues, immigration detention, and criminal legal reform, 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.

 Skills and Qualifications Required:

A full job description is provided below.

  • J.D. with at least three years of litigation experience preferred. Less experienced lawyers with exceptionally outstanding abilities and experience will be considered; at least one year of litigation experience or the completion of a judicial clerkship is mandatory. Individuals with more experience are strongly encouraged to apply;
  • Demonstrated experience with constitutional litigation is an asset;
  • Member of the Law Society of British Columbia or eligible for call to the BC Bar;
  • Exceptional analytical, research, writing, and speaking skills;
  • Substantive knowledge and understanding of constitutional law and civil liberties issues as well as the ability to think creatively and to use non‑litigation strategies to promote objectives;
  • Experience in media and/or public speaking;
  • Passion for civil liberties and human rights issues;
  • Must be extremely well-organized, able to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines, and work independently and as part of a team;
  • Experience mentoring and supervising others an asset;
  • Lived experience of or experience (paid or volunteer) working on issues related to BCCLA’s mandate are assets;
  • Ability in languages other than English are assets;

Job Description:


  • Work collaboratively with the litigation team.
  • Develop and litigate impact‑driven test cases and interventions on a wide range of issues at the trial and appellate levels of court.
  • Supervise, lead, or participate in teams of associated lawyers, act as co-counsel on cases with other public interest groups, BCCLA lawyers, and pro bono lawyers.
  • Serve as supervising counsel to pro bono lawyers the BCCLA retains to represent the BCCLA in interventions.
  • Act as counsel for the BCCLA in test cases and interventions, often in partnership with pro bono lawyers. That work includes, but is not limited to, investigating, developing, and litigating civil liberties and human rights cases in courts and tribunals; identifying and recruiting plaintiffs, conducting factual and legal research, preparing memorandums, drafting pleadings and trial arguments, conducting discovery, arguing motions, preparing witnesses, and drafting appellate arguments and intervention briefs.
  • Monitor, research, and evaluate potential and emerging civil liberties and human rights issues with an eye toward litigation.
  • Recruit and work successfully with BCCLA pro bono lawyers. 
  • Review, comment on and edit letters, pleadings and arguments of external co-counsel and other BCCLA staff litigation counsel. 
  • Contribute to legal analysis and legal strategy with the litigation team. 
  • Adhere to internal systems for recordkeeping and information sharing.
  • Pro-actively communicate with the BCCLA’s staff and the Board of Directors so that they are well informed of upcoming hearings, judicial decisions, and important developments in the litigation department. 
  • Provide mentorship to more junior staff counsel, summer legal students and articling students, and legal volunteers. This may include direct supervision of summer students and articling student on a rotating basis.

Public Engagement, Media and Fundraising 

  • Serve as a spokesperson for the BCCLA with the press and as a public speaker on BCCLA initiated litigation, and occasionally on other matters.
  • In collaboration with the Engagement department, Litigation Director and Executive Director, support a communications plan for litigation work, including:
  • Appearing as a speaker at events;  
  • Drafting and reviewing press releases and engaging in media interviews; and
  • Developing public education and engagement materials, such as blogposts, op-eds, and digital media, such as videos.
  • In collaboration with fundraising team, Litigation Director and Executive Director, support fundraising efforts, including developing and reviewing communication materials (e.g. emails and letters) for donor-based fundraising, and drafting and reviewing grant proposals related to litigation work.
  • In collaboration with the Litigation Director, manage project budgets and work with engagement staff to source funding, and prepare updates and reports for funders and the BCCLA Board, including financial reporting as needed. 

Law Reform and Legal Advocacy: 

  • Engage and maintain relationships with coalition partners, legislators, legislative staff, and community representatives working on similar issues, building issue networks across the country as appropriate.
  • Work with the BCCLA’s full staff team to implement integrated public education and legal advocacy strategies. 
  • In collaboration with the Litigation Director, litigation team and policy department, support some law reform advocacy efforts.

Administrative and Professional Responsibilities:

  • Be a member in good standing with the Law Society of British Columbia.
  • Ensure completion of Continuing Professional Development credits.
  • In your capacity as an in-house lobbyist of the BCCLA, monitor and report any required monthly lobbying activity to the Litigation Director and Managing Director.
  • Ensure compliance with the Law Society Rules and the Code of Professional Conduct. 
  • Ensure familiarity and compliance with all BCCLA organizational on-boarding documents and office policies.

Applications including cover letter and resume in one combined PDF can be emailed to [email protected] with the subject line “Litigation Staff Counsel Application” and are due by 11:59pm PST on May 29, 2022.