December 13, 2020
Created by an act of the Legislative Assembly in 1797, the Law Society of Ontario governs Ontario’s lawyers and paralegals in the public interest by ensuring that the people of Ontario are served by lawyers and paralegals who meet high standards of learning, competence and professional conduct.
Strategic Policy Counsel provides advice and support for the policy-making function of the Law Society where it tackles issues that require creative, proactive and strategic approaches. Strategic Policy Counsel takes on some of the toughest policy challenges confronting the Law Society and is required to think big and differently. Strategic Policy Counsel has in-depth understanding (local, national and international) of developments, emerging issues and trends in the regulation of 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 challenges in the legal professions. Relying on this knowledge, Strategic Policy Counsel 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. Strategic Policy Counsel works with working groups and task forces that are established to deal with a discrete issue within a fixed period of time. Strategic Policy Counsel also works with standing committees of Convocation when they are dealing with more complex issues.
- An LL.B. / J.D. and a lawyer licensee in good standing with the Law Society*.
- Strategic Policy Counsel is expected to work collaboratively as well as independently, conducting research of considerable importance to the Law Society and providing creative and proactive guidance and advice on policy to benchers and staff, requiring a minimum of 10 years’ experience working for a professional governing body, government, legal organization or in legal practice or similar professional setting. A minimum of 5 years (of the 10 years’ experience) must be in a position wherein the incumbent provided strategic policy advice. Equivalent experience may be considered.
- The incumbent may be required to travel in Ontario and throughout Canada (and, on occasion, internationally), primarily related to consultations, but also to present at meetings and conferences.
- Solid understanding of the Law Society Act and its regulations and by-laws, Law Society policies, and the Law Society’s mandate and its policy-making processes, or willingness to learn.
- Proven ability, on a superior level, to quickly and thoroughly research and analyze complex legal and policy issues.
- Strong statutory interpretation skills.
- Proven ability, on a superior level, to work in a wide range of legal areas and fields of policy.
- Substantial knowledge of public policy, public administration and regulatory policy processes and procedural issues.
- Comprehensive knowledge and use of research tools including data analysis.
- Familiarity with consultation and analysis techniques.
- Proven ability, on a superior level, to prepare concise, well-written reports.
- Proven ability, on a superior level, to communicate both orally and in writing complex information in audience appropriate language and format.
- Expressive and persuasive in both spoken and written language facilitating effective decision-making.
- Computer literacy, including familiarity with word processing and applications, and social media.
- Sound judgment, tact and sensitivity to functioning as non-partisan staff in a “government” setting.
- Proven ability to work under pressure.
- 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, and to the use of this information in assessing suitability for employment at the Law Society.
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 a Code-protected recruitment-process accommodation 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 email@example.com
Client / Customer Service Delivery
Provides support to benchers and staff by assessing problems, situations and challenges, identifying core and consequential issues, analyzing research and other input and, drawing on their assessments, analyses and knowledge, advising on possible solutions, their impacts and risks.
Prepares a variety of reports, documents and papers in aid of providing support to benchers and staff as outlined above.
Assists in developing and analyzing consultations with stakeholders, legal professionals and the public.
Attends at meetings and functions, including external consultations on policy options.
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 time lines to meet reporting requirements.
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.
Conducts a variety of comprehensive legal policy and other research; consults with internal and operational staff on challenges and opportunities; analyzes research and other information; undertakes risk analysis and evaluation of policy options and mitigation strategies; assists in the preparation of financial and resource impact analyses; assists in developing and analyzing consultation with stakeholders, legal professionals and the public.
Strategic Policy Counsel is required to conduct research in areas where there may be few, if any, precedents, requiring ingenuity and innovation.
Special Projects and Initiatives
Drafts submissions, correspondence, presentations, articles, etc., on behalf of benchers and staff.
Attends, addresses and participates in meetings, conferences, symposia, etc.
May lead and/or support consultation and stakeholder initiatives related to policy development.
May undertake a variety of other projects as assigned or required.
Relationship and Alliance Building
Acts as a public face of the Law Society to outside parties, locally, nationally and internationally, including other law societies, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, other legal organizations and law schools, and Canadian provincial and federal governments.
Prepares and presents submissions on behalf of the Law Society, and other stakeholders as assigned, in order to influence and inform policy, regulations and legislation affecting the legal professions.
Develops and maintains a network of key stakeholders and decision makers, communicating the position of the Law Society, and building good will and credible influence among interested parties.
- Works closely with other staff within the Law Society at all levels, to ensure a strategic, comprehensive and consistent approach to policy development within the Law Society.
- Facilitates the development of a broader team‑based approach throughout the Law Society by ensuring comprehensive and timely dissemination of information, as appropriate, and coordination and collaboration of efforts by staff.
- The requirement to maintain a high standard of commitment, ethics, respect, care in service delivery to clients (internal and/or external).
Communication and Interpersonal Skills
- The requirement to structure and deliver effective verbal and written communication with clients, staff, licensees, the public and others in a non-threatening and constructive way.
- The requirement to share responsibility for the achievement of team goals and the associated behaviours required for individuals to contribute effectively in a team environment.
- The requirement to demonstrate an attitude that consistently strives to improve a standard of excellence for one’s self and for the benefit of the organization, its licensees and stakeholders.
Problem Solving and Judgement
- The requirement to identify and analyze problems, determine root causes, evaluate alternative solutions and take and/or recommend appropriate solutions.
Technical Competence / Professional Knowledge
- The requirement to apply knowledge and skills to carry out the work and/or provide advice.
- This also includes the quality of advice given, as well as the requirement to make decisions in the best interests of the organization as a whole.