Application deadline: Monday, February 8, 2021
Are you a practicing lawyer passionate about gender justice? Are you interested in working collaboratively to achieve systemic change? Do your values align with intersectional feminism? If so, we’re looking for you!
West Coast LEAF is a BC-based non-profit organization dedicated to using the law as a tool to secure an equal and just society for all women and people who experience gender-based discrimination. We recognize that gender-based inequities threaten the safety, well-being, and human rights not only of cis women, but of all women, as well as trans people who do not identify as women, Two-Spirit people, intersex people, gender non-conforming people, and people with non-binary gender identities.
Using litigation, law reform, and public legal education strategies informed by community outreach and engagement, we apply an intersectional and inclusive feminist lens to our work across six issue areas: access to healthcare, access to justice, economic security, freedom from gender-based violence, justice for those who are criminalized, and the right to parent.
West Coast LEAF’s office is located on traditional, ancestral, and unceded Coast Salish homelands, including the lands of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. We recognize that we have an ongoing responsibility to seek transformation in our relationships with Indigenous peoples and lands across the province and Turtle Island.
West Coast LEAF believes our work is strengthened when our team reflects the diversity of the communities with whom we work. We especially welcome applications from members of communities experiencing structural discrimination, including Indigenous people; racialized people; trans, gender non-conforming, and non-binary people; Two-Spirit people; LGBQ+ people; and people with disabilities. Applicants are welcome to self-identify in their cover letter to the extent of their comfort. All applications will be held in the strictest confidence and shared only with the hiring panel.
Learn more about West Coast LEAF’s work at www.westcoastleaf.org.
You see a critical, transformative role for lawyers in social movements. You are committed to using your legal skills to achieve gender equality and approach this work with humility and intentionality. You bring an intersectional analysis to your work that relies upon an understanding of settler colonialism, racism, classism, patriarchy, trans-misogyny, ableism, and other forms of oppression.
You have strong project management skills, are self-reflective, and approach your work with an ethic of relationship-building and deep collaboration. You are looking for a dynamic and supportive work environment. You are keen to work across the spectrum of law reform, litigation, and public legal education activities, and to participate in community engagement and communications.
About the Role
You will work as part of West Coast LEAF’s program team, under the direction of the Executive Director. This is a permanent full-time position based at our office in Vancouver. Staff at West Coast LEAF are currently working from their homes due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The successful applicant will have responsibility for identifying strategic opportunities to fulfil West Coast LEAF’s mandate, work closely with all staff and share responsibility for cross-program collaboration. West Coast LEAF’s work takes place through deeply collaborative, team-based processes.
The successful candidate will, in the shorter term, focus on carrying out ongoing law reform activities, including leading consultation and policy review work, and supporting existing advocacy projects across a range of issue areas (e.g., child welfare reform, pay equity, mental health detention, family law, health-based supports for survivors of sexual violence, etc.). While these activities are on the immediate horizon, the successful applicant will have significant responsibility toward determining future work.
West Coast LEAF is at an exciting time in its 35-year history, as we have embarked on a year-long process of planning to guide us as we look ahead to building a sustainable, resilient organization. Through this planning process, we will set strategic directions for the organization and determine how we can best continue to meet our mandate in evolving contexts. We are keen for the successful candidate to help shape the future of the organization and their own role within it.
Considering our current planning process, we are shifting the legal roles at the organization to better enable staff to use various, complementary legal strategies to make transformative and sustainable change. To that end, the position of staff lawyer reflects our move toward greater flexibility and cohesion across litigation, law reform and public legal education strategies, as well as allowing for staff to deepen subject-matter expertise. The position is especially suited for lawyers with five or more years of experience. The successful candidate will report directly to the Executive Director.
Specific areas of responsibility include:
- Leading and managing specific law reform and litigation activities with appropriate consultation and collaboration with the Executive Director and other staff;
- Providing input to the organization’s strategic planning and policy development;
- Representing the organization before diverse audiences, partners and collaborators, from pro bono counsel and the judiciary, to members of government and senior ministerial staff, through to community groups, coalitions and grassroots networks;
- Project management (i.e., managing project timelines, evaluation, budgeting and building strategic relationships);
- Monitoring developments related to West Coast LEAF’s priority legal and policy issues and identifying opportunities for work across West Coast LEAF’s litigation, law reform, and public legal education tools in line with an explicit gender equity lens;
- Working with members of the communications and engagement team on initiatives aimed at engaging West Coast LEAF supporters, providing support to community organizations with whom we partner, and promoting the work of the organization through media inquiries
- Working with the Director of Development and Engagement and other staff to develop and write funding proposals and reports; and
- Co-leading recruitment, training, and supervision of new legal staff, when hiring happens, as well as recruiting and supervising articling students, law student interns, and consultants from time to time.
- A law degree (call to the bar in BC or eligibility for admission to the Law Society of British Columbia);
- Demonstrated, recent experience in litigation and/or law and policy research, analysis, and advocacy in the areas of constitutional law, human rights, and administrative law. Preference will be given to applicants with 5+ years of relevant legal work experience.
- Clear, concise communication abilities, with sensitivity to audience and accessibility of communications;
- Experience working within social justice movements and alongside communities directly affected by oppressive laws, policies, and practices;
- A strong intersectional and inclusive analysis of gender-based discrimination and gender-based harm;
- Time management and organization skills; and
- Initiative, flexibility, collegiality, and a passion for human rights and social justice.
The following skills and experiences are an asset for this role:
- Fluency in French or other languages;
- Experience in public speaking, presenting, and facilitation;
- Experience working with and familiarity with community organizations in British Columbia.
West Coast LEAF is committed to the health and safety of our staff members and volunteers, as well as our community as a whole. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, staff members are currently working remotely. As circumstances evolve, we anticipate that the staff lawyer will do a combination of remote-based and in-person work, subject to public health orders and guidance, West Coast LEAF’s own policies and protocols, and individual health needs.
Salary and Benefits
West Coast LEAF offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience in addition to a generous benefits and vacation package. The salary for this position ranges from $75,000 to $95,000.
How to Apply
Applications should include a cover letter and your resume detailing your relevant experience (PDF format please). Please submit your application to Raji Mangat, Executive Director (she/her/hers) at firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line “Staff Lawyer Position.”
To be considered for this position, your application must be received by 5 pm on Monday, February 8, 2021. We anticipate interviewing short-listed candidates in mid-February via remote videoconferencing. Short-listed candidates will also be asked to submit a brief legal writing sample (no more than 20 pages) and the names and contact information for three references. Please do not submit writing samples or provide information about references with your initial application.
We thank all applicants for their interest. Due to the number of applications we receive, only those applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.
Please contact us at email@example.com with any questions about the position, including any requests to meet your accessibility needs in relation to the application process.