Reconciliation Staff Lawyer

Better laws. Plain and Simple.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: POSITION OPEN UNTIL FILLED

March 2022

The British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) seeks a staff lawyer to join our team. This is a new position, and this lawyer will develop and implement a program of law reform to support aligning BC’s Crown legal framework with Indigenous governance under the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

The successful candidate will have an interest in addressing fundamental legal and systemic issues that arise from implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This is a full-time position; the location is flexible. Our office is based in Vancouver and the candidate will need to be able to attend in person regularly as part of our team.

ABOUT THE POSITION

The British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) is a not-for-profit law reform agency that works to improve and modernize the law. We are a small team of legal professionals. Our projects strengthen laws, develop just and innovative solutions, and increase access to justice through independent scholarly research, writing and educational tools for law reform. The Canadian Centre for Elder Law (CCEL) is a division of the BCLI that is recognized internationally for its expertise in elder law.

In November 2019, the BC government passed the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (Declaration Act). The adjustments contemplated by the Declaration Act will require innovative law reform, research and education that will inform the Crown’s ability to align with and accommodate Indigenous legal frameworks. The BCLI intends to contribute to this transformative work by launching its Reconciling Crown Legal Frameworks Program.

As BC’s only independent law reform organization, the BCLI is in a unique position to identify changes to Crown laws to support Indigenous governance. While the BCLI is not expert at Indigenous legal orders, it is expert at Crown law and legal frameworks. Our goal is to build a body of research that can inform Crown ministries, educate and inform lawyers and others who work in this area, and ultimately enable legal pluralism.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

This staff lawyer will work with the Executive Director to develop this program, conduct research and consultations, publish reports and strengthen our networks in this important area of law. This program will initially focus on ways that the Crown legal system needs to adjust to implement the UN Declaration, support access to justice for Indigenous peoples and enable legal pluralism.

You will work as part of the BCLI team under the direction of the BCLI Executive Director. The position involves:

  • Working with an advisory committee to identify legal issues related to implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • Conducting legal research, writing and analysis on law reform projects that will be published as part of our Reconciling Crown Legal Frameworks Program
  • Consulting with stakeholders to support law and policy reform activities regarding legal pluralism
  • Producing content for publications, including law reform reports, study papers, and public legal education tools
  • Producing articles for our blog and other publications to promote the work of the BCLI
  • Developing project plans, project schedules and helping to identify funding
  • Managing BCLI projects
  • Undertaking public communications and outreach on behalf of BCLI in support of our projects
  • Supervising interns, co-op, and summer students

QUALIFICATIONS

In addition to being a member of the Law Society of BC, candidates should be prepared to demonstrate the following:

  • Outstanding legal research and writing skills with the ability to manage extensive comparative research
  • Strong ability to identify policy issues and explain options for how the law should change
  • Understanding of Indigenous laws and Indigenous cultures
  • Experience in developing and giving presentations on law reform topics to a range of audiences, both online and in-person
  • Interpersonal, communication and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work within a high functioning team
  • Developing skills as a group-facilitator and public speaker
  • Demonstrating or developing skills related to project management

The following skills and experiences would be an asset in this role:

  • Experience in engaging Indigenous laws and legal frameworks
  • Experience in working with Indigenous peoples and communities on law and policy issues
  • Experience developing educational resources or public legal education learning tools (print, video, online)
  • Ability to apply cultural safety and humility approaches + a gender-based analysis to research and writing

The BCLI/CCEL values diversity, and particularly acknowledges the expertise applicants may bring related to their identity and personal experiences. We 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, LGBTQ+ people, and people with disabilities. We encourage applicants to self-identify any personal characteristics or experiences that support our commitment to diversity if they feel comfortable doing so.

SALARY AND BENEFITS

Salary commensurate with experience and year of call. BCLI offers generous benefits and 4 weeks of vacation, in addition to our office closure from December 24 to January 1st annually.

COVID-19

The BCLI offices are located at the Peter A. Allard School of Law on the unceded territories of the Musqueam (xʷmәθkʷәy̓әm), Squamish (Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw), and Tsleil-Wauthuth (Sәlílwi әtaʔ/Selilwitulh) peoples. We expect a hybrid approach that would include a combination of remote- based and in-office work, subject to public health orders, UBC guidance, BCLI’s own protocols, and individual health needs.

HOW TO APPLY

Applications should include a cover letter, resume detailing relevant experience, and a legal writing sample of not more than 20 pages. Please submit your application to Karen Campbell, Executive Director, at careers@bcli.org with the subject line “Reconciliation Lawyer Position”. We thank all applicants for their interest. Only those applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.

Please contact kcampbell@bcli.org with any questions about the position, including any requests to meet your accessibility needs in relation to the application process.