The mission of the Office of the University Counsel (the "OUC") is to:
- apply sound judgment, thoughtful analysis, and constructive advice to help identify and manage legal risk;
- provide legal advice and services that are timely, pragmatic, and proactive; and
- work with academic and administrative units to streamline legal processes, wherever appropriate.
The OUC is responsible for all the legal affairs of UBC, with the exception of labour and employment matters.
- advises on UBC governance;
- advises on the legal ramifications of proposed actions and, when necessary, suggests alternative solutions or corrective courses of action;
- provides strong and responsible advocacy before courts, administrative agencies, or other public bodies;
- provides strategic legal advice and a full range of legal services directly to UBC, its senior administration, the Board of Governors, the Senates, and the Council of Senates;
- provides legal advice and services directly to academic and administrative units when requested by the deans or administrative heads of unit;
- recommends practices and procedures to protect UBC from undue liability;
- determines the legal structure of UBC's subsidiaries;
- oversees the development and review of Board of Governors' policies and delegated signing authorities;
- is responsible for UBC's compliance with British Columbia's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;
- regulates and manages UBC's conduct systems and internal administrative tribunals;
- administers UBC's conflict of interest systems;
- provides seminars and other education-oriented initiatives on legal issues affecting UBC;
- participates in special initiatives and sensitive projects on an as-needed basis;
- brings the appropriate resources to bear in the delivery of legal services and the resolution of legal disputes and, where necessary, retains, instructs and oversees external legal counsel on behalf of UBC; and
- manages the costs of legal services in an effective and cost efficient manner in order to maximize the value of UBC's expenditures.
The Legal Counsel is a core member of the OUC and provides legal advice and services to UBC.
The Legal Counsel interacts and coordinates activities directly with other members of the UBC administration. The Legal Counsel reviews contracts and recommends them for execution to UBC's authorized signing officers. The Legal Counsel is approved by the Ministry of Finance to approve the issuance of indemnities by UBC.
The Legal Counsel:
- provides legal advice and services on a range of legal issues directly to faculties and administrative units, except with respect to matters within the jurisdiction of the Department of Human Resources;
- negotiates and prepares a full range of legal agreements to which UBC is a party with a view to ensuring consistency in external dealings and compatibility with UBC's policies and objectives;
- approves indemnities as authorized by the Ministry of Finance;
- upon consultation with the University Counsel, retains, instructs and supervises external legal counsel on behalf of UBC, except with respect to matters within the jurisdiction of the Department of Human Resources;
- identifies and recommends procedures and practices to protect UBC from undue liability;
- develops and reviews University policies for consideration by the Board of Governors;
- participates in seminars and other education-oriented initiatives on legal issues affecting UBC; and
- performs other related duties as required by the University Counsel.
Works primarily in the office space maintained by the OUC in the Old Administration Building. The position requires local travel as well as some national travel for meetings and conferences.
The Legal Counsel reports to the University Counsel but is expected to exercise professional judgment in the day-to-day carriage of files and in setting priorities. The Legal Counsel may also receive work assignments from the Associate University Counsel, who assists the University Counsel in overseeing the Legal Counsel and other professional staff.
The Legal Counsel is provided with administrative support which is generally shared with other Legal Counsel. While administrative support staff report to the Assistant to the University Counsel, the Legal Counsel are expected to provide work assignments directly to the administrative support staff who have been assigned to them, to cooperate with other Legal Counsel to ensure that the overall volume of work and deadlines assigned to their shared administrative support staff are reasonable and appropriate, and to participate in the evaluation of the performance of their assigned support staff. In addition, while the Paralegal reports to the Associate University Counsel, the Legal Counsel are expected to provide work assignments directly to the Paralegal, to cooperate with other Legal Counsel to ensure that the overall volume of work and deadlines assigned to the Paralegal are reasonable and appropriate, and to participate in the evaluation of the performance of the Paralegal. Upon consultation with the