Senior Legal Counsel
About Queen's University
Queen’s University is the Canadian research intensive university with a transformative student learning experience. Here the employment experience is as diverse as it is interesting. We have opportunities in multiple areas of globally recognized research, faculty administration, engineering & construction, athletics & recreation, power generation, corporate shared services, and many more.
We are committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcome applications from individuals from equity seeking groups such as women, racialized/visible minorities, Indigenous/Aboriginal peoples, persons with a disability, persons who identify in the LGBTQ+ community and others who reflect the diversity of Canadian society.
Come work with us!
Queen’s University is seeking an experienced lawyer who is highly proficient in the field of Administrative Law. Reporting to the University Counsel, the Senior Legal Counsel will provide timely and effective advice to multiple university participants about compliance in key areas of university responsibility: accessibility, accommodation, data protection and privacy, human rights, and records management. In addition, there is a particular emphasis on supporting university adjudicative processes related to academic and non-academic issues such as: academic appeals; academic integrity matters; and, student conduct.
This position offers the opportunity to use your experience and judgment to consult on a wide variety of strategic decisions and initiatives with a great deal of autonomy. You will work across the university with all 5 faculties, a number of administrative units and senior administration, ensuring that every day is both challenging and rewarding. The University Secretariat and Legal Counsel Office is a very collaborative team that works with committees that consist of people with diverse ideas and backgrounds, to which our ideal candidate will add valuable perspective.
If your skills and experience meet our requirements, and you are looking for a collaborative environment that offers numerous challenges, we encourage you to apply.
- Work closely with University Counsel and Corporate Counsel to provide sound strategic legal advice to the university community, based on subject-matter expertise in administrative law, tribunal hearings, human rights, labour and employment and other areas affecting university operations.
- Monitor, review and provide practical and unbiased advice and representation on procedural and contractual arrangements.
- Ensure the provision of expert, timely, practical, effective and consistent legal advice to clients within the university community and ensure consistency in decision-making processes.
- Serve as a trusted strategic partner with University and Corporate Counsel and with senior management, Departmental leaders, and academic administrators.
- Engage in meaningful efforts to understand the diverse academic, research and operational needs of the University.
- Provide clear, accurate assessment of legal issues and risks while respecting business judgment and decision-making authority of university administrators.
- Represent the university’s interests on procedural and substantive matters.
- Provide strategic advice concerning dispute and conflict resolution.
- Conduct thorough and objective research, providing information and effective recommendations to University Counsel, Corporate Counsel, and other university clients.
- Participate on committees and working groups as assigned, representing the Office of the University Secretariat and Legal Counsel in a professional manner that builds relationships, encourages inter-departmental collaboration and promotes the University’s strategic goals.
- Determine the need for, develop and deliver, training programs to university clients as appropriate.
- Liaise with external counsel, provide litigation support and management.
- As appropriate, represent the university’s interests before courts and administrative tribunals.
- Participate in professional development to maintain knowledge of changes to relevant laws and regulations, working with key stakeholders to understand the operational and procedural impacts such changes may have on the university.
- Perform other duties as assigned.
- A law degree (LLB or JD), from an accredited Canadian university, and member in good standing with the Law Society of Upper Canada.
- A minimum of 12 years’ of experience practising law, including at least 8 years’ prior experience in administrative law, working with a variety of administrative boards and/or tribunals.
- Previous exposure to corporate/commercial, construction, intellectual property and procurement law would be an asset.
- A breadth of general legal knowledge across a variety of fields.
- Proven success in providing fair and impartial legal guidance regarding complex issues.
- Prior experience in developing policies and procedures/guidelines in a private or public sector organization.
- Experience in dispute resolution, mediation, arbitration, and enforcement of policies and procedures/guidelines.
- Prior legal experience in a post-secondary education setting would be an asset.
- Ability to cultivate and maintain productive and collaborative relationships with the University Secretariat and Legal Counsel team, with a broad range of university clients including academics, students, staff, senior administrations, and with external legal consultants.
- Excellent facilitation and mediation skills, with the ability to use these skills to develop solutions that ethically, tactfully and diplomatically respond to the needs and expectations of diverse groups at all levels.
- Sound judgement and discretion when dealing with confidential and sensitive issues, and the ability to recognize when it is necessary to escalate issues to University Counsel or Corporate Counsel.
- Ability to swiftly prioritize matters and to and manage multiple, competing short and long-term projects, and to shift quickly between substantive areas of law.
- Excellent communication skills: listening, written and verbal, and the ability to adjust communication style to specific audiences.
- Possess high standards of ethics and integrity as demonstrated by having the ability to make and communicate difficult decisions and the ability to deliver difficult messages in sensitive situations, while maintaining trust and strong working relationships with colleagues and clients.
- Exceptional ability to draft accurate, complete and persuasive legal documents such as legal opinions and responses, position statements, legal briefs and correspondence.
- Proven record of commitment to advancing equity, diversity and inclusion.
- Strong administrative, organizational and time management skills.
- Ability to work with a variety of software tools including spreadsheets, databases, document management tools, and internet/legal search engines.
- Facilitates complex decision-making processes, leveraging all identified clients and stakeholders.
- Determines type and level of information required by University Counsel and Corporate Counsel to support decision-making.
- Makes effective recommendations to University Counsel or Corporate Counsel concerning university policies and procedures.
- Provides expert advice and effective recommendations to university decision-makers.
- Set and direct own work, ensuring task due dates are aligned with portfolio and unit priorities and/or deadlines.
- Make decisions on completeness of all related process tasks aligned with portfolio and unit priorities.
- Determines appropriate learning strategy when developing training documents or delivering training programs.
- Assign work to administrative support staff as appropriate.
The University invites applications from all qualified individuals. Queen’s is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, visible minorities, Aboriginal Peoples, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity. In accordance with Canadian Immigration requirements, priority will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
The University provides support in its recruitment processes to applicants with disabilities, including accommodation that takes into account an applicant's accessibility needs. Candidates requiring accommodation during the recruitment process are asked to contact Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org.