Legal Counsel

  • McGill University
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Nov 19, 2022
Full time Lawyer (In House Counsel) Lawyer (Public Sector) Lawyer (Other)

Job Description

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Position Summary:

Reporting to the General Counsel and Director of Legal Services, the Legal Counsel provides legal advice and general guidance to client groups of the University in a variety of matters and fields of the law, such as student matters, civil litigation, administrative law, with a focus on access to information and privacy matters; and ensures University compliance with Québec, federal, and international laws and regulations.  The lawyer is responsible for wide range of student-related matters, including promotion, discipline and management of disability-driven accommodations, support and advice to student services groups, review of affiliation and inter-institutional agreements with national and international partners. The incumbent is responsible for policy development and advice on compliance with applicable legislation, with emphasis on student matters, access to information and privacy policies and legislative compliance.


This position is expected to be one of a solid generalist able to competently advise on several areas of the law.


McGill University’s Legal Services Department favors cooperation and cross-training among in-house counsels for the purpose of facing variation in workload and offering the best services to client groups.  Consequently, duties may vary for short periods of time or may change over time.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Provides legal advice to client groups concerning a variety of legal matters, including student matters, access to information, privacy, contracts and agreements, and the application of the law to a contractual relationship.
  • Represents the University in administrative bodies and tribunals such as the Commission d’accès à l’information and the Commission des droits de la personne et de la jeunesse.
  • Advises client groups on the resolution of disputes in order to avoid litigation or facilitate effective presentation of the University’s position in the context of litigation.
  • Supervises and supports outside counsels in the preparation and presentation of litigious matters in which the University is claimant or defendant prepares for litigation, analyses legal issues, decides on evidence to be presented, drafts and verifies motions, declarations, and other legal documents.
  • Advises on and negotiates contracts and agreements, particularly inter-institutional agreements, agreements with student associations, contracts of affiliation, agreements with international partners, proposing commercial and financial arrangements benefiting sponsors and partners as well as the University.
  • Provides advice on legal and policy matters and in the conceptualization and drafting of comprehensive integrated plans, policies, regulations, guidelines and procedures governing various aspects of the University’s operations.
  • Provides authoritative legal and policy analysis and advice to senior administration on matters affecting various aspects of the University’s operations.
  • Ensures that University programs, practices and negotiated agreements respect all legal requirements.
  • Maintains current in-depth knowledge of the law and legal trends. Keeps abreast of changes.
  • Analyses the scope of complex problems and legal issues; identifies alternatives and recommends solutions.
  • Assists the University with regard to various regulatory, corporate governance or compliance matters.
  • Uses and updates standard agreements relevant to the function, including affiliation and inter-institutional agreements, non-disclosure agreements, settlement agreements, etc.
  • Performs other duties which will be assigned on the basis of client needs and institutional priorities.

Other Qualifying Skills and/or Abilities

  • Undergraduate Degree; BCL or LLB; Member of the Bar of Quebec; minimum 5 years of relevant experience preferred.
  • University work experience is an asset.
  • Knowledge and experience of civil litigation and civil procedure required for supervision and support of outside counsels representing the University in the Courts and administrative agencies. 
  • Knowledge of Privacy and Access to Information, as applicable in Québec, Canada and foreign jurisdictions (GDPR), including demonstrated ability to make representations to the Commission d’accès à l’information.
  • Knowledge of administrative law (and in particular procedural equity), in Human Rights law as applied to student matters, and representations at the Human Rights Commission, and in basic principles of employment law, as a guide to the resolution of student-related matters.
  • Experience in drafting and negotiation of contracts.
  • Demonstrated ability to function autonomously and collaboratively, to use good judgement in dealings with clients and colleagues in order to achieve desired result.
  • Excellent drafting skills and strong ability to articulate challenges and solutions, verbally and in writing.
  • Results-oriented and demonstrated ability to deliver high quality work quickly, with excellent multi-tasking and prioritizing skills.
  • Good negotiating skills.
  • Proactive, pragmatic and creative approach facilitating the resolution of disputes and the appropriate protection of University’s best interests, taking into account the University’s strategic priorities.
  • Ability to work in a complex collegial environment, where differing interests must be reconciled to achieve desired results.
  • Demonstrated experience and acumen in advising clients on sensitive and confidential matters.


This position requires an excellent command of French and English, spoken and written, in order to express concepts effectively and communicate clearly in complex situations and to provide clear explanations and documentation to client groups.




Minimum Education and Experience:

Bachelor's Degree 8 Years Related Experience /




Annual Salary:

(MPEX Grade 11) $121,200.00 - $161,600.00 - $210,080.00



Hours per Week:

33.75 (Full time)

Practice Area(s)

Educational Law Board in Montreal