Legal Counsel

  • The University of Alberta
  • Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • May 30, 2023
Full time Lawyer (In House Counsel) Lawyer (Public Sector) Lawyer (Other)

Job Description

This position is a part of the Association of the Academic Staff of the University of Alberta (AASUA).

In accordance with the Trust/Research Academic Staff Agreement, this position offers a comprehensive benefits package found on our Benefits Overview page and annual salary range of

$85,727-$96,444. This position has an approximate appointment of 1 year.


Work primarily takes place at North Campus Edmonton.

This role is hybrid with a mix of remote and in-person.

Working for the University of Alberta

The University of Alberta acknowledges that we are located on Treaty 6 territory, and respects the histories, languages and cultures of First Nations, Métis, Inuit and all First Peoples of Canada, whose presence continues to enrich our vibrant community.

The University of Alberta is teeming with change makers, community builders, and world

shapers who lead with purpose each and every day. We are home to more than 40,000 students in 200+ undergraduate and 500+ graduate programs, over 13,000 faculty and staff, 260,000 alumni worldwide and have been recognized as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for over a decade.

Your work will have a meaningful influence on a fascinating cross section of people—from our students and stakeholders, to our renowned researchers and innovators who are quite literally curing diseases, making discoveries and generating solutions that make the world healthier, safer, stronger, and more just.

Working for the Department/Faculty

The Wahkohtowin Law and Governance Lodge [the Wahkohtowin Lodge] is a dedicated Indigenous law research unit based out of the University of Alberta Faculty of Law, with the objective of upholding Indigenous laws through community-directed research and learning. Our goals are to:

  • Support Indigenous communities’ goals to identify, articulate, and implement their own laws,

  • Develop, gather, amplify, and transfer wise practices, promising methods and research tools,

  • Produce useful and accessible public legal education resources.

The Wahkohtowin Lodge responds to the expressed needs of Indigenous communities and organizations and specifically answers the TRC Call to Action #50 [CTA#50], which calls for the creation of Indigenous Law Institutes for the “development, use and understanding of Indigenous laws.”


Come join our close knit, dynamic and growing Wahkohtowin Lodge team working on “the most exciting work on the planet”: the community-led revitalization of Indigenous laws. Our lunch meetings may involve bannock and our team meetings usually include laughter. We are currently looking for a full-time and/or part-time junior lawyer or legal researcher to work on Indigenous community-led research projects. Projects this year include an exciting opportunity to work in partnership with the Indigenous Bar Association on a federal grant from the Department of Justice, to collaborate extensively with First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples [Indigenous Peoples], to write and provide a national Indigenous Justice Strategy [IJS] that will serve as a central instrument through which federal departments develop and implement legislative and policy change, and will be used as a resource for Indigenous communities and organizations across Canada for effecting change at a regional and local level.


  • Develop project plans, identify required resources and project schedules.

  • Assist in the preparation of project budget.

  • Ensure that assigned projects and reports are carried out on time and within budget, and that scope changes are identified and dealt with appropriately.

  • Provide extensive legal research, written analysis, governance and policy development.

  • Organize and facilitate workshops, community engagement activities and public legal & governance education presentations for partner communities, organizations, legal professionals and the general public.

  • Present policies to the Wahkohtowin Lodge team and partner communities & organizations as well as managing the communication and consultation on identified issues or recommendations to various public forums.

  • Write and support clear language public legal education materials, consultation documents, final published reports and draft or model legislation where applicable.

Minimum Qualifications

In addition to holding a degree in law [LLB or J.D.], candidates should be prepared to demonstrate the following:

  • Member or ability to be a member of a Canadian Law Society.

  • 1-5 years experience as legal counsel or in a responsible legal researcher role.

  • Outstanding legal research skills with the ability to manage extensive comparative research (Indigenous, provincial, federal and international).

  • Must be able and willing to travel.

  • Ability to lead a collaborative research process that uses Indigenous legal research methods and protocols, quantitative and qualitative data collection methods.

  • Strong ability to identify policy issues and explain options for how the law should change.

  • Experience working with and for Indigenous governments, communities and organizations.

  • Model respectful relationships, meaningful engagement, communication, inclusion and problem-solving skills, including willingness to respectfully consider many points of view.

  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team that includes administrative staff.

  • Strong skills as a group-facilitator and public speaker.

  • A sense of perspective and the willingness to accept that proposals will be refined or rejected by others or through consultation.

  • Ability to handle interaction and maintain positive relations with diverse faculty, staff, and community partners with tact, discretion and cultural safety in a courteous, confidential and professional manner.

  • Ability to establish and build partnerships and working relationships with diverse stakeholders.

  • Demonstrated organizational skills, attention to detail, and time management.

Preferred Qualifications

  • A demonstrated knowledge and understanding of Indigenous culture, protocols, and cultural safety, as well as strong connections with and knowledge of Indigenous communities is preferred.

  • Lived experience in an Indigenous community is an asset.

  • Experience working on Indigenous initiatives or projects.

  • Experience in developing relationships and working with Indigenous peoples and communities.

  • Experience or familiarity with qualitative research projects and qualitative research methods.

  • Research and project coordination/management experience.

How to Apply

Note: Online applications are accepted until midnight Mountain Standard Time of the closing date.

  All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. If suitable Canadian citizens or permanent residents cannot be found, other individuals will be considered. The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.