Date: Sep 5, 2021
Location: All locations, CA
Company: Wilfrid Laurier University
Department: Legal Services and Fair Practices Office
Job Type: Continuing
Full-time/Part-time: Full Time (>=1249 hrs/year)
Campus: All locations
Employee Group: Management
Application Deadline: September 15, 2021
Requisition ID: 2124
Wilfrid Laurier University is a leading multi-campus university that excels at educating with purpose. Through its exceptional employees, students, researchers, leaders, and educators, Laurier has built a reputation as a world-class institution known for its rich student experience, academic excellence, and global impact. With a commitment to Indigenization and commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, Laurier’s thriving community has a place for everyone.
Laurier has more than 19,000 students and 2,100 faculty and staff across campuses in Waterloo and Brantford, as well as a location in Kitchener. The university is committed to providing an inclusive workplace and employing a workforce that is reflective of local and national demographics. Our locations are situated on the traditional territories of the Neutral, Anishnawbe, and Haudenosaunee peoples. We recognize the unique heritages of Indigenous peoples and support their intentions to preserve and express their distinctive Indigenous cultures, histories, and knowledge through academic programming and co-curricular activities. Laurier’s Centre for Indigegogy is one example of how Laurier honours Indigenous knowledge.
Reporting to the General Counsel, the Legal Counsel is an in-house legal position located in the Legal Services and Fair Practices Office. This position will provide timely and effective legal and strategic advice and guidance on a broad range of complex legal and risk issues to advance and protect the interests of the university.
The Legal Counsel position will work with diverse stakeholders across the University, including academic and administrative departments and units to address issues of compliance in key areas of university responsibility, with demonstrated expertise in corporate and commercial law. This position has a particular emphasis on supporting university business processes related to academic and non-academic issues such as: general commercial agreements, strategic partnerships with the public and private sector, insurance and procurement matters, charities law, and regulatory requirements. In addition, the Legal Counsel position will work closely with the Office of Research Services to provide professional legal advice and assistance to support and advance research and innovation.
- Provide strategic legal advice and guidance to academic and administrative units at all levels of the university to address risk and consistency in decision-making processes.
- Provide expert, timely, practical, effective and strategic advice to clients within the university community on a wide variety of legal matters.
- Conduct thorough and objective research, providing legal opinions, information and effective recommendations.
- Serve as a trusted strategic partner with General Counsel, senior leadership, departmental leaders, and academic administrators.
- Determine the need for, and develop and deliver education and development programs to university clients as appropriate.
- Maintain knowledge of changes to relevant law and regulations, working with key stakeholders to understand the operational and procedural impacts such changes may have on the university.
- Monitor, review and provide practical advice and representation on procedural and contractual arrangements.
- Review, draft and negotiate commercial and institutional agreements.
- Advise on wide array of legal and policy matters, including: privacy laws, insurance, liability, investigations, publications, charitable status, international exchanges and placements, entrepreneurial activities, donors, speakers, filming, data sharing, purchase of research equipment/software/hardware, procurement, and research ethics.
- Support and provide strategic legal advice relating to the ownership, protection, licensing and commercialization of intellectual property, including agreements and other legal documents on technology transfer, IP licensing and enterprise start-up.
Legal Risk Management and Compliance
- Provide clear, accurate assessment of legal issues and risks and advice to academic and administrative units at all levels of the university on a wide variety of legal matters including contractual risk, regulatory compliance, intellectual property, and governance.
- Identify regulatory, contractual, ethical and reputational risks facing the university as it relates to research, research activities, and research agreements;
- Recommend strategies for mitigating risks and developing robust internal processes to support and manage compliance.
- Participate on and collaborate with committees and working groups as assigned, to promote the university’s strategic goals.
Litigation Management and Dispute Resolution
- Represent the university’s interests on procedural and substantive matters.
- Liaise with external counsel, and provide support and management on litigation matters, including corporate/commercial matters or regulatory breaches.
- Support university adjudicative processes relating to academic and non-academic misconduct.
- Provide strategic advice concerning dispute and conflict resolution and facilitate alternative dispute resolution processes to resolve internal and external disputes.
- Coordinate responses to external third-party reviews of institutional decisions and processes.
- Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) or Juris Doctor (J.D.) or equivalent law degree is required.
Professional Qualifications and Licenses
- Licensed to practice law in Ontario
- Member in good standing with the Law Society of Ontario
- Minimum of 3 to 7 years of experience practising law, including prior experience in contracts and corporate commercial law, working with a variety of public and private sector clients, with experience with the not-for-profit sector being an asset.
- Prior legal experience in a post-secondary education setting would be an asset.
Knowledge and Skills
- Knowledge of a broad range of legal matters and of statutory law affecting universities.
- Previous experience drafting and negotiating commercial, construction, intellectual property, insurance, and procurement contracts.
- Proven success in providing fair and impartial legal advice regarding complex issues.
- High ethical standards, integrity and professional responsibility exhibited in knowledge and practice.
- Sound judgement and discretion when dealing with confidential and sensitive issues and ability to maintain confidentiality.
- Ability to work independently and to prioritize and manage multiple, competing short and long-term projects.
- Exceptional critical thinking, analytical and research skills.
- Excellent problem solving skills and professional judgment.
- Ability to make decisions and recommendations to drive and manage change initiatives that align with university strategies, support legal risk mitigation and enhance operational legal efficiencies.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills and ability to translate information into easily understood terms, summarize information, and provide a clear rationale for action.
- Ability to cultivate and maintain productive and collaborative relationships with a broad range of university clients including academics, students, staff, senior leaders, and with external legal counsel to meet common objectives, improve outcomes and assist in solving complex legal situations.
- Strong negotiation and influencing skills.
- Experience in dispute resolution, mediation, arbitration, and enforcement of policies and procedures.
- Ability to demonstrate a high level of professionalism and judgement and to work effectively and efficiently with internal and external clients at all levels of the university.
- Strong administrative, organizational and time management skills.
- Prior experience in developing policies and procedures/guidelines for private or public sector organizations an asset.
- Intermediate computer skills in Microsoft Office Suite.
Position Grade: MG-2C
Rate of Pay: $86,546- $108,182
Hours of Work:
The normal hours of work are 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday to Friday.