Legal Counsel, Wahkohtowin Law and Governance Lodge

University of Alberta - Edmonton, AB (30+ days ago)

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The Wahkohtowin Law and Governance Lodge [WLGL] is hiring part-time legal counsel for our Edmonton office located at the University of Alberta, Law Centre. The WLGL is a newly established, dedicated research unit based out of the University of Alberta Faculties of Law and Native Studies. The Wahkohtowin Lodge responds to the expressed needs of Indigenous communities and organizations, who want effective strategies to address pressing interpersonal and social issues and to rebuild their own law and governance structures that resonate within their own legal and governance traditions. It specifically answers the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Callto Action #50, which calls for the creation of Indigenous Law Institutes for the “development, use and understanding of Indigenous laws.” Further information on the WLGL can be found on the Faculty of Law website at:

The Wahkohtowin Law and Governance Lodge’s purpose is to be a sustainable, community-engaged, and interdisciplinary unit that:

Supports Indigenous communities to identify, articulate and implement their own laws and governance structures through community led, collaborative research and community engagement;
Develops, gathers, amplifies and transfers wise practices and promising methodologies through the provision of experiential learning, training opportunities and conferences with Indigenous communities, organizations, students, the general public, and the legal profession; and
Produces functional and accessible public legal education and governance resources for Indigenous governments and organizations, the general public, legal service providers, and the legal profession to draw on for their own future work and goals.
Legal counsel play a central role in all three of the above areas.

Duties and Responsibilities

Developing project plans, identifying required resources and project schedules
Assisting in the preparation of project budget
Ensuring assigned projects are carried out on time and within budget, and that scope changes are identified and dealt with appropriately
Providing extensive legal research, written analysis, governance and policy development
Organizing and facilitating workshops, community engagement activities and public legal & governance education presentations for partner communities, organizations, legal professionals and the general public
Presenting policies to the WLGL team and partner communities as well as managing the communication and consultation on identified issues or recommendations to various public forums
Writing and supporting clear language public legal education materials, consultation documents, final published reports and draft or model legislation where applicable

In addition to holding a degree in law (LL.B or J.D.), candidates should be prepared to demonstrate the following:

Outstanding legal research skills with the ability to manage extensive comparative research (both national and international).
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.
Interpersonal, communication and problem-solving skills.
Ability to work within a high functioning interdisciplinary team that includes administrative staff.
Willingness to consider respectfully many points of view.
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.
WLGL is specifically looking to hire a lawyer with 5 to 10 years of experience. More junior applicants may be considered for an entry-level Research Associate position. More senior applicants will be considered, however, this vacancy has been budgeted at a 5 to 10 year experience level.

In accordance with the Trust/Research Academic Agreement, this part-time position has an initial appointment of one year. There may be an option to continue based on satisfactory performance and available funding. The position offers a comprehensive benefits package which can be found at Faculty & Staff Benefits. Salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications.

How to Apply

Interested lawyers should provide their Curriculum Vitae and law school transcript as an attachment to their application.

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.