Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Counsel Job in Calgary, Canada
This is a tremendous opportunity for a talented lawyer with relevant EDI experience and a strong passion for creating a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable legal profession. The Law Society of Alberta is the self-governing body for Alberta’s lawyers with a mandate to regulate the profession in the public interest. As a regulator, the Law Society sets standards and enforces those standards for Alberta lawyers.
Alberta is growing increasingly diverse and the legal profession faces many challenges in meeting the legal needs of all Albertans. A Bar that includes representation from all communities that make up the province will be better able to meet the public’s needs. Understanding and appreciation of differences and experiences also improves the quality of legal services. The Law Society has an important role to play in assisting lawyers and the public in meeting these challenges.
The Law Society also addresses issues of discrimination and harassment within the profession, both proactively through education and reactively through the services of the Law Society’s Office of the Equity Ombudsperson (OEO). The OEO provides confidential advice to members of the profession who have observed or experienced instances of discrimination or harassment in their workplace and facilitates informal resolution of such disputes.
Job Description – Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Counsel
As a key member of the Education team, the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Counsel (“EDI Counsel”) will work with key stakeholders on initiatives and programs related to equity, diversity, and inclusion in the legal profession. Through these programs, the Law Society will enhance lawyer competence in Alberta, support legal organizations in fostering safe, equitable, diverse, and inclusive workplaces, and ensure lawyers in Alberta have the resources and skills necessary to provide competent and inclusive legal services to the public. The EDI Counsel will also serve as the Law Society’s Equity Ombudsperson.
Success in this position requires excellent project management, communication, collaboration, organizational, teamwork, and time management skills.
Key Accountabilities and Responsibilities
* With the Manager, develop business plans in support of the equity, diversity, and inclusion goals identified in the Law Society’s strategic plan.
* Identify, develop, recommend, and deliver programs, educational materials, and practice resources that support equity, diversity, and inclusion within the Law Society, as well as in the profession and the provision of legal services generally. As necessary, liaise with internal and/or external experts and resources.
* Communicate and collaborate with equity-seeking groups both within the legal profession and among the public to identify areas where the Law Society could make impactful change with respect to equity, diversity, and inclusion, as well as discrimination and harassment.
* Support and advise the Bencher Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee on the development and roll out of initiatives and programs. Liaise with the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee.
* Support the work of the Law Society’s Indigenous Initiatives Liaison to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action in a thoughtful and collaborative way that builds and strengthens relationships with Alberta’s Indigenous peoples and communities.
* Support stakeholder engagement activities related to assigned programs.
* Develop and maintain subject matter expertise related to equity, diversity, and inclusion in the legal profession and discrimination, harassment, and safe workplace practices. Conduct risk assessments; identify systemic barriers; support policy development; and recommend strategies to advance work in these areas. Implement approved recommendations.
* Identify and implement innovative approaches to improving lawyer competence in these areas through continuing professional development.
* Communicate and collaborate with key stakeholders and internal departments to identify risk and assess needs that can be addressed through education programming, policies, and initiatives.
* Keep current model policies regarding safe and equitable workplaces and provide assistance to legal organizations in implementing them.
* Provide confidential advice, information, mediation, and assistance to lawyers, articling students, and support staff working in the legal profession, on issues of discrimination or harassment.
* Develop educational programs and/or resources relating to wellness within the profession.
* Support the Law Society in national and inter-provincial initiatives with respect to equity, equality, diversity, and inclusion issues, as well as initiatives related to the prevention of, and education about, discrimination and harassment in the legal profession.
* Contribute to shifting the culture of the Law Society away from an organization focused largely on disciplining lawyers to one that provides assistance and support to lawyers.
Education and Professional Skills/Knowledge
* LL.B. or J.D. degree (or equivalent).
* Good standing with a Canadian Law Society.
* 7+ years of practice experience or similar experience within the legal community.
* Education, training, and/or certification in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
* Experience in a self-regulated environment.
* Demonstrated interest and experience in engaging with equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives.
* Experience in designing and delivering educational material and programs.
* Demonstrated ability to think strategically, analyze problems and respond with pragmatic advice.
* Ability to interact with the profession, Law Society committees and Benchers, and internal departments to achieve change and engage stakeholders.
* Strong team building, organizational and communication skills with a demonstrated ability to gain consensus.
* Experience in alternative dispute resolution techniques is considered an asset.
* Superior verbal and written communication skills and the ability to interact professionally with a diverse group of lawyers, executives, managers, staff, and subject matter experts.
* Capable of independent decision-making.
* Interested in and capable of growing to meet additional challenges that may be added to this position over time.
* Occasional travel within Alberta is required.
This is an exclusive search.
The Counsel Network is committed to building a diverse legal community through our inclusive business and recruitment practices. We value diversity of experience, expertise, and background, and strive to eliminate barriers historically encountered by marginalized groups. We recognize that an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce benefits and enriches both the legal profession and the greater community.
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