Program Lawyer/Legal Information Coordinator
Full-time renewable contract position
METRAC is an award-winning organization devoted to advancing justice, safety and equity for all women, woman-identified and non-binary individuals and youth through collaborative, innovative public outreach and awareness-raising, education and information dissemination, safety audits, youth prevention programs, community-based research, and policy discussion. METRAC’s work is grounded in the recognition that marginalized communities have different experiences and require culturally-informed responses to violence. METRAC envisions a world where inequity and oppression are actively challenged and dismantled in interpersonal relationships, communities and systems to end gendered violence. www.metrac.org
METRAC’s COMMUNITY JUSTICE PROGRAM (CJP) is an established METRAC Program, developing and delivering legal information and education for women, youth and gender-diverse individuals, on key areas of law related to gender-based violence and family breakdown.
The CJP works to increase access to justice for the most marginalized women and survivors of gender-based violence, by strengthening individual, organizational, and community capacity through legal education, information, resources, research and partnerships. The CJP does its work through collaborative community engagement and contributes to policy development. The CJP’s values are: Access to Justice, Anti-Oppression, Community Engagement, Legal Analysis and Research, and Effective Practices.
POSITION SUMMARY: Reporting to the Legal Director, the Program Lawyer/Legal Information Coordinator works closely with a small team to coordinate and develop legal information and education resources in clear and accessible language, aimed at increasing access to legal information for vulnerable women, youth and gender-diverse individuals, and service providers across Ontario. Activities include monitoring legal developments related to gender-based violence; researching; writing plain language legal information materials; reviewing and upgrading existing legal resources for accuracy; developing and delivering public legal information and education; and mentoring students and volunteers who contribute to the Program. The Program Lawyer administers the Ontario Women’s Justice Network website, and works closely with other METRAC program staff, students and volunteers.
Activities of the Community Justice Program are funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario, the Ontario Government, the Government of Canada and the City of Toronto. The program administers the Ontario Women’s Justice Network website www.owjn.org, the Family Law Education for Women (FLEW) campaign www.onefamilylaw.ca, and other public legal education and information projects which are delivered in Ontario.
- Contributes to the development of the CJP towards fulfilling program goals and mission, consistent with METRAC’s strategic plan
- Works with the Legal Director to develop and maintain a plan to renew and initiate new legal information materials consistent with an overall CJP strategy
- Develops and implements a Legal Information Coordination Plan
- Monitors relevant changes in law and policy, and emerging legal issues relevant to the CJP’s work and resources
- Develops new content for www.owjn.org
- Monitors and maintains the OWJN website content, design and function for accessibility and accuracy
- Reviews, revises, develops and drafts legal information for existing and new CJP resources in various formats
- Supports legal information needs of the CJP’s projects, including the FLEW campaign, OWJN website, legal information trainings and other initiatives
- Conducts legal research
- Creates or oversees the development of plain language legal information materials
- Presents accessible legal information in the community, to inform about the law and its processes, legal rights, and the justice system, related to gender-based violence
- Coordinates and supports Pro Bono Students and other legal information volunteers
- Contributes to the CJP’s community relationships
- Contributes to the CJP’s data collection system and tracks and records data about the CJP’s legal information activities
- Contributes to evaluation, improvement and reporting of CJP legal information activities
- Works with organizations across Ontario to develop and provide legal information in response to identified needs
- Responds to requests for general legal information from the public and media, and maintains a roster of lawyers for appropriate referrals
- Participates in regular progress meetings and prepares regular progress reports
- Supports grant, report and application writing
- Assists with special METRAC events (e.g. fundraising, forums, AGM, volunteer training)
- Contributes to METRAC internal committees, working groups, and seminars
- May be required to work occasional evenings and weekends
- Other duties as required.
- Law degree and membership in good standing with the Law Society of Upper Canada.
- Minimum of 1 to 3 years of experience in the practice of at least one of: family law, immigration law, criminal law or human rights law
- Understanding of legal/social issues of gender-based violence that is consistent with feminist and gender diversity analysis
- Anti-oppression/intersectional analysis of law, legal systems and law enforcement
- Knowledge of intersecting areas of immigration law/criminal law/family law/human rights law in Ontario and Canada
- Ability to carry out legal research and analysis
- Excellent communication skills – written, verbal and inter-cultural skills
- Comfortable working independently and collaboratively as a member of a small team
- Ability to work in a community agency with limited resources
- Computer literacy (MS Office, WordPress, web 2 platforms, online research)
- Proficiency in speaking languages in addition to English is an asset.
- Demonstrated experience in legal research, legal analysis and plain language writing
- Self-reflective and collaborative practice that is non-judgmental, compassionate and reflects METRAC’s mission
- Demonstrated commitment to equity, mutual respect, teamwork, working with diverse people with diverse ideas; ability to adapt to change as necessary
- Ability to work in an open office and shared space environment
- Demonstrated commitment to personal and professional development.
HOURS OF WORK: Five (5) days per week (35 hours)
This is a one-year contract with the potential for annual renewal, subject to available funding.
SALARY: Based on experience and qualifications. Option to join health benefits plan following successful probation period.
START DATE: Flexible. No later than October 1, 2018.
Please apply with a resume and a cover letter describing the specific skills and experiences that you feel you would bring to the position. Email your application to Hiring Committee-Program Lawyer at firstname.lastname@example.org
DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: September 7, 2018
METRAC is committed to equitable and inclusive employment practices and we encourage applications from people who identify as women from historically marginalized groups.