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Career Opportunities

Barrister & Solicitor – Junior Legal Counsel

Department: Legal Services
Location: Calgary/YYC

Position Summary:

The Indigenous Justice Centre is a pro-bono law firm located in Calgary, also known as Moh-kíns-tsis (Blackfoot)/Wincheesh-pah (Stoney)/Kootsisáw (Tsuut’ina/Dene) and Otos-kwunee(Cree). The IJC is committed to providing service and access to justice to the Indigenous population within Calgary and the surrounding regions. The IJC is committed to providing a supportive and collegial team environment where staff works together to provide excellent and holistic legal services to our clients.

Ideal candidates are those looking for a challenge and an opportunity to play a role in the implementation of an innovative organization focused on reducing the over-representation of Indigenous peoples in the justice system and in restorative justice. Additionally, those interested in being on the front-line working in a fast-paced litigation-based office environment.

 

The Junior Counsel position will be responsible for both adult and youth criminal legal matters related to breaches of court orders, driving offences, property related offences, violent offences, sexual offences, crimes of dishonesty for bail, trial and resolution.


The Junior Counsel will provide greater access to justice and improve the effectiveness of legal services to all Indigenous persons in a culturally appropriate manner in all aspects and areas of the justice system, including the right to timely, efficient and quality legal advice to ensure the rights of Indigenous people are addressed at the earliest stages of encountering the justice system.

Key Outcomes:

  1. Indigenous peoples will receive immediate, timely and culturally effective legal services to address their legal matters without delay to reduce time being remanded.

  2. Indigenous peoples will receive positive, meaningful outcomes in regards to dispositions at sentencing.

  3. Indigenous peoples will receive culturally informed and culturally sensitive legal representation from lawyers that are culturally competent.

  4. Indigenous peoples will have access to restorative justice approaches, and will be provided community sentencing that reflect Indigenous values (i.e.: the provision of peacemaking circles, healing initiatives and/or ceremonies).

Key Responsibilities Include:

  • Appearing in the Alberta Court of Justice and the Court of Kings Bench on Youth and Adult criminal matters that are both summarily and indictable;

  • Assist Senior Counsel on file matters as assigned by preparing and providing legal opinions on the conduct of files to Senior Counsel, helping with adjournments, and assisting with disclosure review.

  • Meet with clients, providing legal opinions on files, running bail hearings, dispositions, trials and sentencings on assigned files;

  • Conduct effective management of a caseload;

  • Receive, organize and review disclosures;

  • Maintain appropriate documentation, clear and detailed notes, and timesheets on each file;

  • Advocacy on behalf of clients at all stages of a file;

  • Conduct legal research and writing, listing and briefing cases as required;

  • Draft clear, concise and accurate submissions/ written arguments.

Knowledge and Skills:

Exhibited Skill Sets:

  • The ideal candidate will have at least 2 years experience in running bail hearings, dispositions, and preparing for trials.

  • Strong commitment to the vision and values of the Indigenous Justice Centre;

  • Strong oral and written advocacy skills;

  • Demonstrates competency in running trials and applying advocacy skills in all levels of court;

  • Strong negotiation and alternate dispute resolution skills;

  • Ability to think strategically and demonstrate effective problem solving and interpersonal skills under pressure;

  • Efficient time management skills;

  • Experience conducting legal research and preparing and presenting legal opinions;

  • Self-motivated with the ability to work independently and proactively as a team player;

  • Strong knowledge of the structure and procedures of Canada’s Criminal Justice System, including applying the Gladue principles and effectively using relevant case law.

Cultural:

  • A strong understanding of Indigenous issues, social justice advocacy, diversity and anti-oppressive practice;

  • Understanding of Indigenous restorative justice approaches;

  • Knowledge of the structure of the Calgary Indigenous Court (asset not required)

  • Strong cultural knowledge and/or understanding of traditional and ceremonial teachings (particularly regarding local Indigenous peoples and diverse Indigenous populations);

  • Understanding of how to work effectively with Elders, Sacred Teachers and Knowledge Holders and follow traditional protocols;

  • Ability to speak an Indigenous language (asset not required);

  • Understanding of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action.

Formal Education:

  • Bachelor of Laws (LLB) or Juris Doctor (JD). Working level both summarily and indictable.

Applicable Experience and Requirements:

  • The candidates must be active members in good standing, or must have immediate eligibility for full membership with the Law Society of Alberta.

  • 2 to 5 years experience in litigation in the practice of criminal law.

  • Vulnerable Sector Check valid within 30 days of employment

Salary and Benefits:

Term Position – Full Time
Base Annual Salary Range – $95,000 – 125,000 annually depending on experience

Memberships – Canadian Bar Association, Indigenous Bar Association and Calgary Bar Association

Liability Insurance Included
Weekly Hours – 40 hours per week. Work from home not available due to requirement to be in court most days.
Benefits – 65% of benefits package includes dental, health, insurance, long term disability
Pension – 3% RRSP employer contribution – with minimum 1.5% employee contribution to RRSP or TFSP
Vacation – 3 weeks annual vacation
Cultural Days – 4 per year
Paid Time off – Annual sick days, Stat holidays as outlined by policy
*Benefits available after 6 months of continuous employment.

Send Resume and Cover Letter to:
executivedirector@ijcalberta.ca

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