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Counsel, Practice Management, Practice Supports & Resources, Professional Development and Competence

March 23 2022
Categories Civil law, In-house, Industry, Contract administrator, Legal, Paralegal
Toronto, ON

JOB PURPOSE

Counsel, Practice Management acts as a subject matter expert and confidential source of guidance for licensees relating to the Rules of Professional Conduct, the Paralegal Rules of Conduct, select by-laws under the Law Society Act, and other ethical, professionalism and practice management issues. Counsel exercises a high degree of judgment, discretion and autonomy while providing guidance on these topics.

In addition, Counsel performs a diverse range of work. This includes drafting, updating, and reviewing the Law Society’s professionalism and practice management resources; supporting the counsel functions of the Coach and Advisor Network (CAN) and Program Accreditation (ACC); and preparing and delivering presentations on professionalism and practice management topics and emerging regulatory issues. Counsel also acts as a subject matter expert within the Law Society on questions of ethics, professionalism and practice management and contributes to any other initiatives or projects that further the Practice Supports and Resources (PSR) Department or the Law Society’s mandates.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:

  • An LL.B. or J.D., coupled with being entitled to practise law by the Law Society of Ontario*.

  • A minimum of 7 years of experience practising law.
  • Solid understanding of the Law Society, including organizational structure, services, and mandate.

  • Superior knowledge of the Rules of Professional Conduct, the Paralegal Rules of Conduct, the Law Society Act and its by-laws and the professional responsibility and practice management standards applicable to licensees.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of ethical, professional responsibility, and practice management issues facing licensees.

  • Superior ability to quickly identify ethical, professional responsibility, and practice management issues in complex factual situations, and then to synthesize, identifying assumptions and gaps and applying professionalism and practice management standards and best practices to same.

  • Outstanding call management, including strong risk assessment skills.

  • Ability to take an advisory approach when educating licensees on standards and best practices and to use a coach-like approach when guiding licensees through analysis and synthesis of standards and best practices and through the application of same to their current state.

  • Strong communication skills, verbal and written, with the ability to adapt for audiences and venues.

  • Strong editing and proofreading skills with a detail-orientated approach to written materials.

  • Strong statutory interpretation skills.

  • Solid knowledge of coaching and its applications for professional development.

  • Strong research skills to support professionalism and practice management resource development or other Law Society initiatives.

  • Ability to produce, organize, and manage sometimes large volume of written materials, hard copy and online, relating to practice management, continuing professional development, and legal ethics matters.

  • Knowledge of online information provision and learning technologies and environments would be an asset.

  • Knowledge of best practices in adult learning and development and evaluation of same would be an asset.

  • French language skills would be an asset.

  • Proficiency in computer word processing (Word), spreadsheets (Excel), databases (such as AS400 and IRIS), e-mail, the Internet, Intranet, online collaboration platforms (such as MS Teams and SharePoint).

  • Ability to organize and manage large volume of written materials.

  • Aptitude and interest in technology, including social media and collaborative learning tools.

*By submitting your application for employment, you agree to a clearance check of your regulatory history with the Law Society, and to the use of this information in assessing suitability for employment at the Law Society.

Client / Customer Service Delivery

  • With limited oversight, acts as a subject matter expert for licensees in response to escalated Practice Management Helpline (PMH) inquiries within the PMH mandate, and directs licensees to practice supports and resources where appropriate.

  • Counsel responds to calls escalated based on their factual complexity, novelty or potential risk to the public or licensee. For such escalated calls, Counsel engages with the caller in the identification of practice management and professionalism issues, reviews the regulatory standards and/or best practices applicable and support the callers’ application of those standards to their facts.

  • Depending on the issue, Counsel’s guidance may also include a risk assessment, and direction to guidelines, case law and other resources available through the Law Society or other organizations.

  • Counsel synthesizes, analyzes and guides the caller towards next steps while remaining mindful that the PMH mandate does not include the provision of legal advice.

  • Counsel discusses grey areas of interpretation and emerging issues that arise in inquiries with the Senior Counsel, Practice Management and/or Counsel and Manager, Practice Management (Resources) to ensure that a consistent response is formulated for the PMH.

  • Acts as a subject matter expert for other departments and divisions on issues within the PMH mandate. Such activities include teaching, presenting, collaborating, drafting and providing comments on draft materials where the issues relate to the PMH mandate.

  • Counsel identifies emerging issues and actively participates in a team response to these issues and trends.

  • Assists with and contributes professionalism and practice management expertise to resource development, CAN and ACC functions, inter-departmental or inter-divisional requests for assistance or input, PSR working groups and special projects, and Law Society-wide initiatives, as required. This may include working in collaboration with other departments within PD&C, such as Practice Audits.

  • Counsel also contributes expertise in professionalism and practice management matters to CAN, ACC, and the lawyer and paralegal licensing processes, thereby supporting the organization’s quality assurance and quality improvement mandates.

  • Under the direction of Counsel and Manager, Practice Management (Resources) maintains existing practice management resources and develops new content for multi-media resources designed to improve compliance and/or competence.

  • Provides direction to external licensees, consultants or vendors where required.

  • Actively promotes professionalism and practice management supports and resources.

Policy Development

  • In conjunction with team members, identifies emerging issues, recommends the development of policies, content, procedures relating to matters within PSR’s mandate to resolve issues, gaps and address these issues.

  • Under the direction of Counsel and Manager, Practice Management (Resources) and Counsel and Manager, Practice Management (Supports) (collectively, the “PSR Managers”) and Senior Counsel, Practice Management provides subject matter expertise internally and externally, supporting professionalism and practice management issues within PMH, CAN, and ACC’s respective mandates.

Research

  • Remains abreast of new developments in the fields of legal education, ethics, professional responsibility, and practice management.

  • Working closely with the PSR Managers and Senior Counsel, Practice Management engages in continuous gathering and analysis of information and recent trends in the fields of legal and adult education, ethics, professional responsibility and practice management to assess licensee needs and identify emerging professionalism and practice management issues.

Team Membership

  • Fosters a positive team environment by valuing team input, recognizing the contribution of “volunteers” and other Law Society staff, resolving conflicts, strengthening the team’s collective skills and encouraging a growth mindset, creativity and problem-solving.

  • Counsel is also a member of working groups and project groups and is expected to demonstrate flexibility and commitment to the team and PSR Department to support other Law Society employees to meet deadlines and provide services to licensees.

  • Provides new staff onboarding support, cross-training and vacation coverage as requested by PSR Managers or the Director.

Relationship and Alliance Building

  • Together with Senior Counsel, Practice Management, the PSR Managers, and the Director, develops and maintains positive relations with other Law Society departments and, on an ad hoc basis, liaises with legal associations and other organizations or stakeholder groups, serving the profession to identify issues requiring action by the Law Society, ensuring appropriate coordination of service delivery to licensees.

The Law Society has introduced a Distributed Workforce Model to leverage flexibility and agility, and to maximize employee productivity and engagement. Work arrangements will be determined by role and departmental requirements. The working arrangement for this position has been classified as primarily remote, with a requirement to attend the office on an occasional basis. The specific application of this will be communicated to applicants contacted during the recruitment process.

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