The Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, invites applications for the Executive Director of the Dalhousie Legal Aid Service (DLAS). This is a three-year limited-term position at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor. The position is expected to commence October 1, 2021 and is eligible for renewal.
Reporting to the Dean, Schulich School of Law and the DLAS Board of Trustees, the Executive Director provides strategic leadership and oversight of clinic operations including budgetary and personnel management, clinical education, client services, partnership development, community outreach, and law reform. This is an academic administration position, encompassing leadership, administration, strategic advocacy where appropriate, and teaching.
The Executive Director builds and maintains positive working relationships with members of the clinic team, the Dean of Law, Schulich Law faculty and staff, DLAS Board of Trustees, central administration of Dalhousie University, and key partners including Nova Scotia Legal Aid and the Law Foundation of Nova Scotia. In collaboration with the Dean of Law, the Board of Trustees and other key stakeholders, the Executive Director implements strategic planning processes, monitoring and reporting on progress of strategic priorities.
The Executive Director oversees the clinical education program, and in collaboration with the DLAS Staff Lawyers and Community Legal Workers provides supervision to students in the conduct of cases on behalf of low-income and marginalized clients and conducts cases before tribunals and courts on behalf of clients. As part of both the clinical education of students and in service to the community, the Executive Director collaborates with staff, students, and community partners to pursue law reform activities, deliver community outreach and public legal education initiatives, and identify the need for changes to existing legal aid/poverty law.
As the administrative head of the DLAS, the Executive Director provides leadership for the full scope of human resource functions for DLAS staff in keeping with University policies and practices and, with the assistance of the Office Manager, oversees the annual budget, ensuring that operating, grant, and donor funding is appropriately allocated according to the DLAS strategic priorities. The Executive Director works with the Office Manager, the Dean of Law and staff, and Dalhousie Facilities Management to ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place to deliver a community embedded legal aid service.
The ideal candidate will be an outstanding communicator, relationship and community builder with the ability and experience to work effectively with under-represented communities.
Demonstrated experience in team leadership and partnership development is required. The successful candidate must hold a LLB or JD degree and be a practicing member of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society or be in the position to become such a member within a short period of time. A Master’s degree would be considered an asset.
About the Schulich School of Law
The Schulich School of Law plays an extraordinary role in the fabric of Canadian legal education.
We are a national law school, with our students coming from and returning to every region. We graduate leaders. Our alumni hold every form of government office, teach in Canadian law schools, innovate in the provision of private and public sector legal services and in business, advance policy in the executive branch of government, render decisions on courts across the country, and offer service to non-governmental bodies and non-profit and community organizations. We have always been known for and proud of our commitment to unselfish public service, in the Weldon tradition.
We embrace the interdisciplinary opportunity of working in a university, we value the creation and dissemination of new knowledge, and we are firmly committed to students and to teaching and learning excellence. We are conscious of the difference we make to law reform, adjudication, legal service, and community engagement at home and around the world. We value the contributions of the founding communities in this province, the Mi’kmaq Nation, Acadians, African Nova Scotians, and British, and we open our doors to the world.
For more information, see the Schulich School of Law Strategic Plan at https://www.dal.ca/faculty/law.html.
About the Dalhousie Legal Aid Service
Dalhousie Legal Aid Service is a community-based office in the north-central neighbourhood of Halifax, Nova Scotia. It also is a clinical program for law students and is operated by the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University. Funding is provided by the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, the Nova Scotia Legal Aid Commission, the Law Foundation of Nova Scotia, special events, and the friends and clinic alumni of Dalhousie Legal Aid Service.
In 2020, DLAS celebrated 50 years of serving the community and educating future lawyers. In 1970, DLAS began as a summer project out of the former Halifax Neighbourhood Centre. It was the first legal service for low-income communities in Nova Scotia. It is the oldest clinical law program in Canada and the only community law clinic in Nova Scotia. DLAS is a unique partnership of community groups, law students, community legal workers and lawyers working together.
Today DLAS has a three-part mandate to: (1) provide legal aid services for persons who would not otherwise be able to obtain legal advice and assistance; (2) conduct research, provide information, make recommendations, and engage in programs relating to legal aid and law reform in the Province of Nova Scotia; and (3) provide an educational experience for students enrolled at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, who participate in the work of the service.
How to Apply
Applications for the position must include (i) a statement of the applicant’s strengths and suitability for the position (approximately 1000 words), (ii) an overview of their vision for DLAS under their leadership for the foreseeable future (approximately 500 words), (iii) a full curriculum vitae, and (iv) the names of three referees.
Applications should be submitted online at: https://dal.peopleadmin.ca/postings/6116.
The deadline for applications is June 20, 2021.
Dalhousie University is committed to fostering a collegial culture grounded in diversity and inclusiveness. The university encourages applications from Indigenous persons, persons with a disability, racially visible persons, women, persons of a minority sexual orientation and/or gender identity, and all candidates who would contribute to the diversity of our community.
For more information, please visit www.dal.ca/hiringfordiversity.