Policy and Professional Development Lawyer (OBA)

Posted on:
March 5, 2022

Position Summary

In this role, the Policy & Professional Development Lawyer is responsible for developing and advancing the association’s member services, including professional development programming and tools, public affairs initiatives, public- policy advocacy, and practice-area information services, with a particular focus on the needs of lawyers in regions outside the GTA.  

The position reports to the Associate Director of Career & Business Development Services and Associate Director of Substantive Programing & Program Delivery Innovation [the “PD Associate Directors”], and the Director of Policy, Outreach & Leadership.

Working closely with OBA members and staff, as well as the practice section executives, the P & PD Lawyer will be responsible for the successful development of the highest quality continuing professional development programming and tools, including assessing lawyer and market needs, conceiving, and drafting program descriptions, providing suggestions for speakers and program chairs based on sector connections and research, working with the marketing department to ensure appropriate marketing, meeting with panels and program chairs to ensure effective delivery of the program, drafting precedents, checklists and other tools for use by members in their practice and providing market insights to assist in determining pricing, timing and location for regional programs.

The P & PD Lawyer will also be responsible for every aspect of successful advocacy and public affairs initiatives within their portfolio, including working with section executives and working groups on identifying issues of importance to members and the profession, devising appropriate consultation and outreach opportunities, developing effective advocacy strategies and submissions, seeking OBA Board approval for policy positions, liaising with key decision makers, and communicating legislative and policy developments to the membership. 

In this role, the P & PD Lawyer will work with the OBA events team to create flagship annual events in regions outside of Toronto.  

Job Responsibilities


  • Maintain and build working relationships with OBA volunteers, members, practitioners, government and stakeholders of the organization and other legal community representatives.
  • Monitor legal trends and engage in continuous gathering and analysis of information on (a) current legislative, judicial and practice developments in a range of practice areas, (b) current and emerging issues important to members and to profession (c) competitive offerings from other CPD providers and (d) adult education techniques and learning strategies.
  • Conduct legal and other research for the development of policy positions and submissions and for professional development programming.
  • Participate in relevant Section Executive and Committee meetings to work with volunteers on planning and coordination of CPD and policy activities.
  • Provides support to volunteers, speakers, and program chairs.
  • Provides practice-area information services support to members.
  • Attends section executive meeting (remotely) where necessary for the effective development of programs, tools, policy and other products, as more fully described below.

Policy and Public Affairs

  • Assisting Sections and Committees in advancing policy submissions, including establishing and co-ordinating working groups and task forces to develop and draft submissions responsive to practice and professionalism issues. 
  • Help leverage relationships with local law associations and community organizations to advance OBA partnerships, speaking and advocacy opportunities to expand the reach and impact of OBA member services.
  • Facilitating and participating in advocacy related meetings between OBA representatives and key decision makers.
  • Assisting with processes for member involvement in the Department of Policy and Public Affairs.
  • Assisting the Manager of Communications and Information Services and Media and Communications Specialist to highlight departmental roles and successes.
  • Liaising with Section and Committee Chairs and Public Affairs Liaisons, providing advice and assistance with the communication of approved briefs, submissions, and other "messages", to achieve maximum government and political exposure where appropriate, including writing news releases.
  • Working with other PD & P Lawyers to write and distribute weekly legislative policy updates to update membership segments on key developments with major decision makers, and opportunities for participating in consultations and preparing submissions. 
  • Overseeing communications on policy matters between the OBA and government officials or other key decision makers.
  • Contributing to MPP liaison activities to build constructive relationships and support OBA advocacy.
  • Spearheading planning and writing submissions to key decision makers in furtherance of policy development and advocacy interests of the members.
  • Assisting in the developing of written remarks and other products for the OBA members for a variety of events.

Professional Development

  • Works with the PD Associate Directors to develop programs to ensure that they contribute appropriately to the attainment of CPD’s goals, budgetary and otherwise.
  • Surveys and evaluates the current CPD climate; identifies appropriate programs taking into consideration need, marketability, and financial viability, and participates with other Professional Development staff in developing the CPD curriculum and annual program schedule.
  • Facilitates meetings with leading members of the Bar and Bench to identify program content, determine the target audience, design agendas, and propose speakers, providing advice and guidance as appropriate.
  • Working both independently and in collaboration with volunteers and staff, drafts program descriptions, calendar content, advertising releases, website information, e-mail promotions and news articles; reviews, proofs, and approves promotional materials.
  • Guiding and managing the development and delivery of programs in consultation with the volunteers and CPD program coordinator, troubleshooting as required to resolve problems and ensure course content and materials meet program objectives.
  • Working with the PD Associate Directors and marketing department to develop a marketing/advertising plan for each program to ensure optimal registration.
  • Ensures that OBA programs are accredited where possible and that this is reflected in the overall marketing strategy.  Liaise with LSO to ensure accreditation is correct when necessary.
  • Works with Coordinators on the implementation and administration of each program, liaising with Publications, CPD program co-ordinators, support staff and faculty as required to ensure success. 
  • Evaluates programs following delivery, identifying appropriate changes in program design and content for future use. 
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.
  • Build relationships with regional stakeholders to increase and enhance member engagement and growth through professional development and other events; including, identifying opportunities for joint or partnerships for programs and events.


  • Lawyer in good standing with the Law Society of Ontario, with five or more years of experience in practice, government, trade association, professional development and/or consulting
  • Excellent communication, facilitation, interpersonal and conflict management skills 
  • Attentive to detail with excellent writing and editing skills. 
  • Strong organizational and project management skills.
  • Ability to interface effectively with peers and clients in the legal community. Demonstrated research, decision-making, problem-solving, analytical, and conceptual abilities.
  • Self-motivated with the ability to multi-task and complete initiatives within short timelines. 
  • Ability to recruit and motivate volunteers and to generate topic ideas.  
  • Available to attend early morning, evening or occasional weekend meetings as needed.  Experience in meeting planning and distance learning an asset.  
  • Bilingualism (English/French) is an asset.
  • Staff management experience is an asset.
  • Policy experience or adult education and legal marketing experience highly desirable.  

Vaccination Policy

In accordance with OBA’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, employees of the OBA are required to be fully vaccinated.  As a condition of hire, new staff will be required to submit proof of vaccination prior to their first day of work.

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