Director of Legal Services

Director of Legal Services

Niagara Community Legal Clinic

(A planned merger of Justice Niagara and Niagara North Community Legal Assistance)

Title: Director of Legal Services

Reports to: Executive Director (Aidan Johnson)
Niagara Community Legal Clinic

Number of direct reports: 15 (plus contract caseworkers and students)

Locations: Saint Catharines and Welland


The Director of Legal Services (DLS) is responsible for the quality and integrity of legal services delivered by the Clinic. The DLS supervises the Clinic intake process and all permanent and contract caseworkers, as well as articling, summer and placement students. The DLS provides direct services to clients and works closely with the ED to fulfill the vision, mission and core values of the Clinic.

Roles and responsibilities

Legal services

  • ensure the delivery of high quality legal services to the community
  • maintain a working knowledge of all areas of law practiced at the Clinic
  • provide direct service to clients and participate in systemic mandate
  • develop and oversee policies and practices regarding service delivery
  • assign intakes and files with the SIS and provide back up to the SIS
  • review summary advice and files of all caseworkers in compliance with policies
  • monitor caseloads, intake & duty counsel rotations and systemic involvements to ensure appropriate productivity and internal equity
  • provide regular case conferencing with caseworkers
  • communicate regularly with support staff and caseworkers regarding service standards, policies and practices to ensure consistency and quality
  • manage staff-client service issues and involve the ED where appropriate
  • ensure the safety of staff delivering service to the public
  • monitor client demand and Clinic resources to ensure service delivery and Clinic practice areas are responsive to changing legal needs
  • co-ordinate impact advocacy to effect systemic change and ensure the Clinic is a dynamic legal organization
  • collaborate with CDW staff and the ED on law reform efforts
  • oversee annual Objectives regarding legal services

Human resources:

  • supervise and provide leadership to all permanent and contract caseworkers, articling students, summer law students, Pro Bono students and placement students; define performance standards and evaluate performance in compliance with Clinic policy
  • assist the ED in relevant supervision of support staff members
  • work with the ED to co-ordinate the hiring process for new staff, the orientation and training of new staff and the Professional Development and Career Pathing Program
  • assess requests for PD work accommodations in consultation with the SFA and the ED
  • support staff lawyers and CLWs to achieve annual CPD hours
  • work with the ED to carry out the Clinic's disciplinary process in compliance with the Collective Agreement and/or relevant policy
  • co-ordinate and facilitate team meetings with support staff and caseworkers and contribute to general staff meeting agendas and lead legal service issue discussions


  • work with the ED to fulfill the vision, mission and core values of the Clinic
  • contribute to Clinic planning and the annual funding application
  • contribute to the efficient gathering and analysis of service statistics
  • carry out the duties of the ED when absent from the Clinic
  • work with the French Language Services-designated staff lawyer and the ED to ensure sustainable, high-quality French Language services
  • work with the Indigenous Justice Coordinator of the south-west Ontario clinic team and with the ED to facilitate high-quality service to Niagara's diverse Indigenous community
  • work with the ED to develop mechanisms to increase access to services


  • Law degree and Member in Good Standing with Law Society of Upper Canada
  • Minimum 5 years of experience as a lawyer and 3 years of supervisory experience
  • Extensive knowledge of clinic areas of practice and clinic operations
  • Ability to organize, plan and implement activities appropriate to advance organizational objectives
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing
  • Strong problem identification and problem resolution skills
  • Excellent teamwork and team building skills
  • A well-defined sense of diplomacy, including solid negotiation, conflict resolution and people management skills
  • Commitment to high ethical standards
  • Sound analytical skills
  • High level of proficiency with Microsoft Office
  • Capacity to work in French an asset
  • Experience in Indigenous/Gladue law an asset

Work conditions:

  • May be required to attend evening and weekend meetings
  • Travel may be required
  • Use desktop computer and peripherals
  • Overtime as required


Apply by: January 15, 2019

Send your application (consisting of a cover letter and C.V.) to

Aidan Johnson, Executive Director
Justice Niagara and Niagara North Community Legal Assistance using the Apply button.

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