Careers at LAO
Review Counsel, Immigration Law
Community & Legal Aid Services Programme (CLASP)
- Posting Number: CPM-11043
- Position Title: Review Counsel, Immigration Law
- Department: Community & Legal Aid Services Programme (CLASP), Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
- Salary: $81,985 - $92,233
- Hours of Work: 9:00 - 5:00 pm; flexibility will be required to work occasional evenings. PLEASE NOTE: This position works 24-28 hours per week.
- Position Start Date: May 1, 2018
- Position type: Full-Time / Contract
The Community and Legal Aid Services Programme (CLASP) is a student legal aid society based at Osgoode Hall Law School and one of several clinical programs offered at Osgoode. CLASP provides legal advice, representation and public legal education for low income and culturally diverse communities. CLASP works collaboratively with several local organizations on community development and law reform initiatives. As a law school clinic that engages a large number of student volunteers and which includes a 15 credit clinical program for division leaders, CLASP serves a dual mandate of service to the community and the education of law students.
Review Counsel has supervisory responsibility over the casework, public legal education, community development, and law reform activities in the division for which she or he is responsible for at CLASP. Review Counsel must abide by the CLASP Governance policies, such policies and priorities as are established by the CLASP Board, and such procedures and directions as are established within the clinic.
Review Counsel shall be responsible for ensuring that C.L.A.S.P. provides quality legal services in accordance with applicable standards of professional conduct and competence and in accordance with the terms of any agreement between LAO and the Dean of Osgoode Hall Law School and, to that end, providing appropriate supervision and training to students who deliver legal services to clients.
Review Counsel shall be responsible for all decisions taken in relation to the handling of particular client files and shall make all such decisions after consulting with any students involved in the carriage of the matter.
Review Counsel shall work from a social justice, community lawyering and poverty law framework to pursue CLASP's mandate.
Supervision of Client Services:
Supervising the casework, public education work, and law reform initiatives being handled within the divisions for which she or he is responsible, including the work of Division Leaders (law and social work) and Caseworkers, in accordance with such supervision policy as is established by the Board from time to time. Such supervision shall include:
- reviewing with the Division Leaders applications for legal assistance in the supervised divisions and determining whether to accept or reject those applications taking into consideration the relevant policies of CLASP and Division Leader input;
- reviewing and approving summary advice inquiries;
- meeting with Division Leader/Caseworkers when files are opened;
- ensuring that all files in the divisions for which s/he is responsible are opened, closed and transferred between caseworkers in accordance with the policies and procedures in the clinic;
- preparing Division Leaders and Caseworkers for all appearances before a board, court or tribunal;
- reviewing and approving all outgoing correspondence, submissions and pleadings;
- providing periodic formal supervision to Caseworkers and Division Leaders on all files;
- regularly reviewing all files in each division with each Division Leader;
- providing ongoing case management direction and advice on an informal basis to both Division Leaders and Caseworkers on files as required; and,
- receiving and responding to inquiries and complaints from clients and applicants in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the Board and the Clinic Director with respect to complaints.
Meeting with the Clinic Director and other Review Counsel as required to review the form and level of supervision being provided on files and ensure that the supervision is being provided consistently throughout the clinic to provide a high calibre of service to clients.
Monitoring and adjusting the workloads of case workers and division leaders; managing the workload of the divisions for which he or she is responsible, including managing all files of his/her divisions in the absence of Division Leaders and Caseworkers, including during student vacations, examination periods and clinic closure periods.
Other legal services:
Supervising the public legal education, law reform, and community development work in the divisions for which she or he is responsible, so as to ensure conformity with overall clinic goals and objectives in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of this work and ensuring that the legal content of the work is accurate and appropriate.
Assisting in the supervision of Intake volunteers, including training, monitoring and facilitating Duty Counsel in handling telephone inquiries, applications, statutory declarations and referrals, and, where necessary, handling difficult telephone callers and difficult visitors in the clinic.
In general, participating in the overall supervision of the clinic's work by:
- arranging for adequate supervision during vacations or other absences from the office;
- supervising and monitoring the professional development and ethical conduct of students;
- assisting fellow Review Counsel and the Clinic Director in discharging supervision responsibilities where appropriate; and,
- in conjunction with the Clinic Director, periodically reviewing established CLASP procedures in the clinic to identify and implement possible improvements to the operations of the clinic
Participating in the ongoing clinical education and training of Division Leaders, Caseworkers and Intake volunteers, in relation to substantive law, professional conduct, and CLASP procedures and protocol, so as to ensure that the student members of CLASP have the requisite legal knowledge and skills to meet obligations to clients in a fully professional manner. This includes:
- preparing and reviewing all training materials to ensure that their legal content is adequate and current;
- preparing and presenting clinical education and training sessions;
- providing supervision of casework so as to provide an ongoing clinical education component;
- participating in and contributing to the CLASP clinical seminar, as required
- participating in the review and evaluation of, and supervising, written and oral course work in relation to the CLASP clinical seminar, as required.
Notarizing and commissioning documents as may be required within the ambit of the services provided by CLASP
Pursuing appropriate professional development to maintian and enhance her or his legal knowledge and skills, including:
- attending professional development seminars and conferences when appropriate;
- maintaining a current library and precedents in subject areas relevant to his or her supervisory responsibilities; and,
- assuming direct carriage of files from time to time within the work of the divisions for he or she is responsible
Maintaining a professional, courteous manner with clients, staff, Division Leaders, Caseworkers, and Intake volunteers
Acting as a liaison between CLASP and other community and student legal aid clinics, community organizations, the media, LAO, the legal profession and Osgoode Hall Law School, when deemed appropriate by, and under the direction, of the Clinic Director
Serving as Acting Clinic Director when required to do so by the Clinic Director in his or her absence
Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor degree and a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, entitled to practice law in Ontario
Please note: This position requires the candidate to produce a verification of degree(s), credential(s) or equivalencies from accredited institutions and/or international equivalents at the time of interview.
A minimum of 3 to 5 years' experience in the practice of immigration law before Boards/Tribunals and the Federal courts experience including: humaniatarian and compassionate grounds applications, citizenship applications, refugee hearings and appeal of refugee decisions; sponsorship and criminal inadmissibility appeals and Small Claims Court matters.
Skills (Specialized knowledge):
Demonstrated clinical teaching skills and a commitment to access to justice for low-income individuals/groups and those living with mental health differences are essential. Superior time management, interpersonal, organizational and communication skills are required, as well as excellent judgment.
- excellent professional skills and ethics
- demonstrated clinical teaching skills
- familiarity with two or more areas of substantive poverty law, criminal law, family law or administrative law, and familiarity with relevant courts and tribunals in metropolitan Toronto
- understanding of the challenges of public interest lawyering
- commitment to access to justice for low-income individuals and groups
- flexibility in adapting to new situations
- attention to detail
- ability to analyze legal problems and develop effective and creative options
- excellent written and verbal communication skills, including effective advocacy skills
- computer literacy
- ability to work well with others
- superior time management and organizational skills
- excellent judgment
To apply to this position click the following link to access our online application portal:
During the application process, please ensure that: You have submitted a complete application package using our online application portal. A complete application package consists of the completed application form, a cover letter and resume. When emailing your application package, ensure that you have attached the resume, cover letter, and application form to your email. A complete application package has been submitted for each job posting you are applying for. You have quoted the appropriate posting number on your application form and in the subject line of your email. Please keep the posting number and position description for future reference or inquiries.
The University welcomes applications from all qualified individuals, including individuals within the University's employment equity categories of women, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities and aboriginal persons, individuals of diverse gender and sexual orientation and all groups protected by the Human Rights Code. York University is committed to employment equity and diversity and a positive and supportive environment.
York University offers accommodation for applicants with disabilities in its recruitment processes. If you are contacted by York University regarding a job opportunity or testing, please advise if you require accommodation.
Please note, due to the high volume of applications received only those selected for an interview will be contacted.