Job posting - Director for Access to Justice Centre for Excellence

1.0 FTE Term Appointment (one year term starting in 2019 with the expectation of continuation, subject to funding)

CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS – May 10, 2019

The University of Victoria Faculty of Law invites applications for the position of Director, Access to Justice Centre for Excellence.

The UVic Access to Justice Centre for Excellence (ACE) was established by the Faculty of Law late in 2015 in response to the growing concern within the justice community about the problem of diminishing access to justice, and in the belief that there is a unique and important role that the academy can and should play in the resolution of this problem.

ACE seeks to actively engage the law school with the rest of the justice system, in particular with respect to procedural issues involving access to justice and the delivery of legal services.  Within the law school it will focus on better preparing students for the challenges access to justice presents to practitioners. Outside the school it will focus on research and scholarship that addresses the access issue as experienced by both those who use the system and those who provide the services.

ACE’s current priorities focus on the development of justice metrics. There is a rapidly growing interest in empirical research and performance measurement in justice systems around the world. Access reports and studies in recent years have emphasised the paucity of access to justice research and the poor state of metrics and data collection within Canadian civil justice systems (as well as the potential for law schools in helping to rectify this).  In this context ACE’s current objectives are:

  • to help articulate a conceptual and informational foundation for a justice metrics framework;
  • to work with justice system stakeholders – including other law schools - to improve justice metrics across justice sectors;
  • to work with other provinces to promote justice metrics coordination across all Canadian jurisdictions;
  • to undertake its own research projects; and
  • to build a sustainable core program to ensure ACE’s continuity. 

Working at ACE in collaboration with other faculty, the Director is the working contact for ACE with justice system stakeholders, contract researchers and other ACE partners. This person is responsible for ACE planning, budgeting, research oversight, project administration, communications, and other organizational tasks within and outside of the university. The ACE Director is responsible for maintaining a complete understanding of all ACE projects, activities and finances, providing oversight for ACE projects and events, managing the design, content and production of publications and communications,  and coordinating the preparation of reports and key messaging in collaboration and coordination with the Faculty of Law. The Director also works on the ongoing evolution and communication of the ACE vision within the justice community and to the broader community through social media, website and public speaking.

The appointee is expected to have a J.D. or LL.B. degree and have membership or be eligible for membership in the Law Society of British Columbia. They must have a minimum of 10 years call to the bar in British Columbia or equivalent experience in another Canadian jurisdiction. Experience working on access to justice issues and / or experience at a senior level with the administration of justice as well as an understanding of traditional and alternative dispute resolution processes is an advantage.    

The Director will:

  • To the extent possible, work in concert with UVic Law faculty members
  • Develop, implement, monitor and report on an Annual Plan of activities detailing ACE goals and priorities as well as projects, milestones and deliverables.
  • Maintain a system for tracking and managing project and activity milestones and deadlines.
  • Work to sustain or secure the funding, grants and other resources required to maintain ACE and implement the Annual Plans.
  • In collaboration with the Research Facilitation Officer, maintain a clear understanding of project finances and budgets.
  • Manage and coordinate processes relating to research projects, research agreements, human resources, and the University of Victoria Human Research Ethics Board and Office of Research Services, in collaboration with the Research Facilitation Officer.
  • Oversee the hiring of, liaising with and supervising of external contractors for project work.
  • In furtherance of the ACE mandate and Plans, engage and liaise collaboratively with senior justice system stakeholders, community partners, partner organizations, faculty, staff, student groups, UVic operational departments, personnel from organizations, universities, and the community at-large.
  • Engage UVic students in the work of ACE and promote access to justice as a topic of study, scholarship and research within the Faculty of Law and, where appropriate, across other disciplines within the University.
  • Develop an access to justice experiential learning course for a small group of upper year students.
  • Be informed and articulate about access to justice issues and stay current with access-related activities, initiatives and developments in the broader justice system in BC and in other jurisdictions.
  • Act as a front line spokesperson with justice system stakeholders and community partners, educating and providing information on ACE projects and activities.
  • Promote ACE in the community by presenting on ACE work, maintaining working relationships with supporters and funders, and drafting annual reports.
  • Oversee maintenance of the ACE web site and utilize social media to advance or promote ACE interests.
  • Communicate ACE accomplishments, activities, developments and events to affiliates, supporters and funders. 

Knowledge, skills and abilities required include:

  • Knowledge of and experience with access to justice issues, formal and informal legal processes, the structure of the justice system, the administration of justice and the development of policy and programs.
  • Experience in project administration with the ability to set goals, establish priorities, think creatively and implement new ideas.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, with the ability to work effectively with a wide range of individuals and constituencies in a diverse community.
  • Ability to work independently to gather, analyze, and organize data, define problems and requirements, and develop and recommend solutions.
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to synthesize and share information effectively.
  • Ability to make presentations to large groups and to communicate through various forms of media.
  • Understanding of methods and principles of empirical research not required, but an advantage.
  • Leadership skills.
  • An awareness and sensitivity to cultural influences in the community.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and cooperatively with both senior and front line professionals across the justice system as well as with students and the public.

This is a full-time position but some flexibility to the structure of the work week could be considered in the initial stage of employment if other employment commitments need to be accommodated for a limited period of time.

Remuneration will be commensurate with educational background and experience.  

Applications consisting of a 1-2 page cover letter outlining your suitability for the position, a curriculum vitae, and the names of (and contact information for) three referees should be addressed to the Access to Justice Centre for Excellence Director Search Committee and sent by May 10, 2019 to lawfas@uvic.ca.

For enquires about the position, please contact Jerry McHale, QC at mjmchale@uvic.ca.

Consistent with UVic’s values, we acknowledge with respect the Lkwungen-speaking peoples on whose traditional territory the University stands and the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.

The University of Victoria is an equity employer and encourages applications from women, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, Aboriginal Peoples, people of all sexual orientations and genders, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of the University.

In accordance with Canadian Immigration requirements, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada are requested to self-identify themselves in their application.