JOB POSTING: Staff Lawyer – 1-year contract
For 45 years, Disability Alliance BC (DABC) has been a provincial, cross-disability voice in British Columbia. Our mission is to support people with all disabilities to live with dignity, independence, and as equal and full participants in the community. We champion issues impacting the lives of people with disabilities through our direct services, community partnerships, advocacy, research, and publications. We are a member organization of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities and the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition.
In 2020, DABC opened the Disability Law Clinic (DLC). Funded by the Law Foundation of BC, the DLC is the first non-profit legal clinic in BC that works exclusively in the area of disability rights. The DLC provides free legal advice and assistance to low-income people with disabilities throughout BC, in certain disability-related areas of law, including:
- Human rights and discrimination, including disability-related complaints to the BC Human Rights Tribunal (BCHRT) and federal human rights agencies.
- Disputes about income support for people with disabilities, especially disability assistance from BC’s Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. The DLC works with DABC’s Advocacy Access program on appeals of Ministry decisions, at the Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal (EAAT). The DLC also represents clients in applications for judicial review of EAAT decisions.
- Questions or disputes related to decision-making rights, especially in cases where BC’s Public Guardian and Trustee or a court-appointed committee make decisions on behalf of a person.
- Questions about private long-term disability insurance benefits.
The DLC currently consists of two lawyers, one articling student, a full-time legal assistant/advocate, and a part-time intake worker/legal assistant. This position is a temporary position while one of our lawyers is on leave.
You can find more information about our services on our website, at https://disabilityalliancebc.org/program/disability-law-clinic/.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Interviewing clients, conducting legal research, preparing pleadings, and representing clients in disability-related human rights complaints to the BC Human Rights Tribunal (BCHRT) and federal human rights agencies.
- Representing clients in appeals to BC’s Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal (EAAT), in cases involving disputes about provincial government disability benefits.
- Providing summary advice and representation services to the DLC’s clients
- Delivering public legal education sessions and workshops, for people with disabilities and disability-related organizations.
- Supporting administrative staff and helping to manage client intake process.
- Preparing and providing training for advocates in DABC’s Advocacy Access program
- Supervising law students and volunteers
- Supporting DABC’s systemic advocacy on behalf of people with disabilities, including organising advocacy campaigns and preparing written submissions to policy-makers. A particular focus will be the development of accessibility standards pursuant to the Accessible BC Act.
- Membership in the Law Society of BC, or eligibility for immediate transfer
- At least 1-3 years experience as a practising lawyer
- Familiarity with human rights laws and tribunal procedures
- Familiarity with disability-related legislation (e.g. Public Guardian and Trustee Act)
- Outstanding organizational skills
- Demonstrated success in working effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds (e.g. cultural, religious, age, sexual orientation, etc.)
- Demonstrated understanding of ableism, colonialism, and other structures of oppression
- Experience working from an anti-ableist perspective
- Experience organising public advocacy campaigns, particularly on law reform, and/or preparing formal submissions to policy-makers.
- Experience working with people with disabilities and other marginalized communities.
- Experience working with people in crisis and familiarity with trauma-informed practice.
- Understanding of legal issues affecting people with disabilities, and strong research and communication skills.
We encourage applications from members of communities that experience structural discrimination and marginalization, especially people with disabilities.
The position is located in Vancouver, on the Unceded Territories of the Musqueam, TsleilWaututh, and Squamish Nations.
DABC currently uses a hybrid work model, and the staff lawyer will work in person at DABC’s office at least two days per week, and remotely the rest of the time. Occasional travel to other parts of BC may be required.
Compensation: Salary will be between $80,000 and $95,000 per year, depending on experience.
This position offers the following benefits after a three-month probationary period:
- 15 days of paid vacation annually
- 18 days of paid sick leave annually
- 100% of the cost of extended health and dental care benefit premiums
- $1000 health spending account annually
- 2 weeks of paid time off during DABC’s annual holiday office closure in December.
To apply, please submit a resume and cover letter to Jodie Berry, Interim Managing Lawyer, Disability Law Clinic, by email: email@example.com.
Closing date: November 3, 2023
*This position is funded by the Law Foundation of BC*