Innocence Canada is hiring a staff lawyer!

Location: Toronto, Ontario 

Target Start Date: October/November 2022 

Hours: Full time 

Pay Rate: Range of $63,000 - $80,000 + plus benefits 

Employment Type: Contract / Full-time 

Reports to: Legal Director 

Note: Innocence Canada encourages applications from across Canada, but successful candidates must take steps to ensure that they are eligible to practice in Ontario. This is a Toronto based position. Although there will be some flexibility to work from home, it is anticipated that the successful candidate will work in the office regularly and on specific days as requested by the Legal Director and/or the Board of Directors. 

Background 

Innocence Canada is a Canadian, non-profit organization dedicated to identifying, advocating for, and working to exonerate individuals convicted of a crime that they did not commit. In addition, Innocence Canada works to prevent future injustices through legal education and reform. 

Job Summary 

The staff lawyer will assist in reviewing claims of wrongful conviction and, where applicable, in preparing for the litigation of those claims. This will include managing case files, legal research, and working collaboratively with Innocence Canada staff and other lawyers in connection with Innocence Canada in the development of strategies for pursuing claims of wrongful conviction. 

The staff lawyer will also be involved with Innocence Canada’s ongoing contribution to policy and law reform discussions relevant to the field of wrongful convictions and criminal justice in general. There is a possibility of involvement in matters before the courts. 

Specifically, the successful candidate will be responsible for the following portfolios: 

1. Work closely and regularly with the Legal Director to identify caseload management priorities and movement of files through the case management process; 

2. Undertake general case related administration alongside the Legal Director (including, but not limited to, processing initial intake, applicant correspondence, file/practice management); 

3. Oversight and management of assigned active cases and developing/implementing case specific workplans; 

4. Draft s. 696.1 Applications for Ministerial Review, applications seeking bail pending the Minister’s decision or Appeal facta alongside the Legal Director, other staff, or case reviewers; 

5. Provide relevant legal advice and direction to case reviewers on assigned active files; 

6. Identify direction and resources to pursue fresh evidence on assigned active files; 

7. Correspond with the Crown, trial lawyers, and appeal lawyers as required on cases; and 

8. Recruit, hire and integrate evidence from private investigators, forensic experts, and other resources as required to advance cases. 

 Education & Qualifications 

  • • JD degree or equivalent; 
  • • 0-3 years post call experience; 
  • • Member in good standing at the Law Society of Ontario; 
  • • Experience in criminal law; 
  • • Experience and understanding of the Canadian wrongful conviction context; 
  • • Strong legal research and writing skills; 
  • • Excellent file management; 
  • • Strong written and verbal communication skills; 
  • • Understanding of systemic issues and their impact on marginalized and vulnerable populations an asset; 
  • • Ability to work in French an asset; 
  • • Ability to work under pressure and with tight deadlines; and 
  • • Ability to work independently, as needed, and in a collaborative small team environment. 

 Application Deadline: October 5, 2022 

Interested individuals should send the below documents as one PDF document to the attention of Pamela Zbarsky, Legal Director at pzbarsky@innocencecanada.com 

  1. a. Cover letter; 
  2. b. Curriculum Vitae; 
  3. c. Law school transcript; 
  4. d. Two reference letters; 
  5. e. 10-page writing sample 

 We thank all interested candidates in advance. 

Innocence Canada is committed to providing a barrier-free work environment in concert with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the Ontario Human Rights Code. As such, Innocence Canada will make accommodations available to applicants with disabilities upon request during the hiring process.