JOB POSTING: Manager of Strategic Litigation
Application Deadline: July 19, 2021 at 5:00 pm
CERA is one of Canada’s oldest charities working to advance the right to adequate housing. Founded in 1987, CERA has worked tirelessly for over thirty years at the intersection of human rights and housing and is one of Canada’s leading NGOs working in the area of social and economic rights. CERA works to advance the right to adequate housing by:
- Serving clients to help them stay housed: CERA provides free services to tenants facing eviction and human rights violations in their housing, and we are experts in these fields. Each year we provide services to over a thousand tenants and we are highly effective in ensuring that some of the most vulnerable Ontario renters remain in their homes.
- Providing education and training about housing rights: CERA provides public education and training on housing rights and human rights in housing to diverse groups across Ontario, reaching approximately 1,000 people annually. We work with community partners to train individuals and communities about their housing rights and how to assert them, and we engage with landlords to educate them about their obligations as housing providers.
- Advancing rights-based housing policy: CERA advances rights-based housing policy through research, policy development, advocacy and litigation. Notable achievements include setting a legal precedent preventing landlords from discriminating against renters who receive social assistance, launching a constitutional challenge against the federal government for failing to take action against homelessness, and coordinating the Right to Housing Toronto Network (R2HTO).
About the Role
We are seeking a motivated and committed legal professional with strong litigation and strategic thinking skills to join our small but mighty team and help us in our ambitious goal of advancing the right to housing for all. Reporting to the Executive Director, the successful candidate will lead the development of a litigation strategy for CERA in support of our comprehensive approach to advancing the right to housing through policy research, public advocacy, government relations, legal advocacy and public legal education. If you are a litigator or litigation manager with expertise in housing law, an understanding of the right to adequate housing and demonstrated experience developing litigation strategies involving a variety of stakeholders, this may be the role for you.
As Manager of Strategic Litigation, your responsibilities will include:
- Leading the development of CERA’s litigation strategy in support of advancing the right to housing in Canada, in consideration of the existing jurisprudence, stakeholder landscape and key issues of importance in the housing and human rights space.
- Leading the execution of CERA’s litigation strategy, including identifying and developing cases, cultivating partnerships with sector organizations and external counsel, leading the collection and analysis of data and evidence, drafting submissions and pleadings and litigating cases, where appropriate.
- Actively seeking funding to support the ongoing development and expansion of CERA’s litigation program.
- Cultivating respectful and collaborative relationships and partnerships with individuals, communities, networks, organizations and other stakeholders who have an interest in CERA’s litigation strategy.
- Creating and co-creating knowledge products aimed at tangibly contributing to policy and legislative change with respect to the right to housing, including reports, factsheets, briefing notes and communications content (articles, op-eds, website, newsletters and social media content, newsletters and other promotional materials and speaking notes).
- Conducting media engagement, engaging in public speaking activities, participating in social media efforts, and otherwise seeking to publicly promote and advance the work of CERA and the right to housing.
- Maintaining an up-to-date understanding of the legal, policy and political landscape as it relates to CERA’s litigation strategy and activities.
- Preparing reports for management and funders as required.
Administration & Organizational Leadership
- Coordinating among the management team to ensure alignment between CERA’s policy, research and litigation efforts.
- Providing strategic thought leadership on issues related to housing law and human rights.
- Representing CERA in relevant sector conversations and to a variety of audiences and stakeholders.
- Building a healthy team culture of collaboration, accountability, support, ongoing learning, and effective processes.
- Supervising, providing direction, performance management, coaching and professional development to direct reports (staff, students and volunteers).
- Performing other duties as required to support the organization, Executive Director and Board of Directors.
- LL.B. or J.D. (or equivalent) and the ability to practice law in a Canadian jurisdiction (i.e. current bar call in a province or territory in Canada).
- A minimum of eight years of post-graduation professional experience in litigation at a law firm, government or advocacy organization.
- Strong understanding of housing law, jurisprudence and policy in Canada, the right to housing and domestic and international human rights law.
- Experience working effectively with low-income and marginalized populations facing housing precarity and systemic violations of their human rights in housing.
- Experience managing and directing a team of staff, students or other direct reports.
- Demonstrated experience building collaborative and respectful partnerships with a variety of stakeholders and working in close co-operation with a multi-disciplinary team that includes volunteers, community members, legal experts, service providers, academia and/or other researchers.
- Outstanding written and oral communication skills in English and an ability to communicate directly with diverse audiences and the general public, producing clear written work on complex issues.
- Advanced proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
- Experience writing grant proposals with demonstrated success securing funding is an asset.
- Working proficiency in an additional language is an asset, particularly French.
Skills and attributes
- Outstanding organizational, analytical and problem-solving skills.
- Ability to multi-task, thrive in a fast-paced environment, and adapt quickly to change.
- Ability to work accurately under pressure with attention to detail and deadlines, and with minimal supervision.
- Flexibility and entrepreneurial spirit to accommodate high levels of responsibility and multiple and sometimes shifting priorities.
- Strong strategic thinking skills, political acumen, diplomacy, discretion, tact and good judgement.
- Cultural sensitivity and a commitment to principles of equity.
We recognize and value the unique perspective that people with lived experience of poverty and/or precarious housing bring in addition to the skills and qualifications listed above.
Starting Salary Range: $80,000 – $105,000 commensurate with experience and qualifications
Funding is confirmed for the first 24 months of this role and efforts to secure funding beyond that period will continue under the leadership of the successful candidate in this role.
Location: Remote within Canada
Anticipated Start Date: September 2021
What we offer
An opportunity to work with an innovative, mission-driven, entrepreneurial non-profit organization working to advance the right to housing, and the opportunity to contribute to shaping our direction as we continue on our growth trajectory.
A generous benefits package will be made available following the end of the three-month probationary period, which includes health and dental benefits, AD&D, Long-term disability and life insurance. All staff are provided with 10 paid sick days annually.
Four weeks of paid vacation are provided and CERA’s offices typically close over the winter holidays, providing a handful of additional paid days off for staff.
CERA offers flexible hours, the opportunity to work remotely, and with a diverse group of talented staff who are committed to advancing the right to housing.
Our office is located at the Centre for Social Innovation (Spadina location), an exciting shared workspace that houses 250 non-profits and social innovators across multiple locations in downtown Toronto. It is accessible by transit, gender inclusive, and offers substantial opportunities to network with like-minded people and participate in a mission-driven, innovative community through various events.
To apply for this job
Applications should include a resume and cover letter in one PDF document and should be submitted by email to email@example.com with the subject line: Application – Manager of Strategic Litigation.
At CERA, we believe that a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve strengthens our ability to achieve our mission. We strongly encourage applicants of all genders, racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations, abilities, and with a range of life experiences to apply.
We are committed to full compliance with the Human Rights Code, the Accessibility For Ontarians With Disabilities Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and all other applicable legislation. We will provide accommodation during the hiring process upon request and information received relating to accommodation measures will be addressed confidentially.
We thank all applicants for their interest.
Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.
No telephone enquiries please.