The Law Society of Upper Canada

Executive Director, Policy

Job ID
# Positions
Job Type
Full Time
Years of Experience




The Executive Director is responsible for furthering the goals of the organization by providing strategic leadership and guidance to the Law Society’s Treasurer, Convocation, Executive Management Team, and employees in matters related to policy development.  This leadership is provided through the identification of issues and the development of policy positions and initiatives to address these challenges.  The Executive Director is required to ensure that policy proposals brought to Convocation are; strategically aligned with the priorities, comprehensive, consistent, and reflective of the will of Committees and Convocation and the overall interests of the organization in its mandate to regulate the provision of legal services in the public interest.




  • An LL.B or J.D. degree or equivalent education and training, and a license in good standing with the Law Society of Upper Canada and be entitled to practice law in Ontario.*
  • A minimum of 15 years’ progressive related experience gained in a government or complex not for profit environment, 5 of which are in a managerial / leadership capacity.
  • Comprehensive understanding of the operations of the Law Society and the issues facing the legal and paralegal professions, including all aspects of the public and regulatory environment in which they operate.
  • Significant and broad previous experience in a policy development in a not for profit, government or regulatory environment.
  • Prior experience supporting the implementation of strategic policy plans and meeting organizational policy objectives.
  • Oversight for meeting board member and/or key stakeholder expectations respecting policy evolution and design.
  • Exceptional relationship management skills, including stakeholder engagement and consultation activities.
  • Experience working in highly political situations, managing a variety of viewpoints.
  • Political astuteness to devise strategies related to a variety of sensitive / controversial issues.
  • Capability to lead and build a high performing team of functional specialists, including counsel and paralegals.
  • Demonstrated ability to assess organizational capability and adjust plans as required to successfully carry out organizational strategies.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple agendas, meet changing deadlines, and deliver on a large number of concurrent commitments.
  • Superior analytical and communication skills coupled with excellent interpersonal and negotiation skills. 

  * By submitting your application, you agree to a clearance check of your regulatory history with the Law Society, and to the use of this information in assessing suitability for this role at the Law Society.




Strategy Development and Implementation 


  • The Executive Director supports the development of Law Society strategic and operational plans and as a member of the Executive Management Team, contributes to the implementation and development of policies and programs that promote the effective utilization of the Law Society’s financial and human resources.  
  • Conducts and directs policy counsel and staff to conduct environmental scans and develops a strategic understanding of emerging issues, trends in regulation of legal professions and other regulated professions, practice, ethical and business issues, and oversees the development of policy options for Convocation that address strategic priorities as well as incremental improvement in the work of the Law Society’s as it fulfills its mandate.
  • Provides leadership to Bencher Committees through Policy Counsel, ensuring that the various bencher committees are appropriately structured, staffed, and supported to address both priority policy issues and other matters that require bencher attention through informed analysis, risk identification, and drafting of materials.
  • Supports research and policy projects related to the governance of the legal profession and paralegals, the work of Convocation and its Committees.  
  • In cooperation with Office of General Counsel, directs and/or conducts the review of all new provincial and/or federal legislation for applicability to the Law Society, its mandate, operations, Law Society Act and/or by-laws, recommending appropriate responses to the appropriate level of government, Law Society senior management and/or benchers.
  • Contributes to and supports the four year Strategic Planning process of the organization, and the ongoing reporting on achievement of deliverables. 


Service Planning 


  • Plans, develops and implements the policy focus of the Law Society's strategic plan.  
  • Provides input and leadership to four distinct business units that offer a range of diverse internal and external services to the operations of the Law Society, and its members and stakeholders. 
  • Plans, with senior management, the services to be provided.  
  • Develops business unit plans to meet the priorities identified. 




  • The Executive Director, Policy, provides leadership oversight and strategic guidance for the development and communication of policy positions and initiatives ensuring that policy proposals brought to Convocation are comprehensive, consistent and reflective of the will of the respective Committees and Convocation. 


People Leadership 


  • Recruits, trains, develops and evaluates employees accountable to the Executive Director, Policy, in accordance with the policies of the organization and best human resources practices. 
  • Fosters a team environment by role modeling leadership behaviour, empowering employees accountable to the Executive Director, Policy, and building team capability. 
  • Ensures appropriate and ongoing professional development. 


Financial Responsibility 


  • Develops and monitors division budget, adjusting plans as required.  
  • Negotiates contracts for services with vendors and service providers for departmental initiatives. 


Policy Development 


  • Identifies issues requiring the development of policies or other initiatives. 
  • Participates in the development of policy, seeking input from appropriate sources.  
  • Ensures that policy development is based on sound research, an in-depth understanding of issues and implications for the Law Society. 
  • Provides guidance and assistance to others responsible for the development of policies or other initiatives. 
  • Functions as the Law Society’s representative in meetings with external bodies regarding legal issues, proposed legislation or impending implementation of policies. 


Team Membership 


  • The Executive Director is a proactive and committed member of the Executive Management Team.
  • Demonstrates personal excellence, bringing knowledge and functional expertise to the team. 
  • Contributes to group decision making and processes, generating ideas, which are strategically sound, integrated with the Law Society’s broader mandate, and achievable in a timely, balanced and fiscally sound manner. 


Relationship and Alliance Building 


  • Builds and maintains relationships with other law societies, regulatory bodies, governments at all levels, and others whose interests intersect with the Divisional mandate.



Organizational Understanding


Understands the business and relationships with key stakeholders in a professional regulatory environment


Team Orientation


Shares responsibility for the achievement of results, modeling organizational values and coaching others in demonstrating these values


Results Orientation


Strives to continuously move the organization forward without sacrificing service values


Strategic Thinking


Thinks through issues with consideration of broader organization priorities and longer-term outcomes


Authentic & Ethical Leadership


Aligns actions and decisions with the mandate and values of the Law Society


Building Positive Relationships


Builds effective relationships, networks of contacts and partnerships to advance the work of the Law Society




Develops effective, highly motivated individuals and teams to achieve common goals



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