Law Society of Ontario

  • Senior Manager, External Relations & Communications

    Job Location CA-ON-Toronto
    Job ID
    # Positions
    Job Type
    Full Time
    Years of Experience


    The Senior Manager, External Relations & Communications manages a staff of approximately 10 and is charged with providing guidance to the Executive Director, direct reports, internal staff and other stakeholders in the formulation and execution of a variety of public affairs and strategic communications plans and initiatives designed to promote the Law Society, its mandate and mission to key stakeholders, including the public, the profession and government. The Senior Manager champions and leads the implementation of these strategies throughout the Law Society. The Senior Manager ensures all Communications initiatives promote and enhance the positive public image, reputation and credibility of the Law Society with its key constituents.




    • A university undergraduate degree in Journalism, Communications, Public Relations, or related field.
    • A minimum of 15 years of progressive related communications experience gained in a government, complex not-for-profit, interest-based environment or private sector corporate environment with public policy issues management, 10 of which are in a managerial / leadership capacity.
    • Demonstrated ability to develop and retain talent of a team of strategic / creative thinkers.
    • Demonstrated ability to assess organizational capability and adjust plans as required to successfully carry out organizational strategies.
    • Knowledge of best practices with respect to organizational communication including internal communication, media relations, issues management, research and measurement, corporate reputation management and web management.
    • Extensive knowledge of print and electronic communications vehicles, including web-based applications.
    • Awareness of demonstrated savvy related to political processes.
    • Proven ability to implement communication strategies related to controversial issues.
    • Knowledge of current trends and developments in social media and digital communications and their practical applications.
    • Familiarity with Law Society policies, practices and protocols, or willingness to learn, and an understanding of the principles underlying governance of the legal profession.
    • Demonstrated writing and editing skills that can be tailored to various audiences (employees, legal community, the public, media) and the ability to coach and mentor others to build communications skills.
    • In-depth knowledge of project management, including marketing and strategic positioning vehicles, and event management.
    • Demonstrated financial acumen to develop and manage an annual budget of $5 million.
    • Bilingual (French and English) would be considered an asset.
    • Technical Skills:
      o Experience with online marketing technologies including social media and content management software.
      o Experience using SharePoint an asset.
      o Strong understanding of common web applications.


    Client / Client Service Planning


    • Under the guidance of the Executive Director, the Senior Manager plans, develops and implements the communications and public affairs focus of External Relations & Communications’ strategic plan, stemming from the mission and mandate, including assessing constituent needs and developing and integrating communication strategies and responses to address those needs at the governing body and Senior Management Executive (SME) level.
    • Interprets the department’s mission and mandate, identifies issues and appropriate Law Society responses and position on issues with input from key stakeholder groups, including countering of misinformation.
    • The Senior Manager helps to develop, champion and implement the organization’s communication strategy and agenda to relevant stakeholders through External Relations & Communications’ staff management.
    • The Senior Manager develops and implements effective mechanisms, ensuring all external communications are reviewed and approved by the Executive Director, or designate, prior to release to the public domain.
    • Contributes to the development and implementation of an issues management framework, including but not limited to internal and external communications, media relations and materials (paper, electronic) production.
    • Partners with government and stakeholder relations to develop positioning and communication strategies with key stakeholder groups to ensure a coordinated message.
    • Identifies issues and appropriate responses and positions on complex or escalated issues with input from key stakeholder groups.
    • Expands the organization’s media contact database and fosters partnerships with the media, influencers, bloggers and non-traditional media outlets.
    • Leads development and implementation of strategic social media program, appropriate for a regulatory body.


    Client / Customer Service Delivery


    • The primary function of this role is to provide consistent management of people and projects, at the direction of the Executive Director.
    • This senior position supports the Executive Director in ensuring that the strategies of the group, as outlined and determined by the ED, will be appropriately operationalized, and that day-to-day mentoring and direction are provided during periods when the ED’s primary functions will take her away from the office and involved with external stakeholders on a frequent basis.
    • This seasoned manager will support successful implementation and be able to identify opportunities for improved productivity and team alignment.
    • Develops and delivers expertise in the assigned portfolio, while maintaining flexibility and availability to identify and oversee new and emerging initiatives within the department.
    • Prepares and / or ensures the preparation of reports, speeches, analyses, sound alternatives and workable recommendations based on a thorough analysis of factors affecting the Law
    • Society from a communications, mandate and corporate reputation perspective.
    • Ensures the preparation of scripts, media releases, and briefing notes for spokespersons, preparing spokespersons in media relations and question and answer sessions.
    • Researches and prepares and / or ensures the preparation of speeches on behalf of senior staff and governing body representatives with a view to ensuring consistency of message and issue resolution.
    • Ensures accurate and current content of the public website and, as required, supervises the redesign and enhancements of the public website.
    • Formulates integrated divisional plans and delivery vehicles and implements same by developing policies, procedures and protocols for the public affairs function, including, but not limited to, issues management, media relations, The Action Group on Access to Justice (TAG) and internal and external communications vehicles.
    • May act as a media contact for the Law Society, and in conjunction with the Executive Director and the External Relations and Communications department more broadly to manage the
    • Law Society’s position on important issues for the public and stakeholders.
    • Engages in qualitative and quantitative research on public opinion, emerging issues and potential communications response requirements.


    People Leadership


    • Hires, trains, develops and evaluates employees accountable to the Senior Manager 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 Senior Manager and building team capability.
    • Identifies the need for, leads and manages external resources required for special projects, marketing campaigns, crisis intervention, and other large / out-of -the ordinary communications requirements.

    Financial Responsibility


    • Assists with the development of, and monitors the departmental budget, adjusting plans as required to meet fiscal resource constraints.
    • Negotiates contracts for services with vendors and outsourced service providers.


    Team Membership


    • The Senior Manager demonstrates personal excellence, bringing knowledge and functional expertise to the External Relations & Communications team.
    • Champions inclusion of communications as integral to all business unit and governing body policy decisions.
    • Ensures the alignment of communication vehicles with plans and policies.
    • 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.


    Performance Goals, Targets and Standards


    • Establishes and / or verifies established goals and strategies to achieve communications targets and quality standards.
    • Ensures that goals, strategies, standards and systems are consistent with organizational needs by conducting research, benchmarking best practices and formulating appropriate organizational responses.


    Relationship and Alliance Building


    • Builds departmental credibility and develops working relationships with key groups throughout the organization including the Professional Regulation and Professional Development &
    • Competence divisions, Corporate Services, the Treasurer’s Office and benchers, and externally with reporters, editors and social media influencers.
    • Builds relationships with other Law Societies and other legal and community stakeholders, developing common strategies, positions and goals with respect to the formulation of consistent communications of issues of importance to the legal profession.


    Service Orientation


    The requirement to maintain a high standard of commitment, ethics, respect, care in service delivery to clients (internal and/or external).


    Communication and Interpersonal Skills


    The requirement to structure and deliver effective verbal and written communication with clients, staff, licensees, the public, and others in a non-threatening and constructive way.


    Team Orientation


    The requirement to share responsibility for the achievement of team goals and the associated behaviours required for individuals to contribute effectively in a team environment.


    Continuous Improvement


    The requirement to demonstrate an attitude that consistently strives to improve a standard of excellence for one’s self and for the benefit of the organization, its licensees and stakeholders.


    Problem Solving and Judgment


    The requirement to identify and analyze problems, determine root causes, evaluate alternative solutions and take and/or recommend appropriate solutions.


    Technical Competence/Professional Knowledge


    The requirement to apply knowledge and skills to carry out the work and/or provide advice. This also includes the quality of advice given, as well as the requirement to make decisions in the best interests of the organization as a whole.


    Embracing Change


    The requirement to work towards and embrace change in the workplace.


    People Leadership


    The requirement to behave with integrity, credibility and honesty when dealing with others, as well as the requirement to grow and develop employee capabilities.


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