West Coast Environmental Law is hiring for a two-year Joe Arvay Fellowship position. We are seeking a law student or law school graduate who is passionate about using their legal skills to achieve environmental sustainability, social justice and Indigenous self-determination to work with our RELAW (Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air and Water) and Access to Justice Programs.
This position is designated for Indigenous, Black and racialized law students wanting to work in public interest law and prepared to commence articles in 2024.
About West Coast
West Coast harnesses the power of law to solve complex environmental challenges. Our team works to transform environmental decision-making and strengthen legal protection for the environment through collaborative legal strategies that bridge Indigenous and Canadian law. By putting the law in the hands of communities, we are building the collective power to achieve a more just and sustainable future for all. Learn more.
- JD / LLB degree or National Committee of Accreditation Certificate of Qualification*
- Strong legal research, analysis, and communication skills, both written and oral
- A commitment to Indigenous law revitalization, environmental justice and trauma-informed legal practice
- Experience with facilitation and community processes, particularly within Indigenous communities
- Training and experience with the Indigenous Law Research Unit methodology for researching Indigenous law through story and/or in the candidate’s own Indigenous legal tradition
- Coursework or experience related to Indigenous rights, environmental decision-making, natural resources and/or environment
- Experience with social justice or environmental campaigning, community organizing, government relations, and/or policy analysis
*Start date is flexible in 2024, but candidates must be qualified to apply to the Law Society Admissions Program at least 30 days prior.
Areas of Work
The articled student / junior lawyer will have the opportunity to work in the following areas:
- Providing legal support to Indigenous nations participating in RELAW projects: this may include Indigenous story analysis, co-facilitating community-based workshops and focus groups, assistance in drafting of written expressions of Indigenous law, and developing/implementing enforcement strategies;
- Contributing to and participating in the RELAW Co-learning Program, including curriculum development and retreat facilitation;
- Providing summary legal and strategic advice to individuals, First Nations and non-governmental organizations facing an environmental problem or seeking to advance environmental objectives;
- Developing and advancing law reform proposals and practical legal solutions related to upholding Indigenous law, environmental justice and environmental protection; and,
- Other legal training and experience required to meet Law Society of BC requirements.
Articles: Salary of $62,000 /annum (includes salary during Professional Legal Training Course), Law Society Admission Program fees, competitive benefits package.
First year call: Salary of $78,000 /annum, Law Society and insurance fees, competitive benefits package including RRSP contribution.
24 months, with the possibility of renewal or extension. Hire back after articles is conditional on successful completion of the Law Society Admissions Program and a successful performance evaluation.
Please send CV and cover letter by February 29, 2024 to email@example.com with “Joe Arvay Fellowship application” and your surname in the subject line. We thank all applicants for their interest, but only those selected for an interview will be contacted.
About the Joe Arvay Fellowship for Public Interest Law
This position is made possible by the Law Foundation of British Columbia through the Joe Arvay Fellowship for Public Interest Law.
Joseph Arvay, O.C., O.B.C., Q.C. was one of Canada’s foremost human rights, constitutional and public interest lawyers. Over his decades-long career, Joe never flinched in his work to use the law to build a more just Canada, advancing access to justice for those whose voices might not otherwise be heard, and mentoring and supporting many other public interest advocates in their work.
This Fellowship is an ameliorative employment program in accordance with section 42(1) of the Human Rights Code.