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Current Opportunities

General Counsel – Calgary Board of Education

THE ORGANIZATION

The Calgary Board of Education (“CBE”) is one of Canada’s largest school systems educating more than 123,000 students in 249 schools and has responsibility for an annual budget of approximately $1.4B.  More than 14,000 employees work together to provide learning as unique as every student. 

The work is guided by a Three-Year Education Plan, which connects each CBE employee to student success. This creates an environment where each student can become an engaged learner, prepared for success in life, work and future learning.

The CBE is guided by an elected Board of seven Trustees. Trustees are elected every four years during the municipal election along with Calgary’s mayor and councilors. Day-to-day operations are led by a team of superintendents who are also responsible for meeting the expectations of the Board of Trustees as set out in the Board Results policies, Operational Expectations and the Chief Superintendent’s annual summative evaluation.

CBE Mission

  • Each student, in keeping with their individual abilities and gifts, will complete high school with a foundation of learning necessary to thrive in life, work and continued learning.

CBE Results

  • Academic Success
  • Citizenship
  • Personal Development
  • Character

CBE Values

  • Students come first
  • Learning is our central purpose
  • Public education serves the common good

For further information about Calgary Board of Education, please visit their website at http://www.cbe.ab.ca

 

THE OPPORTUNITY

Job Title: General Counsel

Reports to: Chief Superintendent

Direct Reports: 5

Indirect Reports: 5

Location: Calgary, AB

 

MANDATE

Reporting to the Chief Superintendent and a key advisory of the Superintendent Leadership Team, the General Counsel serves as lead legal counsel and advisor for the Calgary Board of Education. This individual provides strategic legal advice, consultation and opinions, leads the review of legal documents and identifies legal issues in all areas of law, with a focus on education.  Other sectors include, but are not limited to, labour and employment law, school issues, privacy and human rights as well as corporate governance, contracts, policy, legal risk management, and real estate.  The General Counsel protects and advances the legal interests of the organization and manages risk associated with legal issues.

The position will include the following responsibilities:

Strategic Leadership:

  • Providing legal advice to the Board of Trustees, the Chief Superintendent and Superintendent Leadership Team
  • In partnership with other senior leaders, advising on appropriate procedures, controls, and reporting to meet the conditions of contractual agreements and compliance with relevant legislation, regulation, system plans, mandates, and administrative regulations and Board of Trustees’ policies

Operational and Team Leadership:

  • The General Counsel leads a diverse team providing system support in the areas of Freedom of Information, contract administration, corporate secretariat support, operational policy development, and legal advice
  • Providing advice regarding compliance with legislation, rules, and regulations
  • Developing and advising on policies and procedures based upon regulatory/legal requirements, standard education practices, internal policies, administrative fairness, and legal risk management considerations
  • Providing legal advice on system projects and operations
  • Fostering a healthy culture where staff are listened to and feel they are respected and valued as members of the System
  • Providing employees with clear expectations for successful performance; monitors the performance and provides employees support required to optimize their performance
  • Building System capacity by providing feedback, coaching, mentoring and development opportunities to Principals and other system leaders allowing the organization to deal effectively with legal issues at a school level and knowing when to escalate for additional support
  • Holding team members accountable; be open, transparent, and exemplify System values
  • Leveraging team efforts across the organization to develop leadership competencies in all team members

Corporate Governance:

  • Providing governance and oversight of legal systems to meet System needs, ensuring that resources are utilized properly and continue to be effective and efficient throughout the System
  • Keeping apprised of legislative and judicial developments affecting education in Alberta and provide advice regarding compliance with applicable legislation, rules, and regulation
  • Advising in the creation and modification of internal policies and administrative regulations
  • Providing advice regarding operational procedures based upon legislative requirements, prudent business practice, and the organization’s risk appetite
  • Leading the Corporate Secretary team including managing the proceedings of the Board of Trustees, maintaining the corporate record of the Board of Trustees
  • Ensuring Trustees have the proper advice and resources to discharge their fiduciary duties

Legal Services Leadership:

  • Representing CBE at administrative hearings and is a key resource on a daily basis to human resources and other people leaders on labour and employment issues such as: employment contracts, collective agreements, secondment contracts, labour grievances and arbitrations, wrongful dismissal and human rights complaints
  • Is the designated officer to manage and investigate disclosures under the Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act (Alberta)
  • Advising and support planning and infrastructure leadership in areas such as: the preparation, review, negotiation, interpretation, and modification of commercial contracts, leases, construction, and architectural contracts
  • Liaising with the appropriate leaders to support in the areas of student safety, expulsions, placement appeals, and special education matters, liability issues related to field trips and other activities, vandalism, student discipline matters, etc.
  • Assisting in identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks, including legal and regulatory risks
  • Retaining and instructing external legal counsel to achieve the most effective legal service for the System
  • Other legal matters that require support may include: compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, trademark and copyright registration, assignments, licenses and infringement, insurance matters, and internet and email usage

Communications and Stakeholder Relations:

  • Represents the CBE on boards, committees and at public meetings as required and builds and maintains positive relationships with all key Provincial and external stakeholders
  • Advising internal and external stakeholders about strategic, legal risks impacting the System and build legal awareness across the System

Administration Functions:

  • Assisting with and coordinating the management of contentious and litigious matters
  • Managing and maintaining strong relationships and budgetary requirements with external counsel
  • Participating in leadership and management team meetings as appropriate,
  • Approving key internal and external documents
  • Preparing and signing affidavits and statuary declarations as a Commissioner of Oaths and Notary Public
  • Acting as the central legal resource in all matters
  • Drafting and reviewing both standardized and special purpose forms and agreements
  • Establishing a program for periodically reviewing all critical documentation
  • Understanding and be aware of business and financial operating risks
  • Other duties as assigned

 

FIRST YEAR DELIVERABLES / MEASURES OF SUCCESS

Success in the first year will be determined by the candidate’s ability to:

  • Become a trusted resource and advisor, and achieve and maintain the confidence of the, Board of Trustees, Superintendents, and other senior leaders through demonstrating strong conviction and exemplifying accountability, collaboration, equity, and integrity
  • Learn and fully integrate into the organizational culture of shared leadership and a focus on providing services to support the learning environment
  • Build confidence throughout the organization that legal needs are being met and situations are being treated fairly
  • Maintain the System in good standing from a legal perspective

 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

The successful candidate will have the following:

Education:

  • Degree: Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor
  • Law Society Accreditation: Lawyer in good standing in any province in Canada

 Experience:

  • 10 – 15 years of experience within the Canadian Bar
  • Alberta experience and understanding of the unique legislation and structure of CBE is required
  • 5 – 10 years of leadership and supervision experience in an organization of significant size and complexity
  • Experience in drafting and negotiating contracts
  • Experience managing and securing the appropriate outside legal services
  • Strong business acumen and broad-based understanding of key business fundamentals
  • Knowledge of: unions, labour and employment standards, privacy laws, and human rights, contract law, family law, education law, employment and labour law, construction law, intellectual property law, insurance law, general litigation and administrative law
  • Understanding of and/or experience in the role of an internal legal counsel within the public sector

 Competencies & Attributes:

  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills
  • A collegial attitude and willingness to share leadership
  • An ability to simultaneously and successfully handle multiple competing files with shifting priorities and deadlines
  • A commitment to achieving the organization’s Mission and upholding their Values
  • Excellent judgment as well as an analytical approach to decision making using clear, fact based, and logical evidence
  • A proven ability to analyze and elucidate legal issues and provide advice
  • Strong diplomacy, negotiation, conflict resolution, and people-management skills
  • Impeccable standards with a high level of integrity, confidentiality, respect, and accountability
  • Strong work ethic and positive attitude, a motivated self-starter who can take initiative and adapt to rapid change
  • An ability to quickly ascertain the most appropriate departments or experts to consult
  • A practical problem-solving approach with a holistic perspective

 

CLOSING DATE

February 22, 2019 – 12:00pm MST

 

COMPENSATION

An excellent compensation package awaits the successful candidate.


How to Apply:

Please send your resume in Word or PDF format to: msimpson@optimumtalent.com. Copy and Paste the following job title and code and place it in the subject line of your email so we can identify the job and confirm receipt of your application:
AFKF-683415 General Counsel – Calgary Board of Education - AB - Calgary and Area (OTIAPPLY)

Please note that only those candidates meeting the selection criteria, established by our client, will be contacted further. Although we may not contact you directly for this particular role, all applications will be reviewed as we would like to consider you for future opportunities that may be appropriate. We encourage you to continue to visit our website at optimumtalent.com as our opportunities are updated on a regular basis.