Lawyer – Immigrant and Refugee Legal Clinic

Lawyer – Immigrant and Refugee Legal Clinic
Posted: October 8,2019 – October 22,  2019
Job Competition #: 2019-IRLC-01

Lawyer – Immigrant and Refugee Legal Clinic
Primarily based out of ISSofBC Welcome Centre – Vancouver location
Regular full-time at 35 hours per week, Monday – Friday

ISSofBC is opening an Immigration and Refugee Legal Clinic delivering and supporting legal services for low-income people through an integrated network of legal clinics with a lawyer and advocate(s). The clinic will provide services to persons who would not reasonably be able to afford legal services and to those persons who are most vulnerable, irrespective of their immigration status in Canada and their eligibility for government-funded settlement services. The clinic will ensure persons can access clinical services without fear or arrest or enforcement action based on their immigration status.


The Clinical Lawyer is responsible to oversee to operation of the Legal Clinic, ensuring the clinic operates in a way that is complimentary to, and does not displace or compete with, the existing Legal Service Society Immigration Tariff program. Where clients can receive coverage under the LSS Immigration Tariff (including but not limited to inland refugee claims), then the clinic should refer the individual to LSS for intake and merit screening.

Reporting to: Director, Settlement Services


Areas of law covered should primarily include:

  • Applications for permanent resident status on humanitarian & compassionate grounds and judicial reviews of failed H&C applications.
  • Refusals of sponsorship applications.
  • Loss of Canadian permanent residence status, other than for the sole basis of non-residence in Canada.
  • Loss of Canadian citizenship, other than on the basis of non-residence in Canada.
  • Loss of Canadian temporary status, other than for the sole basis of failure to depart Canada at the end of their stay.
  • Facing removal from Canada for the above reasons.
  • Meritorious appeals to the Refugee Appeal Division, and the meritorious judicial reviews of RAD decisions.
  • Other Meritorious immigration and immigration-related legal matters, on a case-by-case basis.

Foundation-funded legal clinics are expected to provide assistance through:


A. Legal Advocacy and Judicial Review: The Clinical Lawyer will work with the existing legal advocacy programs to identify cases that need support in tribunals and higher levels of court, including by way of Judicial Review.

  • Receive referrals from legal advocates;
  • Receive and review decisions;
  • Interview clients to gather information about their legal problem, available evidence, and desired solutions;
  • Identify legal issues;
  • Find legislation, regulation, or policy that applies to client’s situation;
  • Interpret and apply legislation, regulation, or policy;
  • Outline and explain legal options to the client;
  • Where required, represent the client in legal proceedings and in complex administrative hearings.

B. Systemic Advocacy: It is expected that the clinic will also address systemic, substantive and procedural issues that affect more than one client with the relevant ministry, government department, or decision-maker. This should involve specific concerns with specific recommendations for change. This may also include:

  • Law Reform and Legal Research: Through existing Law Foundation funded legal advocacy programs the Clinical Lawyer has access to an wealth of information on how clients are impacted by governmental policies and procedures. The Clinical Lawyer will identify trends and collaborate with others to develop solutions, when appropriate.
  • Constitutional Law: There may be opportunities where the Clinical Lawyer can initiate constitutional arguments into the case work that arises, and potentially start actions when warranted. The expectation is that this may be a possibility further down the road once the above areas are clearly established. Discussion and consultation with the federal and provincial governments on immigrations and refugee policy.

Public Legal Education (PLE)

  • The Clinical Lawyer will be in a unique position to offer engaging and informative legal education presentations for the public and service providers about rights and entitlements.

Provincial coverage and support

  • The clinic will provide support ot advocates and lawyers in the province by developing and sharing resources, providing training, and offering advice and strategy. The clinic may receive referrals from these sources on a case-by-case basis.

Administration and Support

  • Coordinate train and supervise volunteers, students, and contractors in a Legal Advocacy Program; and
  • File management and reporting as per Law Foundation requirements.

Suggested percentages as guidelines:

  • Advocacy (85%)
  • Public Legal Education (PLE) (10%)
  • Provincial cover age and support (on-going)
  • Administration and Support (5%)

If there is ambiguity or uncertainty as to the meaning of terms within this document, then the Legal Clinic will contact the Law Foundation Program Director to resolve the ambiguity or uncertainty.


Completion of a law degree from a recognized institution supplemented by a minimum of six (6) to seven (7) years’ experience as a lawyer with extensive specific expertise with immigration, residency, or employment law and a member in good standing with the Law Society of BC OR have an equivalent combination of education, training and experience acceptable to the employer. Preference may be given to candidates with working knowledge of issues facing newcomers to Canada.

Skills & Abilities:

Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in both written and oral English at all levels of the organization, and with external stakeholders and the community.

Ability to demonstrate a broad knowledge of immigrant and refugee issues and trends.

Strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to interact with individuals (clients, staff, government representatives and the public) from diverse multicultural backgrounds.

Ability to work cooperatively and effectively with senior leadership and the Board, to resolve problems and make decisions that enhance the effectiveness of the Legal Advocacy Program.

Ability to demonstrate and maintain high ethical standards.

Ability to demonstrate logical/analytical thinking, attention to detail, and sound research skills.

Must be able to work independently.

Possession of and ability to maintain membership in good standing with the Law Society of British Columbia.

Proficiency in all aspects of Microsoft Office Suite.

Ability to carry out the duties of the position.

Applications must include “2019-IRLC-01” in the subject line and send by email to:

Closing Date: By 4 pm on Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Salary Rate: $91,000 annually

Benefits: 100% employer paid medical, dental and extended health coverage

Employee paid premiums for Long Term Disability insurance

Employer matched RRSP contribution up to 5% of salary

Three (3) weeks’ vacation

Applicants must be eligible to work in Canada. We thank all applicants; however, only those shortlisted will be contacted for an interview.