Law Practitioner (LP) Group - Job Evaluation Standard

Amendments to the Classification Standard

LP occupational group definition in effect Effective
LP job evaluation standard in effect Effective

Job evaluation standard updates including:

  • Editorial changes
  • Insertion of benchmark positions
  • Added Appendix A: Application Guidelines
Effective

Table of Contents

Policy Context

1. Effective date

1.1 This standard takes effect on .

1.2 This standard replaces the Law Practitioner (LP) job evaluation standard 2014.

2. Application

2.1 This standard applies to the core public administration as defined in section 11 of the Financial Administration Act, unless excluded through specific acts, regulations or Orders in Council.

2.2 This standard is to be used to establish the appropriate level for work allocated to the Law Practitioner (LP) Occupational Group.

2.3 This standard also covers Articling Students as a developmental level.

3. Context

3.1 This standard is a key component of the classification system and must be read in conjunction with the Policy Framework for the Management of Compensation, the Policy on Classification, the Directive on Classification, the Directive on Classification Grievances, and occupational group definitions.

3.2 The classification system is the infrastructure that is put in place to effectively manage the classification of positions within the core public administration. Classification entails allocating positions by occupational group and level using the appropriate job evaluation standard to ensure that the relative value of work is respected across the core public administration.

3.3 This standard is issued pursuant to sections 7 and 11.1 of the Financial Administration Act.

4. Gender Neutrality

4.1 This standard assesses the four factors (skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions) required by the Equal Wages Guidelines of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

5. Consequences

5.1 The consequences identified in the Policy on Classification apply in cases of non compliance with this standard.

6. Related policies and publications:

  • Policy on Classification;
  • Directive on Classification;
  • Directive on Classification Grievances;
  • Occupational Group Definitions;
  • Guide to Allocating Positions Using the Occupational Group Definitions;
  • Table of Concordance;
  • Job evaluation standards;
  • Other policy instruments and guides that may be published from time to time.

7. Inquiries

7.1 Please direct inquiries about this standard to your departmental corporate classification office. To obtain information on the application of this standard, a representative of the departmental corporate classification office should contact:

Workforce Organization and Classification
Compensation and Labour Relations Sector
Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0R5
Email: publicenquiries-demandesderenseignement@tbs-sct.gc.ca

Occupational Group Definition

Definition

The Law Practitioner occupational group comprises positions that are primarily involved in the application of a comprehensive knowledge of the law and its practice to the performance of legal functions.

Inclusions

Notwithstanding the generality of the foregoing, for greater certainty, it includes positions that have, as their primary purpose, responsibility for one or more of the following activities:

  1. The provision of legal advice and legal services;
  2. The drafting of legislation, including regulations and Orders in Council;
  3. The conduct of litigation and prosecution;
  4. The provision of legal policy work and law reform work in the areas of responsibility of the Minister of Justice; and
  5. The provision of legal research and legal editing services.

Exclusions

Positions excluded from the Law Practitioner occupational group are those whose primary purpose is included in the definition of any other group.

Also excluded are positions that require the interpretation of regulations; the drafting of contracts, leases or other legal documents; or the conduct of studies in which a comprehensive knowledge of law is desirable but not mandatory.

Introduction

The job evaluation standard for the Law Practitioner group is a point-rating plan consisting of an introduction, the definition of the Law Practitioner Group, the rating scale, level point boundaries, element characteristics, benchmark position descriptions, and applications guidelines.

Point rating is an analytical, quantitative method of determining the relative values of jobs. Point-rating plans define characteristics or elements common to the jobs being evaluated, define degrees of each element, and allocate point values to each degree. The total value determined for each job is the sum of the point values assigned by the evaluators.

Elements

Six elements are used in this plan. Each element contains a number of degrees that describe the various levels of work that may be present in law practitioner jobs.

Element weighting

The importance of the work characteristics in terms of assessing the relative value of each element is reflected in the maximum point values assigned to the elements.

Each element in the Law Practitioner group job evaluation standard is designed as a continuum of value, ranging from low to high. The overall value of a given job using this system is therefore the sum of the points for each selected rating in each element.

Element Percentage of Total Points Maximum Point Value
Critical Thinking and Analysis 30.0% 300
Knowledge 30.0% 300
Communication and Interaction 21.0% 210
Leadership 15.0% 150
Physical and Sensory Effort 1.5% 15
Work environment 2.5% 25
Total 100.0% 1,000

Benchmark Position Descriptions

Benchmark position descriptions are used to exemplify degrees of each element and illustrate progression in the job evaluation standard, the application of the elements and the relationship between elements. Each description consists of a list of the principal duties and specifications describing the degree of each element to which the position is rated. The benchmark positions have been evaluated, and the degree and point values assigned to each element are shown in the specifications. The benchmark position descriptions are an integral part of the point rating plan and are used to ensure consistency in application of the element ratings.

Use of the Standard

There are six steps in the application of this job evaluation standard.

  1. The position description is studied to ensure understanding of the position as a whole. The relation of the position being rated to positions above and below it in the organization is also studied.
  2. Allocation of the position to the occupational group is confirmed by reference to the definitions and the descriptions of inclusions and exclusions.
  3. Tentative degrees of each element in the job being rated are determined by comparison with degree definitions in the rating scales. Uniform application of degree definitions requires frequent reference to the descriptions of elements and the application guidelines.
  4. The description of the element in each of the benchmark positions exemplifying the degree tentatively established is compared with the description of the element in the position being rated. Comparisons are also made with descriptions of the element in benchmark positions for the degrees above and below the one tentatively established.
  5. The point values for all elements are added up to determine the total point rating.
  6. The position being rated is compared as a whole to benchmark positions to which similar total point values have been assigned, as a check on the validity of the total rating.

Appendix A: Use of the Application Guidelines

The Law Practitioner (LP) occupational group application guidelines have been developed to assist evaluators in understanding and applying the LP job evaluation standard in order to accurately, fairly and consistently evaluate LP work. The application guidelines are a reference tool and must be used in conjunction with the LP job evaluation standard.

In case of a discrepancy between the job evaluation standard and the application guidelines in the appendix, the job evaluation standard will take precedence.

The application guidelines may be updated as required.

Point-Rating Scale

The table below shows the distribution of points allocated to each element.

Degree Element
1
Critical Thinking and Analysis
2
Knowledge
3
Communication and Interaction
4
Leadership
5
Physical and Sensory Effort
6
Work Environment
A B C A
Psychological
B
Physical
1 30 30 21 15 2 2 2 5 1
2 90 64 75 54 5 5 5 7 10
3 180 165 129 111 n/a n/a n/a 15 n/a
4 240 233 210 150 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
5 300 300 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
% Total 30.0% 30.0% 21.0% 15.0% 0.5% 0.5% 0.5% 1.5% 1.0%
1.5% 2.5%

Classification Level Point Boundaries

The following table illustrates the minimum and maximum points for each level.

Classification Level Point Minimum Point Maximum

Table Notes

Table Note *

The structure of the LP Classification Standard has been designed with the intention that level 2 encompasses the majority of the organizational work requirements.

Return to table note * referrer

1 100 275
2table note * 276 450
3 451 650
4 651 875
5 876 1,000

Articling Students

This is a development level reserved for employees that are completing the articling program to develop the essential knowledge, skills and experience for practicing law. Work at this level will enable legal officers to qualify for membership in the law societies of one of the provinces or territories of Canada, including the Chambre des notaires du Québec.

Work at this level is performed under the supervision of a principal (law manager or law practitioner), who is a member of the law societies of one of the Canadian provinces or territories. It involves the performance of a variety of duties such as: conducting legal research; writing legal memoranda and other communications; drafting legal documents; participating in the preparation and conduct of cases, negotiations or mediations, interviews or meetings; analyzing problems based on law and facts and recommending options for resolution; or any other activity required by the particular law society concerned.

LP-00 is the designated group and level to be used to classify Articling Student positions.

Element 1: Critical Thinking and Analysis

This element captures the requirement for critical thinking and analysis in law practitioner work. This element measures the increasing level of critical thinking and analysis that stem from the nature and complexity of typical problems, issues, and files encountered in the work; the nature of analysis and judgment that must be applied; and the nature of the guidance available.

Degree Degree Descriptor Points and Benchmarks
1

Problems or issues are typically of limited scope, risk or impact with defined solution options. Critical thinking involves the identification of relevant facts and issues, research of legal issues, the identification of solution approaches and the production of a variety of legal products. Direction and oversight are provided by management or more senior counsel.

30

BM 1
BM 2
BM 3

2

Problems or issues represent a wide variety of more challenging legal issues and problems with a variety of broad-reaching impacts on other areas of law, policy, process, clients or business results. Critical thinking involves questioning and reframing problem definitions and assumptions to uncover and address underlying issues, including balancing client requirements with legal intent and government objectives, and thinking ahead to next steps, risks and contingencies. Problem solving is independent at this level with strategic and tactical advice available from management and more senior counsel.

90

BM 4
BM 5
BM 6
BM 7

3

Problems or issues are complex, of significant scope, risk and impact, often with ill-defined solution options. Critical thinking involves investigating, identifying and anticipating legal issues and longer-sight implications, including emerging trends and broader risks, and developing strategies to address them. Problem solving requires autonomy and independence based on considerable experience and expertise and is guided by a more general legal framework established by legislation, policy or legal frameworks and principles. 

180

BM 8

4

Problems or issues are highly complex and multi-dimensional, involving multiple perspectives, often-competing priorities, and significant legal, political and business risk. Critical thinking involves the assessment of fundamental questions of law and policy with a view to determining horizontal impacts across government and its interests. Problem solving and critical thinking are generally in the context of broad guidelines typically with no precedent and requiring the adaptation of existing frameworks within which to address the issues or problems.

240

BM 9

5

Problems or issues are new and emerging with no precedent or existing framework within which to address them. Issues at this level are typically of the highest complexity, profile and risk, with the broadest government, societal, economic and/or legal implications. Critical thinking involves extensive strategic analysis, including the development of new frameworks and new interpretations that frame the direction of the law.

300

BM 10

Refer to Appendix A: Application Guidelines - Elemet 1 for additional information.

Element 2: Knowledge (Skill)

This element measures the level of subject-matter knowledge of the law and its practice, as well as contextual knowledge, including knowledge of other areas of the law; broader legal contexts; clients and their business; investigative agencies, partners and stakeholders; and the government, its machinery and its interests. Increasing levels of knowledge are typically acquired through experience within and outside the organization.

Degree Degree Descriptor Points and Benchmarks
1

 

Requires knowledge of the law related to assigned work. Requires a general understanding of the legal process and practices and their application, and a general understanding of the programs, policies and environments of departments and agencies relevant to work assignments.

30

BM 1
BM 2
BM 3

2

Requires sound working-level knowledge of the law related to assigned work. Requires a sound understanding of the legal process and practices and their application, as well as of clients' businesses, justice partners, and the legal and broader government environments within which the job operates.

64

BM 4
BM 5
BM 6
BM 7


3

Requires an advanced knowledge of the law related to assigned work. Includes a strong understanding of the legal process and practices and their application, clients' businesses, justice partners, and the legal and broader government environments within which the job operates.

165

BM 8

4

Requires extensive knowledge of the law, particularly with respect to assigned work. Requires a deep and comprehensive understanding of clients, partners, the government and its interests. Knowledge is such that the job is recognized as an expert and authority on issues related to its field of law or practice.

233

BM 9

5

Requires expert knowledge of the law at the strategic level and an in-depth understanding of the role of law and its comprehensive impacts across government and society. Expertise is such that the job is recognized as a national resource and a pre-eminent authority on issues related to the field of law or practice.

300

BM 10

Refer to Appendix A: Application Guidelines - Elemet 2 for additional information.

Element 3: Communication and Interaction (Skill)

This element measures the written and oral communication skills required in carrying out the job responsibilities in law practitioner work. It is designed to capture the increasing levels of skill by considering the nature and complexity of typical interactions within which the communication skill is applied.

Degree Degree Descriptor Points and Benchmarks
1

Requires developed communication skills to draft and present a variety of legal products, advocate positions, collaborate and consult with colleagues and clients, and provide legal advice on a range of legal matters. Issues are typically of limited scope, risk or impact with defined solution options.

21

BM 1
BM 2
BM 3

2

Requires well-developed communication skills to draft and present a variety of legal products, advocate positions and provide legal advice on a range of challenging legal matters. Requires well-developed communication skills to lead, facilitate and contribute expertise to discussions with clients, colleagues, investigative agencies, and stakeholders within and outside government in order to develop consistent and coordinated positions and approaches, resolve conflicts, and broker solutions on specific files, issues and cases. Issues are typically comprehensive with a variety of broad-reaching impacts on other areas of law, policy, process, clients or business results.

75

BM 4
BM 5
BM 6
BM 7

3

Requires advanced communication skills to draft and present a variety of legal products, advocate positions and provide legal advice on issues of significant complexity, scope, risk and impact. Requires advanced persuasion and diplomacy skills to work with a variety and diversity of stakeholders in order to influence broader policy and legal direction in related program or operational areas, as well as associated longer-term approaches.

129

BM 8

4

Requires extensive communication skills to provide strategic and expert advice, opinions or representation on highly complex, high-profile or cross-cutting issues with significant implications for the Government of Canada. Communication requires the highest degree of persuasion and diplomacy skills to influence strategic decision making at the highest levels of contact on matters of law, policy and the overall government agenda.

210

BM 9
BM 10

Refer to Appendix A: Application Guidelines - Elemet 3 for additional information.

Element 4: Leadership (Responsibility)

This element measures the responsibility of working with and through others in order to accomplish objectives. It recognizes that much of the law practitioner work involves the leadership challenges of bringing people and ideas together. Responsibilities of leadership include planning and leading work, and being accountable for results. Responsibility typically increases with the complexity of the issues and initiatives, and the multiplicity of interests and stakeholders involved.

Degree Degree Descriptor Points and Benchmarks
1

Responsible for the planning and resolution of own job's assigned casework, as well as for participating in broader work teams as required. Coordinates with clients, colleagues and management in the delivery of work and may oversee the relevant assigned tasks of paralegals and other business support staff.

15

BM 1
BM 2
BM 3

 

2

Responsible for the independent planning, management and delivery of a comprehensive legal workload. Leadership responsibilities include independent management of client relationships and issues, and sharing of knowledge and experience from relevant areas of expertise with team members on larger files. Assigns tasks to junior counsel, paralegals and other business support staff where required, and ensure quality and consistency of the work through review and feedback, and coaching of more junior counsel.

54

BM 4
BM 5
BM 6
BM 7

3

Responsible for providing functional, file or issue leadership on comprehensive, complex matters that are defined and related to primary areas of responsibility, specialization or practice, as well as contributing in a leadership role as part of a larger file. Leadership responsibilities include planning, coordinating and leading work activities of team members toward achieving results; assigning team tasks to other counsel where required; ensuring quality and consistency of the work through monitoring and feedback, coaching and advice; and sharing knowledge and experience relating to an area of expertise.

111

BM 8

4

Responsible for providing functional, file or issue leadership on matters of national scope, significant complexity and legal risk, or high profile in nature. Leadership responsibilities include conceiving the overall approach to addressing an issue or file, planning and leading complex multidisciplinary work teams, negotiating the involvement of required human resources, assigning work deliverables, and establishing and monitoring objectives and results. Leadership at this level also involves proactively transferring knowledge and best practices throughout the organization as a key national resource.

150

BM 9
BM 10

Refer to Appendix A: Application Guidelines - Elemet 4 for additional information.

Element 5: Physical and Sensory Effort (Effort)

This element measures the physical and sensory effort required in the performance of law practitioner work. It recognizes the physical effort and energy involved in exerting force, either while moving or while staying still, or in performing a sequence of small movements. It also recognizes the strain associated with intense sensory focus, e.g., visual, tactile or auditory. This element considers how long this effort is being exerted and how often this effort is required.

The following examples provide some illustration of the nature and intensity of physical and sensory effort intended to be captured by this element. However, they are not exhaustive. Other efforts of equivalent intensity should be rated similarly. Each category of effort (A, B and C) must be rated.

Physical and Sensory Efforts Points and Benchmarks

Degree 1

Rarely / Occasionally

Degree 2

Regularly

A. Physical Mobility

  • Sitting or standing for prolonged periods where there is limited opportunity or freedom to change activities
  • Prolonged keyboarding with limited opportunity or freedom to shift activity.

Degree A1

2 points

BM 5

Degree A2

5 points

BM 1
BM 2
BM 3
BM 4
BM 6
BM 7
BM 8
BM 9
BM 10

B. Physical Strength

  • Carrying, moving or lifting heavy volumes of work materials, such as legal briefcases, computers, boxes of files or legal texts.

Degree B1

2 points

BM 1
BM 2
BM 3
BM 4
BM 5
BM 6
BM 8
BM 10

Degree B2

5 points

BM 7
BM 9

C. Sensory Effort

  • Viewing of computer screens
  • Reading, proofreading or reviewing of data or documentation (visual, tactile or auditory).
  • Listening to transcripts or testimony.
  • Driving.

Degree C1

2 points

n/a

Degree C2

5 points

BM 1
BM 2
BM 3
BM 4
BM 5
BM 6
BM 7
BM 8
BM 9
BM 10

Refer to Appendix A: Application Guidelines - Elemet 5 for additional information.

Element 6: Work Environment(Working Conditions)

This element measures the physical and psychological surroundings or conditions within which the work must be delivered and the extent to which they make the job unpleasant. Below are illustrative lists of the disagreeable psychological and physical conditions that may be found in the law practitioner work environment. Both components must be rated separately. Select the degree that best applies.

When rating, assume that working conditions comply with current legislation and standards. Please do not consider the inefficiencies of heating, cooling and ventilation systems; measure only conditions that are an integral part of the work.

A. Psychological Work Environment
Degree Degree Descriptor Points and Benchmarks
A1
  • Complaints from clients, media, public, politicians.
  • Short and unreasonable time pressures, unbreakable deadlines.
  • Multiple and conflicting demands.
  • Influence from stakeholders, politicians.

5

BM 1
BM 2
BM 3
BM 4
BM 5
BM 6
BM 7
BM 8
BM 10

A2
  • Public criticism, including outcry and demonstrations, by the general public, lobby and interest groups, or the media against government positions.
  • Constant conflict, including angry, aggressive and hostile parties.
  • Uncontrollable mandated time pressures.

7

n/a

A3
  • Personal target of a variety of attacks aimed at destabilizing a file or case.
  • Threats to well-being and intimidation from hostile parties.
  • Exposure to graphic material, including crime scene photos and other evidentiary exhibits.

15

BM 9

B. Physical Work Environment
Degree Degree Descriptor Points and Benchmarks
B1
  • Physical work environment is generally a controlled office environment.
  • Includes requirement to travel in the performance of the work.

1

BM 1
BM 2
BM 3
BM 4
BM 5
BM 6
BM 7
BM 8
BM 10

B2
  • Frequent travel, often over long distances or to remote areas.
  • Extreme, uncontrollable and unpredictable weather conditions.
  • Poor-quality accommodation and makeshift work facilities.

10

BM 9

Refer to Appendix A: Application Guidelines - Elemet 6 for additional information.

Benchmark Position Descriptions

BM Descriptive Title Total
Points
Classification Level Group and Level
1 Benchmark 1 - Legal Advisor 114 1 LP-01
2 Benchmark 2 - Legal Counsel 114 1 LP-01
3 Benchmark 3 - Legal Advisor 114 1 LP-01
4 Benchmark 4 - Legal Advisor 301 2 LP-02
5 Benchmark 5 - Pensions Advocate 298 2 LP-02
6 Benchmark 6 - Legal Counsel 301 2 LP-02
7 Benchmark 7 - Litigator 393 2 LP-02
8 Benchmark 8 - Senior Counsel 603 3 LP-03
9 Benchmark 9 - General Counsel 873 4 LP-04
10 Benchmark 10 - Senior General Counsel 978 5 LP-05

Benchmark 1: Legal Advisor

Point Rating 1-1-1-1-A2-B1-C2-A1-B1 = 114 points

Level LP-01

Reports to Director and Senior Counsel, Legal Advisory Services (LC-01)

Organization Context and Position Summary

The Canadian Human Rights Commission protects the core principle of equal opportunity and promotes a vision of an inclusive society, free from discrimination; promotes human rights through research and policy development; protects human rights through a fair and effective complaints process; represents the public interest to advance human rights for all Canadians; and audits employers under federal jurisdiction for compliance with employment equity.

Reporting to the Director and Senior Counsel, and under the guidance of senior legal advisors, the Legal Advisor is 1 of 2 Legal Advisors (LP-01) responsible for providing legal advisory services and litigation support to the Commission on legal issues as to its responsibilities under the Canadian Human Rights Act.  The Legal Advisory Services Division is part of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. The Division is comprised of 7 lawyers.

Duties

Under the guidance of a more senior legal advisor:

  1. provides legal advisory services either alone on issues of limited risk and impact or on more complex issues with the support and guidance of more  senior legal advisors, including assessing legal and other risks and providing advice on mitigation and risk management strategies; conducts legal research, including case law, previous opinions and precedents to identify trends and ensure consistency of advice; and provides legal advice on the development, interpretation and application of proposed and actual legal texts, policies,  and practices;
  2. provides litigation support services, either alone on issues of limited risk and impact or, in more complex matters, with the support of more experienced counsel, including liaising with the instructing counsel and litigation counsel; assisting in related litigation processes such as drafting or reviewing pleadings; and conducting related litigation as assigned under supervision;
  3. contributes to legal education activities and other training for the client on topics related to human rights law, administrative law, Aboriginal law and other areas of the law, as needed; and
  4. contributes to the effective operation of the Legal Advisory Services Division through providing feedback on its service needs and corporate matters; and complies with applicable operational and management processes.

Critical Thinking and Analysis

Degree: 1

Points: 30

Under the guidance of a more senior legal advisor:

  • consults with the client, legal colleagues and others to understand the context and implications underlying requests for legal advice in order to determine the types and nature of research to be conducted;
  • researches, analyzes and synthesizes legal and policy information to provide legal advice and services on matters (e.g. determination of jurisdictions, clarification of specific rights of complainants, and court decisions such as alcohol testing in the workplace and definition of an employment relationship) and provides advice and arguments to present facts, findings and opinions to senior legal advisors and clients; and
  • identifies and prepares information/documentation relevant to issues being addressed (e.g., whether a complaint is beyond the Commission's jurisdiction) to develop options, advice and arguments to the client.

Knowledge  

Degree: 1

Points: 30

Knowledge of the Canadian Human Rights Act and other relevant legislation such as the Public Service Labour Relations Act the Employment Equity Act, and the Indian Act to provide advice on human rights matters and issues.

Knowledge of theories, principles and practices of human rights law, administrative law, Aboriginal law and other areas of the law as necessary, with particular emphasis on identifying the legal issues relevant to assigned matters, framing and conducting legal research and writing legal opinions and documents.

Knowledge of principles and practices of legal advisory, legislative and policy development services to provide legal advice.

Knowledge of legal research systems in order to search databases and contribute to the updating and management of the Human Rights Commission system.

Knowledge of the mandate, roles and responsibilities of the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the legal, policy, program, and operational contexts of the branches of the Commission, other parties and government as a whole to identify legal issues relevant to assigned matters and provide advice on risk mitigation and risk management strategies. 

Communication and Interaction 

Degree: 1

Points: 21

Consults with the client, legal colleagues and others to understand the context and implications underlying requests for legal advice in order to determine the types and nature of research to be conducted.

Provides written and oral legal advice to the client and occasionally provides legal information to external stakeholders on various legal matters in a clear and concise manner,  (e.g., the Commission's roles,  responsibilities  and jurisdiction with regard to discrimination complaints against the federal government, First Nations governments, and private companies that are regulated by the federal government, Aboriginal rights and responsibilities, transportation issues and  people with disabilities).

Represents the views of the Legal Advisory Services Division in discussions with client representatives to formulate and provide consistent legal advice.

Drafts summaries of case, opinions, briefing notes and reports to present facts and findings in a clear and concise manner to senior legal advisors and clients, and to senior management with guidance of more senior legal counsel. 

Leadership

Degree: 1

Points: 15

Manages relationships with client representatives and legal colleagues; plans own workload and works in a team environment to resolve legal issues on assigned files.

Participates in a variety of working groups and project teams to advance research and share knowledge on specific projects.

Prepares training documents and materials (e.g. summaries of recent decisions and/or new developments) for the use of senior legal advisors in the delivery of training sessions, or, on occasion, to deliver training to internal client groups.

May work with the administrative assistant, and paralegal and articling students to ensure completion of assigned tasks in a timely manner.

Physical Mobility  

Degree: A2

Points: 5

Regularly remains seated for prolonged periods while using a computer, reading or proofreading data or documents.

Physical Strength    

Degree: B1

Points: 2

Occasionally carries or moves/lifts items used in the support of the work, including legal briefcases, boxes of files or legal texts.

Sensory Effort  

Degree: C2

Points: 5

Regularly reviews large volumes of materials and documents.

Psychological Environment  

Degree: A1

Points: 5

Lack of control over agenda due to conflicting issues and parties, multiple demands, time pressures, shifting priorities and deadlines.

Physical Environment      

Degree: B1

Points: 1

Work is regularly performed in a typical office environment.

There is a requirement for travel on rare occasions.

Benchmark 2: Legal Counsel

Point Rating 1-1-1-1-A2-B1-C2-A1-B1 = 114 points

Level LP-01

Reports to the Senior General Counsel and Executive Director (LC-03)

Organization Context and Position Summary

The Department of Justice has established dedicated departmental legal services units (DLSUs) for most government departments and agencies. These units provide client organizations with legal advice, opinions, risk analysis and litigation support and assistance. Each Legal Services Unit reports to the Department of Justice on an organizational, functional and professional basis, although they are typically physically located within a client organization.

This is a Department of Justice position located in a Departmental Legal Services Unit (DLSU) within Transport Canada. The DLSU is comprised of 32 lawyers. The DSLU located within Transport Canada provides legal services to both Transport Canada and Infrastructure Canada.

The Legal Counsel is responsible for providing legal advice and services to clients at Transport Canada and Infrastructure Canada on corporate and commercial law issues.

Duties

Under the guidance of a Team Leader:

  1. researches, analyzes, and provides advice to the client on a variety of corporate and commercial law issues, including issues related to agreements (e.g., drafting template agreements; drafting text for contracts, commenting on proposed contract amendments and termination of agreements, interpretation of clauses, and advising on related litigation)  and related  areas of crown law (e.g. administrative law, access and privacy law issues, official languages) affecting  the execution of these agreements;
  2. researches, analyzes and provides legal advice to the clients on other areas of commercial law, such as procurement law;
  3. as required, consults with colleagues and seeks advice and guidance from the Team Leader on legal issues, policies and practices related to assigned files;
  4. as a team member, contributes to discussions, analyses and provision of advice on clients' broader commercial law issues; and
  5. establishes networks of peers and participates in learning and developmental activities to enhance knowledge of corporate and commercial law.

Critical Thinking and Analysis

Degree: 1

Points: 30

Under the guidance of a Team Leader:

  • identifies, researches and analyzes legal issues in contracts and agreements as assigned; identifies legal risks; discusses issues with colleagues and Team Leader as appropriate; drafts legal opinions and provides oral and written advice to the client;
  • provides advice in other areas of commercial law, such as procurement law and may act in an advisory role to the client with respect to any litigation; and
  • participates in team discussions on legal issues related to specific files or broader commercial law issues, and contributes to strategies and opinions.

Knowledge

Degree: 1

Points: 30

Knowledge of corporate and commercial law to: identify legal issues relevant to contracts and various types of agreements; identify legal risks for, and propose risk mitigation options to the client; and draft opinions for the client.

Knowledge of Crown law and administrative law to: identify legal issues relevant to contracts and agreements (e.g. Official Languages Act and Financial Administration Act requirements relating to the execution of agreements); identify legal risks and risk mitigation options; and draft opinions and advice for the client.

Knowledge of the mandates, objectives and programs of Transport Canada and Infrastructure Canada in order to understand and consider the context in which each client operates when analyzing legal issues, identifying risks and providing legal advice.

Knowledge of the structure, mandate, policies and practices, expertise and legal resources within the Transport Canada Legal Services Unit and the Department of Justice, which enables the incumbent to consult with colleagues, access specialized legal knowledge and information relevant to files, and access knowledge and training relevant to personal and professional development.

Communication and Interaction

Degree: 1

Points: 21

Drafts clear and concise legal opinions and advice to clients regarding commercial law, crown law, and administrative law issues arising in contracts and agreements as well as other commercial law issues, such as procurement law, in a manner that clearly articulates concepts, concerns, and questions and defends approaches and solutions.

Discusses with the client their requests for legal opinions to gather additional relevant facts, determine the legal issues and agreed-upon deadlines.

Participates in and contributes to team discussions related to broader legal issues within commercial law and articulates and defends opinions.

Leadership

Degree: 1

Points: 15

Manages relationships with client representatives and legal colleagues to provide timely advice to clients; plans own workload and works in a team environment to resolve legal issues on assigned matters.

Participates in and contributes to Team discussions of client legal issues and regarding broader legal issues within commercial law.

Assigns work to one legal assistant (shared resource).

Physical Mobility     

Degree: A2

Points: 5

Regularly sits for prolonged periods of time during meetings, consultations and daily work.

Physical Strength         

Degree: B1

Points: 2

Occasionally carries or moves/lifts items used in the support of the work, including, but not limited to, legal briefcases, boxes of files, or legal texts.

Sensory Effort     

Degree: C2

Points: 5

Regularly views computer screens for prolonged periods and regularly reads, for prolonged periods, numerous documents.

Psychological Environment

Degree: A1

Points: 5

The work involves dealing with conflicting issues and parties, multiple demands, time pressures, shifting priorities and deadlines which may lead to a lack of control over one's agenda.

Physical Environment     

Degree: B1

Points: 1

Work is regularly performed in a typical office environment.

There is no requirement to travel.

Benchmark 3: Legal Advisor

Point Rating 1-1-1-1-A2-B1-C2-A1-B1 = 114 points

Level LP-01

Reports to Director, Legal Services and Senior Counsel (LC-01)

Organization Context and Position Summary

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) operates independently from government and reports directly to the House of Commons and the Senate. The Commissioner's powers include: investigating privacy complaints, conducting audits and pursuing court action under the Privacy Act (PA) and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) for the enforcement of relevant provisions of Canada's Anti-Spam Law (CASL); publicly reporting on the personal information-handling practices of public and private sector organizations; supporting, undertaking and publishing research into privacy issues; and promoting public awareness and understanding of privacy issues.

The OPC relies on its own legal counsel that are independent of the Department of Justice, to provide legal advice, guidance, policy and risk assessment on mandated privacy issues as well as legal issues related to OPC management and operations (e.g., contract law, employment law).

Reporting to the Director, Legal Services and Senior Counsel (LC-01), and under the guidance of senior legal advisors, the subject position (SP) is 1 of 2 Legal Advisors (LP-01) responsible for providing legal advisory services and litigation support to the OPC. The Division is comprised of 7 legal advisors.

Duties

Under the guidance of senior legal advisors:

  1. produces legal opinions, risk assessments and options regarding the administration and application of the Privacy Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, Canada's Anti-Spam Law and related regulations; provides research and advice on the interpretation and application of related federal and provincial legislation and regulations;
  2. conducts legal research regarding case law, previous opinions and precedents to identify trends and to ensure consistency of advice; provides legal advice on the development, interpretation and application of proposed and actual legislation, policies and, practices; and produces reports, briefings and legal opinions;
  3. provides support to more senior counsel in hearings and other proceedings before the courts (e.g., Federal Court, Trial and Appeal Divisions and the Supreme Court of Canada) and may appear as OPC counsel on matters before any prothonotary or judge of the Trial Division of the Federal Court;
  4. contributes to legal education activities and other client training on topics related to privacy law, administrative law and other areas of the law; may be required to make presentations, as needed, before OPC staff or externally; and
  5. contributes to the effective operation of the Legal Services Division by providing feedback on its service needs and corporate matters.

Critical Thinking and Analysis

Degree: 1

Points: 30

Under the guidance of senior legal advisors:

  • consults with the client, legal colleagues and investigators to understand the context and implications underlying requests for legal advice and to determine the types and nature of research to be conducted;
  • researches, analyzes and synthesizes legal and policy information to provide legal advice and services on various matters (e.g., determination of jurisdiction, clarification of specific rights, decisions with regard to sharing personal information with institutions);
  • develops and presents options, advice and arguments to clients;
  • identifies and prepares information/documentation relevant to issues being addressed (e.g., relevance of complaints filed beyond the OPC's jurisdiction);
  • researches legal issues to develop options, advice and persuasive arguments to clients; and
  • analyzes case facts, court processes and evidentiary rules to prepare a variety of court documents including affidavits, memoranda, and other documents.

Knowledge

Degree: 1

Points: 30

Knowledge of legal theories and principles, jurisprudence and doctrine relating to privacy, the Privacy Act and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, Canada's Anti-Spam Law and related regulations in order to provide legal research and review services, legal advice, legal risk assessments and options to assist with litigation and to develop training on legal issues.

Knowledge of the Canadian parliamentary and judicial systems in order to give advice and provide litigation services respecting the OPC mandate as an Officer of Parliament.

Knowledge of areas of law having an impact upon privacy in Canada and upon the operation of the OPC as an Officer of Parliament, such as constitutional law, administrative law, contract law and labour law and privacy legislation in other Canadian and international jurisdictions as required, to provide legal opinions and comparative analyses.

Knowledge of legal research systems in order to search databases and contribute to the updating and management of the OPC system.

Knowledge of the mandate, roles and responsibilities of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the legal, policy, program, and operational contexts of the branches of OPC, other parties and government as a whole to identify legal issues relevant to assigned matters, and provide advice on risk mitigation and risk management strategies. 

Communication and Interaction

Degree: 1

Points: 21

Consults with the client, legal colleagues and investigators to understand the context and implications underlying requests for legal advice in order to determine the types and nature of research to be conducted.

Provides written legal advice as well as oral explanations to colleagues, investigators and occasionally to the public and provides information/explanations on various legal matters in a clear and concise manner (e.g., OPC roles and responsibilities including its jurisdiction with regard to privacy related complaints against the federal government).

Represents the views of the Legal Advisory Services Division in discussions with client representatives to formulate and provide legal advice.

Drafts summaries of cases that are already subject to precedents, correspondence and reports and presents facts and findings in a clear and concise manner to senior legal advisors and clients. 

Leadership

Degree: 1

Points: 15

Manages relationships with client representatives and legal colleagues; plans own workload and works in a team environment to resolve legal issues on assigned matters.

Participates in a variety of working groups and project teams to advance research and share knowledge on specific projects.

Prepares training documents (e.g. summaries of recent decisions, new interpretations) to deliver or to assist senior legal advisors in the delivery of training sessions.

May oversee the work of legal assistants, paralegal staff and students to ensure completion of assigned tasks in a timely manner.

Physical Mobility     

Degree: A2

Points: 5

Regularly remains seated for prolonged periods while using a computer, reading or proofreading data or documents.

Physical Strength     

Degree: B1

Points: 2

Occasionally carries or moves/lifts items used in the support of the work, including legal briefcases, boxes or files, or legal texts.

Sensory Effort        

Degree: C2

Points: 5

Regularly reviews large volumes of material and documents.

Psychological Environment       

Degree: A1

Points: 5

Lack of control over agenda due to conflicting issues and parties, multiple demands, time pressures, shifting priorities and deadlines.

Physical Environment       

Degree: B1

Points: 1

Work is regularly performed in a closed office environment.

There is a requirement for travel on rare occasions.

Benchmark 4: Legal Advisor

Point Rating 2-2-2-2-A2-B1-C2-A1-B1 = 301 points

Level LP-02

Reports to Director, Legal Services and Senior Counsel (LC 01)

Organization Context and Position Summary

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) operates independently from government and reports directly to the House of Commons and the Senate. The Commissioner's powers include: investigating privacy complaints, conducting audits and pursuing court action under the Privacy Act (PA) and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) for the enforcement of relevant provisions of Canada's Anti-Spam Law (CASL); publicly reporting on the personal information-handling practices of public and private sector organizations; supporting, undertaking and publishing research into privacy issues; and promoting public awareness and understanding of privacy issues.

The OPC relies on its own legal counsel that are independent of the Department of Justice, to provide legal advice, guidance, policy and risk assessment on mandated privacy issues as well as legal issues related to OPC management and operations (e.g., contract law, employment law).

Reporting to the Director, Legal Services and Senior Counsel (LC-01), the Legal Advisor is 1 of 5 Legal Counsels (LP-02) responsible for providing a full range of legal advisory services and litigation support to the OPC.

Duties

  1. Produces legal opinions, legal risk assessments and options on the administration and application of the Privacy Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, Canada's Anti-Spam Law and related regulations; provides research and advice on the interpretation and application of federal and provincial privacy legislation and regulations; determines legal trends at the federal, provincial and international levels and the implications for federal privacy issues, and produces related briefings and legal opinions.
  2. Provides advice and opinions regarding other areas of law related to OPC operations and mandate, including but not limited to, contract law, labour law, and constitutional law.
  3. Conducts legal research, regarding case law, previous opinions and precedents to identify trends and to ensure consistency of advice; provides legal advice on the development, interpretation and application of proposed and actual legislation, policies and, practices; and produces reports, briefings and legal opinions; provides legal support and guidance to the OPC in preparation for Parliamentary appearances and submissions to Parliament on privacy matters.
  4. Leads or participates in the preparation of litigation through the conduct of legal research, drafting of advice, opinions, memoranda, affidavits, motions and other related material in accordance with applicable Court Rules; may appear as counsel in hearings or other proceedings before the courts (e.g. Federal Court, Trial and Appeal Divisions) and may participate, as required, as a member of litigation teams led by more senior counsel on matters before the Supreme Court of Canada.
  5. Participates in the development of, and delivers internal training on, legal and legal policy matters relating to privacy; mentors and provides feedback to junior counsel and reviews work of paralegals and students; represents the OPC at external speaking engagements on various legal matters within the OPC's mandate.

Critical Thinking and Analysis

Degree: 2

Points: 90

Cases are of varying complexity and are managed independently with guidance provided at the strategic level by the Director or Senior General Counsel. 

Researches and analyzes legal issues, facts, case law and OPC policy decisions to understand privacy cases or assigned files, assess legal risks and provide advice to OPC management and staff and/or clients. 

Researches and analyzes legal issues pertaining to other areas of law (e.g. contract law to support OPC procurement activities or employment law relating to management of employee issues); identifies legal risks and develops legal advice and opinions.

Analyzes facts and conducts risk assessments of privacy case files to identify and anticipate potential issues and recommend legal approaches to address them (e.g. advising the OPC on commencing potential litigation and developing recommendations); prepares persuasive arguments, and legal documents such as motions, pleadings, and affidavits to support litigation activities.

Analyzes issues and provides legal advice and support respecting the Privacy Commissioner's submissions to and appearances before parliamentary committees.

Researches comparative and administrative law; identifies trends at the federal, provincial and international levels and the implications for privacy at the federal level; and produces related briefings and legal opinions.

Examines trends and issues in the interpretation and application of privacy law to anticipate potential issues, advise clients appropriately, and develop and deliver training activities.

Knowledge   

Degree: 2

Points: 64

Knowledge of legal theories and principles, jurisprudence and doctrine relating to privacy and of the Privacy Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, Canada's Anti-Spam Law and related regulations in order to provide legal research and review services, advice, risk assessments and options. This knowledge is also required to lead or participate in litigation and to develop training on legal issues.

Knowledge of the Canadian parliamentary and judicial systems in order to give advice and provide litigation services respecting the OPC mandate as an Officer of Parliament.

Knowledge of the areas of law having an impact upon privacy in Canada and upon the operation of the OPC such as constitutional law, administrative law, contract law and labour law and knowledge of  privacy legislation in other Canadian and international jurisdictions to provide legal opinions and comparative analyses.

Knowledge of court and evidentiary rules, processes and procedures in order to lead and/or participate in litigation and prepare court documents including affidavits, memoranda, motions and other material.

Knowledge of legal research systems in order to search databases and contribute to the updating and management of the OPC system.

Knowledge of the roles, responsibilities, structure, mandate and programs of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada in order to provide legal research, advice and training, and respond to legal issues with respect to privacy and the operation and management of the OPC.

Communication and Interaction

Degree: 2

Points: 75

Consults with investigators and other OPC staff to obtain a complete understanding of the context and implications underlying requests for legal advice regarding OPC investigations, privacy legislation, and precedents, and to determine the scope of cases and the level of expertise required to address them.

Discusses cases and trends with senior counsel and OPC clients to ensure consistency and coherence of approaches and advice, to provide comprehensive explanations on privacy issues, trends and emerging developments, interpretations and applications, and to identify potential horizontal implications across OPC.

Drafts clear, concise and convincing legal opinions, affidavits, reports, legal risk assessments and options and, chooses appropriate terms and adapt verbal and written communications to various audiences (e.g. investigators, respondents, colleagues, etc.) to provide verbal and written legal advice. Cases are subject to very strict confidentiality; therefore a high level of judgement is required; may provide advice and recommendations directly to the Commissioner and/or Assistant Commissioner, as required.

Represents the views of the OPC to clients, lawyers, members of the judiciary, and officials of the courts and representatives of the federal and other jurisdictions regarding cases and to present the OPC's perspective while defending its interests.

Leadership

Degree: 2

Points: 54

Independently manages own workload to ensure the timely and effective delivery of legal advisory services; leads and/or participates in working groups and project teams to share legal expertise on more complex cases; represents the OPC and participates in litigation in cases before various courts, including the Federal Court (Trial and of Appeal Divisions) and the Supreme Court of Canada.

Mentors junior colleagues and assigns and reviews work of students and paralegals.

Delivers training sessions and presentations on legal matters to public and private organizations to share knowledge on privacy matters/issues.

Physical Mobility 

Degree: A2

Points: 5

Regularly remains seated for prolonged periods while using a computer, reading or proofreading data or documents.

Physical Strength      

Degree: B1

Points: 2

Occasionally carries or moves/lifts items used in the support of the work, including legal briefcases, boxes or files, or legal texts.

Sensory Effort          

Degree: C2

Points: 5

Regularly reviews large volumes of material and documents.

Psychological Environment    

Degree: A1

Points: 5

Lack of control over agenda due to conflicting issues and parties, multiple demands, time pressures, shifting priorities and deadlines.

Physical Environment       

Degree: B1

Points: 1

Work is regularly performed in a closed office environment.

There is a requirement to travel on rare occasions.

Benchmark 5: Pensions Advocate

Point Rating 2-2-2-2-A1-B1-C2-A1-B1 = 298 points

Level LP-02

Reports to Director, Legal Operations (LC-02)

Organization Context and Position Summary

The Bureau of Pensions Advocates (BPA) is a nation-wide organization of advocates within Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC). The Bureau's mandate is to assist clients in the preparation of applications for review or for appeal and to provide representation at hearings before the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB).  The Bureau operates at arm's length from VAC in regard to its advocacy mandate.

All BPA advocates are lawyers who are experienced in pension matters and are considered specialists in claims for disability benefits. Persons seeking legal representation from BPA are treated as if they were hiring a private lawyer and are subject to the same solicitor-client privilege.  BPA advocates represent clients in about 95 per cent of all review and appeal cases before the VRAB and manage twelve to thirteen thousand case files per annum.

There are 25 LP-02 pension advocates nationally. Advocates are located in the Appeal Unit (5 advocates) at Headquarters or in one of 14 local offices (20 advocates) and either report directly to the Director Operations or through 4 Area Directors (Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario and Western).

The SP is one of the 5 Appeal Unit positions. Although located within the Appeal Unit, the BPA business model is such that any BPA advocate may represent clients throughout the review the appeal processes. It is responsible for the provision of legal advice, counselling and representation before the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB) of veterans and members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), their dependents and other eligible clients seeking benefits under the Pension Act, the New Veterans Charter, War Veterans Allowance Act, and other related legislation.

Duties

  1. Analyses and evaluates case documentation and evidence; conducts medical and legal research; collects new evidence; reviews related VRAB cases and decisions and drafts legal opinions, statutory declarations, written arguments, correspondence and related documents in support of disability claim cases.
  2. Consults with specialists in the legal, medical and other professional communities; liaises with representatives from VAC, other departments and agencies, Veterans' organizations, the private sector, advisory/interest groups and stakeholder organizations.
  3. Provides advice to clients on the probability of a favourable outcome based upon the law, the facts in the case, and related jurisprudence; develops case strategies and gains client acceptance; prepares clients and witnesses in advance of VRAB review and appeal hearings; and represents clients in these proceedings.
  4. Provides legal coaching to Advocacy Officers and other staff; shares knowledge and provides advice to colleagues on case-specific issues.
  5. Identifies legal issues, trends, and legislative, administrative or policy interpretations affecting client outcomes; contributes to stakeholder Interpretation Hearings to garner support for changes in the interpretation of the legislation governing the redress processes.
  6. Provides advice to client representatives (i.e., external legal counsel, Royal Canadian Legion representative, family member or other designated person) on an 'as requested' basis regarding legal, procedural and administrative aspects of cases.

Critical Thinking and Analysis

Degree: 2

Points: 90

Under general direction of the Director:

  • manages a review and appeal caseload of significant volume, varying legal and medical complexity and varying political and public sensitivity, while ensuring solicitor-client privilege is maintained;
  • analyzes case documentation and evidence and evaluates the legal context, issues and/or implications, jurisprudence, and case facts to determine and formulate legal strategies, responses, options and recommendations for the client;
  • conducts legal and medical research, comparative analyses and assessments of review decisions to identify issues or precedents and gaps in evidence; analyzes and interprets issues and claims, particularly those where case law, legislation or statutes are unclear, contradictory or open to legal interpretation to provide advice to clients, and present arguments before the VRAB;
  • analyzes situations where the facts do not fit within the parameters of relevant legislation or policies of VRAB (e.g., the definition of dependants and other eligible clients) to formulate arguments, break new ground and ascertain the true intent of Parliament reaching beyond existing departmental or VRAB policy;
  • interprets medical etiology to evaluate consequential medical relationships between one disability and another and, to understand the long-term effects of service-related injuries, illnesses and diseases in order to advance written and oral arguments before the VRAB; and
  • assesses the relationship between client service and related disabilities which may present years after service.

Knowledge       

Degree: 2

Points: 64

Knowledge of the Pension Act, New Veterans Charter, Veterans Review and Appeal Board Act, War Veterans Allowance Act, Department of Veterans Affairs Act, Interpretation Act and jurisprudence related to these statutes, and of administrative law, and rules of evidence to provide advocacy services, advice and expertise on cases, and represent clients throughout Veterans Review and Appeal Board processes. This knowledge is also required to identify and frame questions of interpretation that are brought to Interpretation Hearings of stakeholders.

Knowledge of the acts and regulations impinging upon disability benefit entitlements such as Workers` Compensation legislation, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Divorce Act, Criminal Code and any other legislative provision affecting case outcomes.

Knowledge of medical principles and ethics, medical terminology, etiology and disease interrelationships, medico-legal practice with respect to personal injury and disability, and of related medical-legal issues is required to assess legal risks, develop case strategies and options and provide legal advice to clients.

Knowledge of principles and practices of legal research, analysis and reasoning, adjudication, judicial hearings, consultation, public administration and comparative legal analysis to provide legal advice and guidance to clients and prepare responses to enquiries.

Knowledge of the mandate, structure and priorities of the Bureau of Pensions Advocates, Veteran's Affairs Canada, veterans' organizations (e.g., Royal Canadian Legion the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman)  and of related federal, provincial and private sector organizations (e.g. , Veterans Review and Appeal Board,  Department of National Defense, RCMP, Department of Justice, medical community,  Workers' Compensation and private pension/insurance organizations) to prepare cases and provide legal services and representation to clients, to identify legal issues, trends, and legislative, administrative or policy interpretations affecting client outcomes, and to  contribute to stakeholder Interpretation Hearings to garner support for changes in the interpretation of the legislation governing the redress processes.

Knowledge of legal research systems in order to search databases and contribute to the updating and management of the BPA's system.

Communication and Interaction     

Degree: 2

Points: 75

Advises, counsels and prepares clients who may have life-threatening illnesses, severe psychiatric or physical disabilities and/or urgent financial needs. Prepares witnesses, provides advice and guidance to client representatives, if requested, gains support for recommended legal options and strategies on a case-by-case basis, and develops and presents arguments and evidence to support the redress process in an organized and persuasive manner before the VRAB.

Prepares and drafts legal opinions, statutory declarations, written arguments, advice, correspondence and related documents in support of client disability review and appeal claims.

Develops and makes oral/written presentations to the VRAB and or written submissions to VAC in order to represent clients in redress processes regarding disability benefits.

Consults with specialists in the legal, medical and other professional communities and liaises with representatives from other departments and agencies, the private sector, advisory/interest groups and stakeholder organizations to gather the information and materials required to complete the case files.

Provides information about specific cases to respond to requests from private lawyers taking into account the provision of the Privacy Act and solicitor-client privilege.

Leadership

Degree: 2

Points: 54

Independently plans and manages a high volume caseload of varying complexity.

Develops and manages the client-advocate interface throughout the review process which involves: ascertaining case facts and developing strategies for representing the client during redress processes; preparing the client to participate in redress proceedings; and explaining VRAB decisions. 

Provides guidance to colleagues on case and practice management, communication approaches and conflict resolution to contribute to the development and updating of the Unit's legal rules and guidelines.

Provides legal coaching to Advocacy Officers and other support staff to ensure accuracy and quality of their work and provides input to performance evaluations and identification of training and development needs.

Exercises fiscal responsibility to requisition professional medical services in support of client disability benefit claims, and tailors the number and location of off-site hearings and the corresponding amount of travel to meet budgetary constraints.

Physical Mobility      

Degree: A1

Points: 2

Occasionally sits for prolonged periods to view computer screens and read/review hard copy and electronic service and medical documents, often of poor quality. Stands when delivering presentations.

Physical Strength         

Degree: B1

Points: 2

Occasionally lifts, carries and moves heavy volumes of work materials (e.g. client files).

Sensory Effort       

Degree: C2

Points: 5

Regularly drafts legal documents for prolonged periods requiring extensive visual effort.

Psychological Environment     

Degree: A1

Points: 5

Works under pressure and tight deadlines, copes with heavy caseload assignments and responds to frequent, urgent requests for immediate legal advice and services. Stress increases when clients are extremely ill, living in desperate economic circumstances or have significant physical/psychiatric disabilities.

Physical Environment        

Degree: B1

Points: 1

The work is performed in a standard office environment as well as in administrative tribunal and judicial hearing environments (court rooms).

Travel to off-site may be required on occasion.

Benchmark 6: Legal Counsel

Point Rating 2-2-2-2-A2-B1-C2-A1-B1 = 301 points

Level LP-02

Reports to Senior Counsel, Law Branch (LC-01)

Organization Context and Position Summary

The Supreme Court of Canada is Canada's final court of appeal. It serves Canadians by deciding legal issues of public importance; thereby contributing to the development of all branches of law applicable within Canada.

The Court Operations Sector is comprised of the Law Branch, Reports Branch, Registry Branch and Library and Information Management Branch and is responsible for the planning, direction and provision of legal advice and operational support to the Supreme Court Judges respecting the case management process from the initial filing to the final judgment on an appeal. This includes the processing and recording of proceedings, scheduling of cases, legal and jurilinguistic services, legal research and library services, legal editing services and publication of the Canada Supreme Court Reports. Information management services, including case-related and corporate records information, are also provided by the Sector.

Reporting to the Senior Counsel, Law Branch, the subject position (SP) is 1 of 16 Legal Counsels (LP-02) responsible for providing legal advice, services and research, and preparing legal opinions for the Supreme Court's Judges, senior management and staff.

Duties

  1. Researches and develops memoranda and summaries of applications for leave to appeal and of appeals to recommend to the Judges the granting or dismissal of applications.
  2. Writes summaries of reasons for judgment to be published in the Canada Supreme Court Reports; reviews and provides legal editing of reasons for judgment prior to release; writes syntheses and/or policy papers on legal and other issues to inform senior management.
  3. Conducts research to provide legal opinions and advice to the Registrar and senior administrative staff on employment law, contracts, procurement, litigation, copyright and intellectual property and policy issues.
  4. Provides training and guides law students in all sections, oversees and evaluates their performance.
  5. Provides direction to editors/revisers, translators, students and support staff, as necessary to ensure cohesiveness and completeness of information regarding Supreme Court decisions.
Critical Thinking and Analysis       

Degree: 2

Points: 90

Workload is managed independently with guidance provided at the strategic level by the Senior Counsel.

Analyzes the merits of applications for leave to appeal and writes memoranda recommending granting or dismissal of applications.  The work involves reviewing appeal documents, researching novel, substantive legal and procedural issues, finding solutions that are legally sound, and developing recommendations. The work has a direct impact on the perception of the Supreme Court in Canada, nationally and abroad, and upon access to justice more generally. Failure to provide complete and correct information may embarrass the Court and affect its public legitimacy as a fundamental Canadian democratic institution.

Researches, develops and analyses specialized legal questions and writes legal opinions addressing substantive, procedural, jurisdictional and administrative issues for the Judges, senior management and Court staff.

Issues are novel and there is little guidance regarding the substance and nature of the advice provided on applications for leave to appeal (e.g., Access to education in French for French minority in Yukon). Court files are unique and involve unresolved issues in any area of law.  Legal counsel must have the ability to quickly analyse diverse areas of the law and questions raised through applications for leave to appeal in order to draft memoranda, summarize issues and recommend to the Judges the granting or dismissal of applications.

Analyses and provides legal advice on contracts, procurement, litigation, and copyright and intellectual property in support of Supreme Court of Canada operational activities.

Knowledge        

Degree: 2

Points: 64

Knowledge of theories, principles and concepts of law to:

  • interpret and evaluate submissions presented to the Court;
  • write memoranda  detailing arguments, facts and issues raised in an application for leave to appeal, and the application, motion and appeal materials;
  • assimilate and synthesize legal and factual reports, documents, statutes and regulations;
  • provide sound legal advice and recommendations to the Judges;
  • assist the Court by reviewing reasons for judgment in order to detect any ambiguity or legal nuances between various sets of reasons in a given judgment when writing the head notes and editing reasons for decisions;
  • research and provide legal opinions on a variety of matters relating to court practices, administration and operations; and
  • represent the Court in litigation and on staff relations issues as necessary.

Knowledge of the Supreme Court Act and the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Constitution Act, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Bill of Rights, the Criminal Code, the Quebec Civil Code and Code of Civil Procedure, relevant provisions of miscellaneous statutes that affect the Court's jurisdiction, multiple areas of  law including, but not limited to, administrative, criminal, commercial, tax, intellectual property, privacy, labour, government procurement, native, environmental and family law, appeal procedures and federal statutes and codes in order to conduct research and provide pertinent legal advice or legal opinions to the Judges, senior managers, colleagues, and Court staff.

Knowledge of: the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Canada, federal departments and agencies, and the Department of Justice; the legislative function and procedures of Parliament, the Senate, and the Governor General, and of the constitutional division and organization of powers in Canada; and the roles, responsibilities and procedures of other courts in Canada as well as the legislative function and procedures of provincial legislatures in order to anticipate interrelationship issues and determine the impact on legal advice and opinions provided to Supreme Court of Canada judges and senior managers.

Knowledge of foreign and international court decisions (e.g., decisions of the House of Lords of England, the High Court of Australia, the U.S. Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights) so they may be referenced in memoranda and written and oral advice to the Judges.

Knowledge in human rights law in relation to several parts of the Charter and Bill of Rights, the Canadian Human Rights Act including privacy rights, fundamental freedoms, voting and electoral rights, the rights of persons in the regulatory context, and Charter remedies is required to provide legal advice to client departments and colleagues, monitor Canadian and international trends and developments, identify and assess potential risks and opportunities, and recommend positions, risk management strategies or other responses for the Government of Canada.

Knowledge of the rules of procedure and evidence for the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal and related expertise in drafting legal documents (e.g. opinions, memoranda of fact and law, and other documents) is required to generally understand the courts' approach to the Charter and other human rights obligations in order to inform the application of specific rights and freedoms to a potentially endless diversity of possible areas of governance.

Knowledge of other areas of law as they relate to human rights law in order to provide comprehensive legal advice on litigation cases; define and anticipate legal risks, e.g. in formulating advice to litigators on the legal position to put forward in defending the Income Tax Act from Charter challenge and, take into account the potential impacts on statutes governing matters across Government. These include, but are not limited to constitutional and administrative law and related statutes.
Knowledge of the principles and practices of legal advisory, legislative and policy development services to anticipate developments and identify trends and potential risks and recommend strategies for the Government of Canada.
Knowledge of the Department of Justice mandate, and of departmental and Human Rights Law Section priorities and objectives, is required to coordinate the provision of advisory services.

Knowledge of client departments' and agencies' missions, mandates, constituting statutes, programmes, policies and operational contexts to provide advice and support the resolution of legal human rights issues.

Communication and Interaction       

Degree: 2

Points: 75

Writes legal and factual reports, summaries, and policy papers and provides written and verbal advice on diverse legal matters and areas of law to address substantive, procedural, jurisdictional and administrative issues for the Judges, senior management and Court staff.

Write capsule summaries of applications for leave to appeal including the case's procedural history, facts and lower court judgments to provide the Judges with a brief overview of the case, the staff and the public with the essential information surrounding a case, and the press with working documents for reporting on such cases before the Court.

Provides verbal debriefings to the Judges on applications for leave to appeal, motions, and changes to judgments, and to senior management to recommend the best course of action.

Writes summaries (head notes) of reasons for judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada clearly and succinctly stating the legal issues, significant facts of the case, the points of law and the principles applied, and differences in the various sets of reasons in order to make the reasons for decisions readily understandable to the reader (e.g. judges, lawyers, the public, students and the media).

Leadership

Degree: 2

Points: 54

Coordinates the work of the editing team when reviewing judgments; verifies the accuracy of the work and performs legal editing of reasons for judgments; provides advice to the judicial assistants, jurilinguists and technical revisers in the preparation of the final versions of judgments disseminated to the public.

Mentors and guides junior staff in the performance of duties; coaches and reviews the legal work of law students and student and provides verbal and written feedback; briefs the Court's staff on important decisions rendered by the Court to share knowledge and expertise.

Develops educational tools/contents and delivers training sessions for lawyers (e.g. publication bans).

Develops discussion papers (e.g. access to justice and unrepresented litigants, guide on foreign legal system for the Chief Justice) to enhance the research/decisions database.

Participates in staffing committees to assist in the selection of law clerks.

Physical Mobility        

Degree: A2

Points: 5

Regularly sits for long periods of time (with breaks) to review and revise documents and participate in meetings.  Occasionally stands when delivering presentations.

Physical Strength           

Degree: B1

Points: 2

Occasionally carries or moves/lifts items used in the support of the work including legal briefcases, boxes or files, or legal texts.

Sensory Effort     

Degree: C2

Points: 5

Frequently views computer screens and reads, reviews and drafts documents for prolonged periods requiring extensive visual effort.

Psychological Environment          

Degree: A1

Points: 5

Performs work in a production environment (approximately 500 to 600 applications for leave to appeal annually) requiring accuracy and attention to strict deadlines which may lead to stress.

Maintains professional composure while providing legal opinions to a judge who may not agree with and challenges the opinions offered.

Physical Environment         

Degree: B1

Points: 1

The work is performed in an office environment, with frequent distractions and interruptions from telephone calls and visitors and prolonged exposure to glare from a computer monitor.

Benchmark 7: Litigator

Point Rating 2-2-2-2-A2-B2-C2-A1-B1 = 293 points

Level LP-02

Reports to Deputy Director, Regional Office (LC-01)

Organization Context and Position Summary

The Department of Justice provides legal services to the Government of Canada on a wide range of issues.  The Prairie Region is one of six regional offices within the Department of Justice. It spans three provinces: Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. There are offices located in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary and Edmonton. Regional headquarters is in Edmonton. The Prairie Region is responsible for aboriginal, civil, quasi-criminal and tax litigation services, and for providing solicitors' advice in relation to property, commercial and other subjects of federal interest in the region. The Region is structured along the following key areas of practice:

  • Aboriginal Law Services
  • Business & Regulatory Law Portfolio
  • Public Safety, Defense & Immigration, Central Agencies, and Justice
  • Tax Law Services

Litigators represent the Government of Canada in all litigation activities.

The Subject Position (SP) is one of 20 lawyers (5 LP-01, 15 LP-02) reporting directly to the Deputy Regional Director and Senior Counsel who is responsible for Business & Regulatory Law, Public Safety,  Defence & Immigration, Central Agencies, and Justice within Alberta; and provides a range legal services to a wide variety of departments.

Duties

  1. Reviews initial statements of claim, evidence and documentation; identifies gaps in information related to assigned litigation cases; researches statutory provisions, case law, precedents, and evidence in support of each case; assesses the merits of cases and identifies risks and potential outcomes; consults, with client department officials and opposing counsel as required.
  2. Plans litigation, develops risk mitigation strategies and advises the client of issues at appropriate points throughout the litigation process; develops litigation strategies on a case-by-case basis and in the context of a group of similar files, and in consultation with the client and Department of Justice colleagues, as appropriate.
  3. Drafts pleadings (e.g., Statements of Claim, Statements of Defence, Responses, Applications, Notices of Appeal, Notices of Appearance, counter (claims), motions, affidavits, legal opinions, and advice in support of the case.
  4. Represents and supports the client during discovery and questioning and gathers additional facts in the case; prepares pre-trial strategies, evidence, key witnesses and facts; negotiates settlements in advance of trials in consultation with the client; represents the client at trial and during any other court proceedings during the life of a file.
  5. Participates as a member of larger litigation teams led by more senior counsel on high-risk, complex files.
  6. Mentors junior counsel and assigns work to articling students, paralegals and support staff.

Critical Thinking and Analysis

Degree: 2

Points: 90

Files are of low to medium complexity and are managed independently with guidance provided at the strategic level by the senior counsel and/or managers.

Plans, manages and simultaneously leads a wide variety of assigned files , through all aspect of litigation (initial case assessment and investigations, risk assessment, drafting of court documents and pleadings, discovery, pretrial, negotiation of settlements, representation in court and appeals) in order to effectively represent the government in each case. Ensures that all procedural requirements of the courts and tribunals are met (e.g., meeting court deadlines for filing and serving affidavits, facta , motions).The specific federal department, type of litigation, facts, evidence, court requirements, and relevant legislation varies from case to case. Counsel must adapt strategies, arguments, and approaches to meet the rules of court and tribunals, case requirements, and effectively represent a wide variety of client departments and agencies.

Represents the client in court proceedings; to quickly analyze facts and testimony and to adapt courtroom legal strategies and arguments to further the Crown's case. This involves analyzing files, rulings, facts, law, and legal principles; anticipating opposing counsel strategies and adapting own strategies during court proceedings.

Negotiates settlements in advance of trial. This requires development of a negotiation strategy, and of settlement terms and amounts and gaining the client's approval; drafting any related settlement documentation and entering in discussions with the opposing party or their representatives to advance settlement details. Critical thinking is required in the conduct of negotiations to reach the government's desired settlement and objectives.

Contributes to the work of litigation teams involved in complex, high-risk litigation issues as determined by the departmental risk management system.

Knowledge       

Degree: 2

Points: 64

Knowledge of public law (Crown law, constitutional and administrative law) and all laws relevant to each case (e.g. common law and legislation) in order to identify legal issues, assess the merits of each case, develop litigation and negotiation strategies, identify risks, draft legal documents and provide advice and opinions related to case outcomes.

Knowledge of litigation practices and procedures and of negotiation, dispute resolution and advocacy to plan litigation and resolution strategies, advise and represent clients at each step in the litigation process and resolve cases at any stage of the litigation.

Knowledge of rules of procedure and evidence for and related expertise in drafting legal documents (e.g. pleadings, affidavits, memoranda of fact and law, and other documents) is required to represent the client in litigation proceedings before the provincial court, the Federal Courts, the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench and the Alberta Court of Appeal.

Knowledge of the mandate, programs, policies and procedures of the Department of Justice to provide litigation services, consult with colleagues on issues of law, and contribute to teams managing more high risk, complex litigation issues.

Knowledge of programs, policies and statutory frameworks of client departments to provide advice, risk assessments and represent the client on assigned and varied litigation cases.

Communication and Interaction

Degree: 2

Points: 75

Responds to requests for advice from colleagues and client department officials and drafts a variety of legal documents (pleadings, motions, affidavits, memoranda, factums, correspondence, settlement documents, and legal opinion) on a wide range of legal issues within the Public Safety, Defence and Immigration, and Business and Regulatory portfolios in order to represent the government before the courts, during negotiations for the settlement of claims, or in any other litigation proceeding.

Presents oral and written submissions and arguments to the client, Department of Justice colleagues, opposing parties and/or the courts in order to influence decisions with respect to individual cases or broker solutions through the negotiation of case settlements.

Prepares and delivers oral and written briefings to Department of Justice colleagues, and client officials respecting case arguments, potential outcomes and the effects of cases on the broader body of case law.

Interviews and prepares potential witnesses and experts and examine and cross examine them during proceedings.

Consults with Department of Justice colleagues on matters of law and respective positions and interests to develop single, consistent, coordinated legal positions and strategies.

Prepares and presents oral and written briefings to client officials and Department of Justice colleagues on the status and potential outcome of cases.

Leadership

Degree: 2

Points: 54

Independently manages own workload (planning, prioritization and execution) to ensure the timely, effective and appropriate delivery of legal services on litigation files. Manages the interface with the client department or agency on litigation files and with opposing parties at every stage of the litigation process (e.g., research, risk analysis, planning and strategy development, discovery, pre-trial, settlement negotiation, trial).

Participates in working groups and project teams to share legal expertise on more complex cases.

Represents the Crown in litigation in cases before provincial court (typically in Fatality Inquiries in Alberta, Firearms hearings, or where claims were filed in error in order and the claim is to be moved to a more appropriate court), the Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal, Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta, and the Court of Appeal of Alberta.

Mentors junior colleagues and assigns and reviews work of students, paralegals and legal assistants and provides input to managers for performance evaluation purposes.

Physical Mobility          

Degree: A2

Points: 5

Regularly sits for prolonged periods of time during meetings, negotiations, and court proceedings; when reading legal documents, and when researching, drafting and proofreading legal materials.

Physical Strength       

Degree: B2

Points: 5

Regularly carries or moves/lifts heavy items used in the support of the work, including but not limited to boxes, files, briefcases and large volumes of legal materials to meetings and court.

Sensory Effort       

Degree: C2

Points: 5

Regularly views computer screens and reads and reviews (technical and legal) documents for prolonged periods requiring extensive sensory effort.

Psychological Environment          

Degree: A1

Points: 5

The work involves lack of control over one's agenda, conflicting issues and priorities, multiple demands, time pressures, shifting priorities and deadlines.

There is a regular requirement to travel (monthly) and a requirement to work overtime with resulting impact on home life.

There is occasional exposure to threats or hostile parties during court proceedings where protection of security personnel may be sought and provided.

Physical Environment           

Degree: B1

Points: 1

Work is regularly performed in an office environment or in a court setting.

There is a regular requirement to travel to meetings and courts which may be over long distances resulting in jetlag and fatigue.

Benchmark 8: Senior Counsel

Point Rating 3-3-3-3-A2-B1-C2-A1-B1 = 603 points

Level LP-03

Reports to Director General and Senior General Counsel (LC-03)

Organization Context and Position Summary

The Human Rights Law Section is the national centre of expertise regarding human rights law for the Department of Justice. It is responsible for legal capacity building on human rights issues across the federal government. It is comprised of approximately 25 lawyers.

Reporting to the Director General and Senior General Counsel, the Subject Position (SP) is 1 of 6 Senior Counsel (LP-03) responsible for advising the Government of Canada as to its legal responsibilities under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Bill of Rights, and international human rights law.

These rights include:

  • fundamental freedoms (e.g., freedom of conscience, religion, expression, peaceful assembly, association);
  • democratic rights (e.g. right to life, liberty and the security of the person, security against unreasonable search and seizure, right to counsel, right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment);
  • mobility rights;
  • equality rights (e.g., prohibiting discrimination based upon race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability); and
  • language rights.

Provides legal research, risk assessments, advice and litigation support with regard to human rights law to departmental colleagues and client officials across the Government of Canada and fulfills a senior specialist role with respect to privacy rights, fundamental freedoms, voting and electoral rights, the rights of persons in the regulatory context, and Charter remedies.

Duties

  1. Provides legal advice and support to Department of Justice lawyers, litigators (departmental and those within the Public Prosecution Service of Canada), and departmental/agency clients, including the Privy Council Office, regarding the compliance of client operations, policy development activities and litigation with the provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Bill of Rights. Formulates departmental positions on novel issues based on the general legal framework while balancing the interests, needs and objectives of the client.
  2. Consults with colleagues and clients to identify legal risks and to develop risk mitigation strategies to support client needs and objectives. Defines and assesses legal risks in light of new and emerging jurisprudence and anticipates legal and policy implications to recommend risk management strategies.
  3. Conducts legal research to identify trends in jurisprudence, case law, and legal opinions and to develop and ensure consistency of advice. Monitors Canadian and international trends and developments regarding human rights to identify potential risks and opportunities and recommends positions, risk management strategies or other responses for the Government of Canada.
  4. Supports the Minister of Justice in discharging their responsibility to examine all government bills to be tabled in the House of Commons for any inconsistency with the Charter or Bill of Rights.
  5. Provides support to litigators to defend legislation and government actions challenged as violating the Charter or the Bill of Rights; contributes to the formulation of the litigation strategy and provides advice on government-wide implications of litigation issues and potential outcomes on human rights law.
  6. Reviews legal opinions from colleagues (e.g., privacy, voting rights) and coaches junior colleagues to ensure quality and consistency of advice, transfer knowledge, and promote professional development. Develops educational products and presents at conferences.

Critical Thinking and Analysis

Degree: 3

Points: 180

Under general direction of the Director General and Senior General Counsel, Works independently and autonomously in the completion of own research and case files and in the provision of legal advice and risk assessment.

Analyzes and synthesizes the client's legal, policy, operational and business information to provide legal advice, guidance and services on often ill-defined human rights related legal matters (e.g., privacy implications of information-sharing between departments and agencies).  Advice is prepared for other Department of Justice colleagues, litigators, and client officials on legal matters where the law is often unclear and precedents are not directly applicable. Decisions and recommendations have a direct impact upon individual departmental/agency policies and business activities and may affect broad government legal positions vis-a-vis the protection of human rights.

Anticipates, researches, and analyzes legal issues, facts and jurisprudence to develop options, advice and arguments in support of the client and litigation in the courts, and to present facts, findings and opinions in a clear and concise manner.

Conducts risk assessments of law reform and policy proposals and litigation, identifies potential issues, and recommends risk management approaches. The work involves abstract thinking as risks are not always obvious and risk assessments involve adapting the legal principles articulated by the courts to different legal contexts and scenarios.
Monitors legal developments and examines trends, issues in interpretation and application, media releases, social science research, academic articles, and new developments in the human rights law to ensure all legal and legal policy issues are anticipated, strategies are developed to address them when opportune, and advises clients and develops and delivers training activities.

Reviews legal opinions from colleagues in specialty subject matter areas (e.g. privacy, voting rights) and, coaches junior colleagues to ensure quality and consistency of advice, transfer knowledge, and promote professional development.

Knowledge

Degree: 3

Points: 165

Knowledge of many areas of human rights law (i.e., fundamental freedoms, democratic rights, mobility rights, legal rights, equality rights), and specialized knowledge of and expertise in human rights law in relation to privacy rights, fundamental freedoms, voting and electoral rights, the rights of persons in the regulatory context, and Charterremedies in order to: provide legal advice to client departments and Department of Justice colleagues; monitor Canadian and international trends and developments; identify and assess potential risks and opportunities; and recommend positions, risk management strategies or other responses for the Government of Canada.

Knowledge of jurisprudence to understand the courts' approach to the Charter and other human rights obligations in order to understand the application of specific rights and freedoms to diverse areas of governance.

Knowledge of other areas of law as they relate to human rights law in order to provide comprehensive legal advice on litigation cases and define and anticipate legal risks (e.g. in formulating advice to litigators on the legal position to put forward in defending the Income Tax Act from a Charterchallenge, while taking into account the potential impacts on statutes). These areas of law include, but are not limited to constitutional and administrative law and related statutes.

Knowledge of the Department of Justice mandate and of departmental and Human Rights Law Section priorities and objectives to ensure consistency of advice provided by the Department of Justice to clients.

Knowledge of client department and agency missions, mandates, constituting statutes, programmes, policies and operational contexts to understand the implications with respect to human rights law and to provide advice as to legal risks.

Communication and Interaction            

Degree: 3

Points: 129

Consults with Department of Justice colleagues and departmental/agency clients on the impact of policy, business or legislative activities upon the human rights protections guaranteed by the Charter or the Canadian Bill of Rights to assess legal risks and present persuasive legal opinions and advice, often in the absence of case law, on issues that are frequently politically sensitive.

Develops clear, concise and accurate legal documents, oral briefings and advice for senior officials on rulings, decisions and interpretations of legislation.

Develops educational materials such as Supreme Court of Canada case briefs and CharterChecklists for use by colleagues across government to ensure consistency of approaches to and understanding of human rights legal issues.

Presents at conferences and other fora to Department of Justice colleagues, client officials, academics and others to advance understanding of human rights law.

Chooses appropriate terms and adapt verbal and written communications to various audiences (e.g., front-line border officials, other Department of Justice lawyers, Deputy Ministers, Ministers and the Prime Minister's Office).

Leadership

Degree: 3

Points: 111

Independently manages own workload and relationships with departmental counsel and client organizations to ensure the timely, effective and appropriate delivery of advisory services.

Consults with colleagues and monitors their advice to ensure legal advice is consistent and coherent; promotes a common understanding of Charter and Bill of Rights jurisprudence, trends and emerging developments, interpretation and applications, and of the  horizontal implications across departments and agencies.

Provides opinions and file leadership on Charter issues where the law is often ill-defined and precedents are unavailable (e.g., the legal implications of sharing private information between and among different government departments and agencies).

Physical Mobility           

Degree: A2

Points: 5

Regularly sits for long periods of time (with breaks) in order to review and revise documents and participate in meetings.  This may be alleviated through adaptations such as a sit-stand desk. Occasionally stands when delivering presentations.

Physical Strength            

Degree: B1

Points: 2

Occasionally carries or moves/lifts items used in the support of the work, including legal briefcases, boxes of files or legal texts.

Sensory Effort          

Degree: C2

Points: 5

Frequently views computer screens, reads and reviews draft documents for prolonged periods requiring extensive visual effort.

Psychological Environment           

Degree: A1

Points: 5

The work involves dealing with conflicting issues and parties, multiple demands, time pressures, shifting priorities and deadlines which may lead to a lack of control over one's agenda.

Physical Environment

Degree: B1

Points: 1

Work is regularly performed in a typical office environment.

There is a requirement for travel on rare occasions.

Benchmark 9: General Counsel

Point Rating 4-4-4-4-A2-B2-C2-A3-B2 = 873

Level LP-04

Reports to Chief Federal Prosecutor (LC-03)

Organization Context and Position Summary

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) fulfills the responsibilities of the Attorney General of Canada in the discharge of their criminal law mandate by: prosecuting criminal offences under federal jurisdiction (more than 40 statutes); providing prosecution-related advice to law enforcement agencies; and contributing to strengthening the criminal justice system.

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada is an independent organization, reporting to Parliament through the Attorney General of Canada. Cases prosecuted by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada  includes those involving drugs, organized crime, terrorism, tax and customs crimes, money laundering and proceeds of crime, crimes against humanity and war crimes, Criminal Code offences in the territories, and a large number of federal regulatory offences. The Public Prosecution Service of Canada employs approximately 1130 full-time employees, including 577 prosecutors, and retains more than 810 private-sector lawyers as agents across Canada.

Reporting to Chief Federal Prosecutor, BC Region are 76 lawyers. The Subject Position is 1 of 5 General Counsel (LP-04) responsible for conducting criminal prosecutions, representing the Crown on appeals before the BC Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada, and providing legal advice and services to federal clients on criminal law matters and conducts criminal prosecutions.   As a senior litigator and the regional expert in regulatory and environmental matters, provides legal advice and services on criminal law matters to investigative agencies, partners (federal departments and agencies, and other jurisdictions) and colleagues on behalf of the Public Prosecution Services Canada, BC Region.

Duties

  1. Provides prosecution services to investigative agencies and partners including legal research, risk assessment, advice, guidance and opinions on criminal offenses and legal representation before the courts; provides regional expertise and leadership in regulatory and environmental matters.
  2. Represents the Crown on appeal cases to the BC Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.
  3. Defines and assesses legal risks in light of new and emerging jurisprudence and develops legal strategies, policies and opinions.
  4. Establishes and manages multidisciplinary teams on files or projects with significant risks and having horizontal impacts on the public interest.
  5. Coaches, mentors and trains counsel; contributes to policies, practices, methods and procedures to improve legal processes, knowledge and performance; champions change.
  6. Contributes to the development and implementation of national and regional law practice standards.
  7. Chairs and/or participates in regional, inter-jurisdictional and/or national, committees and working groups.

Critical Thinking and Analysis

Degree: 4

Points: 240

As the regional expert in criminal prosecution of regulatory and environmental legal cases, represents the Crown on a wide variety of cases and legal issues (e.g. pollution, chemical spills, toxic wastes, land development and property rights, natural resource usage, wildlife protection, Aboriginal territorial rights, food safety, occupational safety and health).

Analyzes case files; understands environmental, scientific (e.g., marine and freshwater biology, chemistry, and hydrology), medical, engineering and related facts and evidence; anticipates defence legal issues and arguments; conducts legal risk assessments; prepares legal strategies and opinions; and represents the Crown in court.

Researches and analyzes jurisprudence, assesses risks, develops legal strategies, arguments and opinions and represents the Crown to challenge or defend points of law and lower court decisions in cases before the BC Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada (e.g. Supreme Court challenge of the constitutionality of minimum sentencing under the Criminal Code and the national implications for sentencing, legislative amendment and legal policy decisions of the Government).  Cases before the appellate courts affect Canadian jurisprudence and case law respecting regulatory and environmental law

Develops legal strategies and solutions to address unanticipated or novel situations that have not been tested before the courts and for which there is no jurisprudence (e.g., disposal of materials at sea, where the environmental impacts, either positive or negative, are unknown and where there are broad legal implications respecting the Crown's ability to enforce Canadian legislation and of Canada's ability to meet international obligations to which Canada is signatory).

Provides expert recommendations to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) that form the basis for drafting new Acts to implement Canada's obligations under various international conventions (i.e. new Canadian laws such as the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA) to respond to Canada's obligations under the Organization for Economic Cooperation (OECD)'s Convention on Combating Bribery in International Business Transactions).

Exercises prosecutorial discretion before the courts to present a fair, complete, just and ethical prosecution on criminal matters in accordance with law practice and standards. The impact of rulings and decisions may be precedent setting. Environment-related files have a high public and political visibility and are often followed by the media.

Determines the scope and extent of legal research, fact-finding, and witness identification and preparation, to develop the strategies, options and arguments to be presented along with the relevant legal documents. The complexity of the facts, legal issues and tight deadlines renders the development of an effective argument more difficult.

Quickly analyzes facts and testimony and to adapt courtroom legal strategies, arguments and evidence to further the Crown's case. Analyzes files, contradictory rulings, facts, legislation, and legal principles; anticipates defence counsel strategies; and adapts the preparation and presentation of cases during court hearings.

Provides legal advice, guidance and opinions to investigative agencies, the Crown, provincial Crown, regulatory agencies, and colleagues; discusses issues, subjects, recent trends and developments in criminal law regionally and nationally on files or projects where precedents may be unclear, non-existent or where innovative solutions are required (e.g. the disposal materials at sea where the environmental impacts are undetermined). Decisions and recommendations influence the Government's position on environmental and regulatory prosecutions, the body of related case law, and the businesses, individuals and Canadians impacted by these cases, including international labour markets.

Knowledge

Degree: 4

Points: 233

Knowledge of regulatory and environmental  law and the numerous, related federal regulatory statutes and regulations (e.g. Environmental Protection  Act, Fisheries Act, Species at Risk Act, Canada Labour Code, Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act,  Canada Occupational Safety and Health Regulations)  and an understanding of the scientific, medical and engineering terms, concepts and findings underpinning cases in order to provide legal research, risk assessment, and opinions; to lead prosecutions with respect to environmental and regulatory law; and to represent the Crown in appeals before the BC Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.

Knowledge of legal principles, practices, standards, procedures and code of conduct as well as of the theories, principles, and methods of Canadian law, the Charter, criminal evidence and procedure, criminal and regulatory law, legal rulings and decisions in order to conduct environmental and regulatory prosecutions, to represent the Crown in appeals and to provide legal advice on criminal law matters and conduct prosecutions.

Knowledge of advocacy techniques and skills for file or project preparation and management in order to make sound, well informed and objective decisions.  This includes expertise in research and analysis, statutory interpretation, reasoning, development of legal arguments, legal opinion/recommendation writing, negotiation and mediation, witness preparation and provision of direction to others to formulate creative solutions to often ill-defined legal issues.

Knowledge of team leadership, project management and planning, priority setting, time management, risk management to lead prosecutions and manage own files.

Knowledge of knowledge sharing, coaching, mentoring, training and career development, conflict resolution, performance feedback and evaluation and diversity awareness to lead multi-disciplinary teams and champion change.

Knowledge of the mandate of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and the Attorney General of Canada in criminal matters and their inter-relationships; and the mandate and legal responsibilities of government departments, other levels of governments and investigative agencies to consult on and advance prosecutions.

Knowledge and understanding of the international implications of criminal prosecution rulings in Canada (e.g. the disposal materials at sea where the environmental impacts are undetermined). Decisions and recommendations hold the Government to account on treaties to which it must respond to various international bodies such as the United Nations (i.e. United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples).

Communication and Interaction            

Degree: 4

Points: 210

Establish and maintain a network of relationships with senior officials and colleagues, investigative agencies, partners and officials of other levels of government in order to influence, through diplomacy, persuasion and rigorous legal analysis and interpretation, legal directions or project strategies and the management of criminal law. Exercise diplomacy and responsiveness towards the media as the authorized PPSC spokesperson for specific prosecution cases for which they are responsible.

Provide strategic and expert level advice to clients and the Public Prosecution Service of Canada on questions of law before the Supreme Court of Canada (e.g., constitutional issues related to mandatory minimum sentencing), appellate or criminal courts; discuss issues and approaches and prepare/cross examine witnesses when conducting prosecutions; develop and present arguments/rebuttals before courts and respond to questions from the judge and other parties during hearings; compose various communications (e.g., correspondence, legal opinions, affidavits, pleadings, legal strategies) to respond to positions, rulings, decisions and interpretations while anticipating other party's point of view; write concisely, clearly and persuasively for various audiences.  Cases may have national implications with respect to enforcement of regulatory and environment law, development of legal precedents and the Government's legal policy positions and legislative agenda.

Verbal and non-verbal skills are required to convey technical and scientific information, legal arguments and opinions; maintain effective channels of communication with partners and discuss jurisprudence, decisions and trends in order to ensure coherent and consistent legal advice and sharing of information.

Provide expert legal advice to senior government officials when PPSC policies or practices, legislation, or technical aspects of regulatory statutes are challenged.

Facilitate consultations with officials from investigative agencies and other centres of expertise within government in order to ensure an awareness of national policies and objectives that may be relevant to an individual case; be cognisant of broader pan-government perspectives to draw on the specialized subject-matter expertise of counsel in specific areas of the law.

Brief the Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) of potential problems, and, in some cases, direct that a particular course of action be undertaken. This is necessary to ensure consistent decision-making, and that the DPP approve of decisions for which he or she is publicly accountable.

Leadership

Degree: 4

Points: 150

Leads and directs teams comprised of multidisciplinary subject matter experts (e.g., biologists, engineers, chemists, and legal counsel) in the prosecution of environmental and regulatory cases;  and in the development and presentation of hearings before the BC Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court; defines legal strategies, develops team objectives, assigns and monitors work, coordinates the provision of legal advice and options ensuring quality and consistency; provides clear, constructive and timely feedback; and assesses work performance. Explores ways to draw upon diverse talents within teams.

Mentors, coaches and trains in-house counsel and ensures the sharing and transfer of knowledge and best practices. Champions change and actively influences learning and development opportunities for counsel.

Contributes to, observes and respects the development and implementation of national and regional law practice standards (e.g., Desk Book). Completes learning and development requirements as prescribed by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and the respective law society.

Builds and maintains a network of relationships and represents the Public Prosecution Service of  Canada on a variety of regional and/or national committees (e.g. regional appeal committee) and inter/intra governmental consultations as the regional expert in regulatory and environmental issues.

Physical Mobility           

Degree: A2

Points: 5

Regularly sits for prolonged periods of time during  meetings, consultations and negotiations, when reading court rulings, decisions and technical or scientific materials, and when drafting and proofreading legal materials.
Regularly stands in court rooms during prosecution proceedings.

Physical Strength            

Degree: B2

Points: 5

Regularly carries briefcases and boxes of large volumes of materials while travelling.

Sensory Effort          

Degree: C2

Points: 5

Visual effort is required to concentrate when reading scientific, technical or legal documents.

Psychological Environment           

Degree: A3

Points: 15

The work involves significant lack of control over one's agenda, conflicting issues and priorities, multiple demands, time pressures, shifting priorities and deadlines.

The work may involve exposure to difficult fact situations and may lead to viewing graphic material (i.e. crime scene photos) that may impact upon psychological wellbeing.

The work may involve exposure to highly charged public and media environments when prosecuting cases, and there is a risk of being subject to physical and psychological intimidation, openly or disguised, personal attacks or becoming a personal target that may endanger one's safety or that of one's family from hostile parties aimed at destabilizing prosecution cases.

There is a requirement to travel and work overtime, often during weekend and holiday periods, with resulting impact on home life.

Physical Environment

Degree: B2

Points: 10

Work is regularly performed in an office environment.

Prosecutions are subject to public and media scrutiny, which includes occasional demonstrations by the general public.

There is a frequent requirement to travel for meetings, which may be over long distances, to remote coastal communities, resulting in jetlag and fatigue.

Benchmark 10: Senior General Counsel

Point Rating 5-5-4-4-A2-B1-C2-A1-B1 = 978 points

Level LP-05

Reports to Director General and Senior General Counsel (LC-03)

Organization Context and Position Summary

The Constitutional, Administrative and International Law Section (CAILS) advises on:

  • International Law – treaties, customary international law;
  • Constitutional Law – the division of legislative powers between Parliament and provincial legislatures, and questions of constitutional interpretation, including intergovernmental immunity, the scope and application of the various terms of entry into Confederation, federal-provincial agreements, Parliamentary law, democratic reform, constitutional amendments and fundamental constitutional principles;
  • Crown Law – advice on crown law questions such as liability of the Crown in tort and contract, class actions, Crown agency status, the application of the prerogative, solicitor-client privilege and the operation of Crown immunity); and
  • Administrative Law – the structure of government institutions, the exercise of government powers, the roles of various executive office holders, including the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, and the relationship between the executive, the courts and parliament).

Reporting to the Director General and Senior General Legal Counsel (LC-03), the Senior General Counsel is 1 of 2 Senior General Counsel (LP-05) in the Section (35 lawyers) responsible for providing authoritative and expert legal advice and services in administrative and crown law to Department of Justice senior management, client departments and colleagues at the national level within the Constitutional, Administrative and International Law Section at the Department of Justice with regards to the statutes, rules, actions and operations of government and governmental agencies. The responsibilities involve most areas of machinery of government and cover the manner in which courts review the decisions of administrative decision-makers such as a board, tribunal, commission, agency or minister.

Duties

  1. Provides legal advice and services in administrative and crown law to senior officials of the Department of Justice, the Privy Council Office and other federal departments and agencies with regard to  governmental actions and decisions having government, social, economic or legal implications at the national level  and the development, interpretation and application of proposed and actual legal texts, policies, practices, agreements, litigation and negotiations to address unprecedented developments and identify options.
  2. Conducts risk assessments and provides legal advice on risk mitigation and management strategies to determine overall impacts on a multitude of acts, regulations and policies, across federal departments at the national level.
  3. Monitors legal and legal policy developments and litigation, legislative and advisory services provided by the Department of Justice in administrative law to anticipate emerging trends, risks and issues; identifies their implications for the Government of Canada and develops new frameworks and interpretations that frame the direction of the law.
  4. Provides advice and functional direction to departmental colleagues with respect to legal and legal policy issues, transfers knowledge and best practices, and supports departmental management practices.
  5. Represents the Department of Justice and other government departments or agencies to provide evidence, explain the federal Crown's legal or legal policy position on controversial matters and to support senior management officials before a variety of bodies, including parliamentary committees, governmental and intergovernmental groups and international organizations.
  6. Contributes to the effective management of the Section; anticipates client legal services needs and resulting resources requirements and implications, and assists with the planning process; identifies the need for and oversees the design and conduct of legal educational activities for departmental colleagues and clients and provides comments to managers regarding the performance evaluation of legal counsel and other staff.

Critical Thinking and Analysis

Degree: 5

Points: 300

Analyses  decisions made by boards, tribunals, commissions, agency heads and ministers on issues having government, societal, economic or legal implications at the national level (e.g. the powers of Appeal Boards and their limitations) to develop new frameworks and interpretations of the law taking into account the Government of Canada's interests.

Advises on the development, interpretation and application of proposed and actual legal texts, policies, practices, agreements and arrangements, (e.g., questions arising from the accountability of the executive to Parliament) to ensure consistent legal approaches and interpretation.

Provides legal and legal policy advice on formulating approaches or interpretations to address unprecedented developments at the national level, (e.g., determining what role the Attorney General should take in advising/representing, prosecuting and/or defending departments). 

Uncovers multiple underlying issues, integrated, often competing interests and positions and legal implications, (e.g. the creation and operation of new government agencies) to ensure that legal and legal policy advice as well as litigation and legislative support relating to the administrative and crown law is coordinated and responsive to the Government of Canada's interests.

Monitors legal and legal policy developments to anticipate emerging issues and risks and identify their implications; proposes responsive strategies and adapts existing legal frameworks taking into account potential horizontal implications that will affect various aspects of administrative and crown law, (e.g., the application of natural justice and fairness, delegation rules, the exercise of discretion and the use of policy guidelines, discipline and termination of appointees, regulatory powers and standards of judicial review). 

Addresses new and emerging legal and legal policy issues and provides risk management advice to promote a coherent and principled development of the administrative and crown law consistent with the government's interests (e.g., helped manage risks around pipeline decisions by guiding how decisions were made and articulated).

Knowledge

Degree: 5

Points: 300

Knowledge of concepts and principles of administrative law to provide advice to federal departments and agencies on a variety of issues (e.g., the structure of government institutions, the exercise of government powers, the roles of executive office holders, and the relationship between the executive, the courts and parliament).

Knowledge of concepts and principles of crown law to provide advice to senior officials in federal departments and agencies on questions such as liability of the Crown in tort and contract, class actions, Crown agency status, the application of the prerogative, solicitor-client privilege and the operation of Crown immunity. Legislative and regulatory reform initiatives increasingly raise issues of the potential for Crown liability. Crown law issues are central to questions of legal instrument choice, remedies, litigation exposure, and legal risk management.

Knowledge of theories, principles and methods of Canadian and international law in order to maintain a global and strategic perspective, monitor legal and policy developments, identify the horizontal, longer term implications of government operations, society and the law, and propose mitigation and other strategies. 

Knowledge of government policies and programs in order to evaluate the legal, political and business risks, including long term and horizontal business implications and linkages with varied legislation to develop strategic positions and mitigation strategies.

Knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of the Department of Justice, the Privy Council Office and other departments and agencies, the machinery of government,  the Constitution and various federal legislation, departmental policies, gaps and impacts to provide advice on new or amended legislation, anticipate emerging trends, risks and issues, to identify the implications for the Government of Canada and develop new frameworks and interpretations that frame the direction of the administrative and crown law.

Knowledge of principles and practices of legal advisory, legislative and policy development and litigation support on matters having governmental societal, economic or legal implications, in order to provide advice to departmental officials and colleagues on the development of policy and legislation, including the identification of options where little or no precedent exists and have political and social sensitivity.

Communication and Interaction            

Degree: 4

Points: 210

Consults with and provides advice to senior client officials and Department of Justice senior management and colleagues to develop a common understanding that influences strategic decision making on issues having significant implications to the government as a whole, (e.g. provided advice to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the Minister of Multiculturalism and a Minister of State for Citizenship with regard to overlapping responsibilities and ministerial authority).

Writes and presents legal opinions and other correspondence on matters used by senior client officials to set and/or modify policy and develop legislation (e.g., produced three substantial opinions regarding the historic role of the Attorney General, the ethical obligations of departmental lawyers and the fiduciary relationship between lawyer and client).

Leads discussions among clients and the Department of Justice on matters of administrative and crown law as well as legal policy, to influence and reconcile perspectives and, to build consensus in determining the positions of the department and the government.

Provides written and oral legal advice and opinions on matters of administrative law and policy that deal with novel circumstances and require significant interpretation, (e.g.,  decisions regarding denials of citizenship applications) to governmental officials who rely on this advice to set policy, develop legislation and make decisions.

Leadership

Degree: 4

Points: 150

Defines the overall approach to projects, files or issues of national scope, negotiates human resources commitments and leads legal teams, on behalf of the Department of Justice, (e.g. teams respecting the 2012 Budget Implementation; the new Fair Elections Act; and the creation of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada).

Represents the Department of Justice and other government departments or agencies to provide evidence, explain the federal Crown's legal or legal policy position on controversial matters and support senior government officials before a variety of bodies, including parliamentary committees and governmental and intergovernmental organizations.

Leads the provision of legal advisory services relative to key legal and policy issues in administrative and crown law where the law is often ill-defined and precedents are unavailable (e.g., the creation of Shared Services Canada and the transfer of information technology, personnel and resources from 43 separate government departments) in order to ensure a common understanding of issues at the national level.

Provides national leadership with respect to legal and legal policy matters and litigation to ensure coherent and consistent advice in support of departmental management practices.

Provides coaching to departmental legal advisors and clients to foster common vision and understanding, and monitors progress and quality of work outputs and provides feedback. (e.g., organized Public Law educational session on the role of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

Provides input to performance evaluations of legal counsels and other staff contribute to educational activities and ensure quality and consistency of work.

Provides recommendations on client service needs and resulting resource requirements in support of the Section's business planning process.

Chairs and/or represents the Department of Justice as a recognized authority at the national level in administrative and crown law on a variety of committees.

Physical Mobility           

Degree: A2

Points: 5

Sits for prolonged periods to review large volumes of materials and documents with limited opportunity to change activity.

Physical Strength            

Degree: B1

Points: 2

Occasionally carries, moves, or lifts items used in the support of the work including legal briefcases, boxes or files or legal texts.

Sensory Effort          

Degree: C2

Points: 5

Spends prolonged periods of time using a computer, reading or proofreading data or documents requiring extensive mental effort or strain.

Psychological Environment           

Degree: A1

Points: 5

Lack of control over agenda due to conflicting issues and parties, multiple demands, time pressures, shifting priorities and deadlines.

Physical Environment

Degree: B1

Points: 1

There is requirement for travel to attend meetings and provide training or information sessions resulting in jet lag and fatigue.

Appendix A: Application Guidelines

Table of Contents

Application Guidelines: Introduction

The Law Practitioner (LP) Group Application Guidelines have been developed to assist evaluators in understanding and applying the LP job evaluation standard in order to accurately, fairly and consistently evaluate LP work. This document is a reference tool and must be used in conjunction with the LP job evaluation standard.

In case of a discrepancy between the job evaluation standard and the application guidelines, the job evaluation standard will take precedence.

The Application Guidelines document will be updated as required.

Overview of the Law Practitioner Classification Standard

The LP job evaluation standard is comprised of six elements of work. The composition of elements and their individual design is based on a balance of strategic and technical principles. 

The strategic principles consider the business direction of executives as designers, owners and managers of the work delivered by law practitioners. This business direction sets the blueprint for classification design by articulating:

  • the business itself– "what is it", and "where is it going";
  • the companion workforce design, structure and workforce management strategies required to manage the specific workforce toward the effective delivery of the business; and,
  • any issues associated with the current system, tools and management usage to ensure that the new classification system is designed as a forward looking support tool.

The technical principles are a series of design principles that "filter" or test the business values articulated by executives to ensure that they can be translated into robust classification elements that fairly and fully measure the relative value of jobs in a gender neutral fashion.

As with most modernized job evaluation standards in the Core Public Administration (CPA), the LP job evaluation standard is a point-rating or point-factor system. In a point-rating system, the relative value of each element is mathematically expressed as a percentage weight relative to all other elements in the standard – the sum of the weights of all elements therefore equals 100%.

Design Intent

The structure of the LP job evaluation standard has been designed with the intention that positions at level 2 encompass the majority of the organizational work requirements.

It is important to note that all areas of the law are valued equally. The focus is on the overall level of knowledge required to perform the work, regardless of the area of law or practice.

It is necessary to consider the knowledge of the job in context of all law practitioner jobs across government not simply within the context of one's organization and its legal unit.

The LP job evaluation standard contains five levels plus a description for the Articling Students. Progression within these levels is reflected within an organization's context as follows:

Level Description
Articling
  • work required to complete Articling Program to qualify for membership in a law society
  • articling positions are found in small, medium and large organizations
1. Formative / Learning
  • assigned work at entry, formative learning level of a law practitioner (post admission to a law society)
  • positions at this level are found in small, medium and large organizations
2. Intermediate / Working Level
  • caseload work at fully functioning working level
  • positions at this level are found in small, medium and large organizations
3. Intermediate / Lead
  • experienced working level; requirement to lead multidisciplinary teams in handling complex cases / issues
  • positions at this level are found in small, medium and large organizations
4. Advisory / Expert
  • advisory work at expert level in a specific field of law or practice
  • positions at this level are found in large organizations
5. Advisory / National Authority
  • advisory work at pre-eminent national authority level in a specific field of law or practice
  • positions at this level are found in large organizations

Introductory notes

The Structure of this Document

This document presents each of the six elements in the LP job evaluation standard separately. Each element includes:

  • Guidelines
  • Element Framework

The guidelines describe the definition and design intent of the element. In some cases, the guidelines will reference important links with other elements in the standard or describe any caveats that must be considered in order to fully understand the element. The guidelines also provide information on the structure and mechanics of the element, and elaborate on the value continuum of the rating scale through key clarification points at each degree along with key points of differentiation.

The element framework divides the statements contained in each degree descriptor into dimensions which is helpful in better understanding the progression of value and differentiation from one degree to another throughout the rating scale of the element.

Evaluation Context and Approach

Context

The guidelines of each element are designed to assist evaluators understand the spirit and intent behind each individual element, as well as, the job evaluation standard as a whole. This information will help evaluators understand each element as it relates to the job, select the most appropriate ratings, and will ensure consistency in the interpretation and application of the standard. That being said, this document alone is not intended to replace any training for classification advisors.

For all components of the job evaluation standard and these guidelines, context is critical. Words and language should never be interpreted in isolation of their overall context.

It is critical for evaluators to understand the full context of a given job both as part of the organizational design/structure within which it sits, as well as within the context of the full law practitioner group across government. This broader CPA context understanding is of particular challenge to smaller organizations housing small legal units, since they may not necessarily have access to understanding the broader spectrum of LP work.

For example, let's imagine a smaller organization with a three person legal unit comprised of a mid-level lawyer, a junior lawyer and a paralegal or legal support job. The mid-level lawyer will likely be considered the top legal "expert" in that organization. They will likely sit at the executive table and advise the executive on a host of legal matters pertaining to the organization's business. The implications will be that, in the context of its home organization, this work will likely be described with "expertise" type language in the work description that could lead to a potentially higher classification against the new LP job evaluation standard.

The context challenge is to understand the even higher levels of LP work that exist in organizations like the Department of Justice and the Public Prosecution Service of Canada whose primary business is the law. The levels of LP work that come with their businesses will far outreach the expertise that resides in a smaller unit in other departments and agencies across government, and must be understood and considered in evaluating work across the whole of government.

A Suggested Evaluation Approach

Each element contains a number of degrees that describe the various levels at which an aspect of work is present in Law Practitioner jobs. It is important to read all of the degrees for each element, along with all of the guidelines and the benchmarks contained in the job evaluation standard  before selecting the rating which best describes the level at which the job is required to operate. It is also important to remember that the whole degree statement must apply, not the selection of individual specific phrases or words. Only one degree for each element is selected.

In selecting the most appropriate degree, remember to apply the guiding principles of work description writing and evaluation:

  • Jobs not People
    • Recognition of an individual incumbent's performance or achievements is not captured under classification.
  • Consider only typical ongoing job responsibilities of the assigned work
    • Do not consider exceptional, one-time circumstances or those developmental or stretch opportunities that are often provided to employees that enable them to perform responsibilities that are above and beyond their substantive job.
  • Select the statement that best describes the highest level of responsibility at which the job is typically expected to work and that best represents a significant part of the ongoing responsibilities of the job.

Below is a suggested evaluation sequence for using the LP job evaluation standard, based on the natural structure of both the LP work and the supporting job evaluation standard.

  • Element 1 : Critical Thinking and Analysis
  • Element 3 : Communications and Interaction
  • Element 4 : Leadership
  • Element 2 : Knowledge
  • Element 5 : Physical and Sensory Effort
  • Element 6 : Work Environment

The rationale for this suggested evaluation sequence is as follows:

  1. The Critical Thinking and Analysis element lays down the key foundation of LP work. It describes most of the core "what" or "raison d'être" that lawyers perform in their jobs, focused on problem solving, analytical skills and judgement. This element speaks to the critical notion of increasing complexity of work that drives the increasing levels of LP work from entry to senior jobs. 
  2. The Communications and Interactions element then builds on the first element by considering the communications skills needed to execute the legal work described in Critical Thinking and Analysis, and the purpose and contextual complexity of the interactions.
  3. Leadership then speaks to the fact that lawyers must work with others in order to deliver on their assigned responsibilities. This element considers the responsibility to plan and lead work and work teams.

Together, these three elements describe the essence of LP work.

  1. When rating the Knowledge element, the key question is always "what degree of knowledge is required to deliver on assigned work responsibilities?" By evaluating the three above mentioned elements first, this will provide a combined understanding that will assist evaluators in answering the knowledge question and assigning the appropriate rating.

Each of these four key elements is highly inter-related in their measurement of LP work. This means that when the duties of a job require a certain level of responsibility, this will very clearly require a proportionate level of skill and knowledge. Therefore, with the design of LP work and its corresponding LP rating plan, one would not logically predict significant variability in rating patterns across key elements.

The four key elements are designed as a "single continuum of value" from low to high representing the degree to which a given aspect of work is present in jobs. Each of these elements is a cumulative progression or "pyramid" style element. A rating at a higher degree assumes that the skill described in the lower degrees is already included.

We suggest that after evaluating work on an element by element basis, evaluators go back and review the ratings and the degree descriptors horizontally, to ensure that there is cohesion in the overall evaluation.

Unlike these four elements, elements 5 and 6 can be evaluated on their own merits, in any sequence.

Element 1 : Critical Thinking and Analysis

Guidelines

This element captures the requirement for critical thinking and analysis in Law Practitioner work. This element recognizes the increasing levels of critical thinking and analysis that stem from factors such as the nature and complexity of typical problems or issues encountered in the work and the nature and level of analysis and judgment that must be applied.

These dimensions of complexity, nature of analysis and guidance are described throughout the degrees of the element, and progress together to describe increasingly more challenging critical thinking and analysis. Because the dimensions work together to describe an overall level of critical thinking and analysis, one cannot selectively focus on one of the dimensions to rate at a particular degree.  The overall statement, in aggregate, must be representative of the job.

This element is a cornerstone to the entire job evaluation standard in that it speaks directly to the core of the practice of law, i.e., what lawyers do.  It also introduces the critical continuum of complexity that serves to differentiate LP work from junior to senior levels regardless of aspect or element of work being measured.  For example, in this element, you will note that critical thinking and analysis increases in correlation to increasing complexity and impact of issues encountered in the assigned work.  Similarly, as we continue to describe other elements further in this document, the same complexity continuum will prevail as a key differentiator.

The concept of complexity is challenging to understand in a consistent and generic fashion since it is typically comprised of a number of integrated pieces that are weighed and balanced differently for each issue that arises in the work.  For example complexity would consider such pieces as: the number and nature of stakeholders involved, nature of positions and interests, political sensitivity, public sensitivity, risk in a variety of forms, scope and size of a file or case, newness of issues, etc.  Given this challenge, the design of this element accounts for the most typical blend of these contributing factors found in the various levels of LP work.

When trying to understand the level of analytical thinking required in the work given a certain level of complexity, another important aspect to consider is the level of guidance available in dealing with the issues. Guidance can take several forms including but not limited to, policies, frameworks, instructions, precedent, management direction and advice, etc. Typically then, the more guidance that is available in thinking through an issue, the less complex it will be, making the level of critical thinking and analysis required correspondingly at a lesser level.

Element Framework

As introduced above, the element is structured against three dimensions that grow together. The first part of the degree statement describes the nature and complexity of typical problems or issues encountered in the work. The second part describes the corresponding nature of analysis required and seeks to provide practical "flavour" related to the level and type of analysis or process that is typical in problem solving at each degree. The third part provides a description of the nature of guidance available.

This element is a cumulative progression or "pyramid" style element. A rating at a higher degree assumes that the skill described in the lower degrees is already included. All components work together to provide an integrated view of the overall level of critical thinking and analysis in the work at each degree in the continuum.

Degree Nature and Complexity of Problem/Issue Nature of Analysis Guidance
1

Limited scope, risk or impact with defined solution options

Identification of relevant fact and issues, research of legal issues, solution approaches and production of a variety of legal products

Direction and oversight are provided by management or more senior counsel.
2

Wide variety of more challenging legal issues and problems with a variety of broad-reaching impacts on other areas of law, policy, process, clients or business results.

Involves questioning and reframing problem definitions and assumptions to uncover and address underlying issues and balancing client requirements with legal intent and government objectives, thinking ahead to next steps, risks and contingencies.

Problem solving is independent with strategic and tactical advice from management and more senior counsel.
3

Complex; issues of significant scope, risk and impact; with ill-defined solution options.

Involves investigating, identifying and anticipating legal issues and longer-sight implications, including emerging trends and broader risks and developing strategies to address those legal issues.

Problem solving requires autonomy and independence based on considerable experience and expertise guided by a more general legal framework.
4

Highly complex and multi-dimensional, i.e., a network of integrated multiple perspectives, often competing priorities, and significant legal, political and business risk.

Assessment of fundamental questions of law and policy with a view to determining horizontal impacts across government and its interests. Broad guidelines typically with no precedent requiring the adaptation of existing frameworks within which to address the issues/problems.
5

New and emerging with no precedent or existing framework within which to address them and highest complexity, profile and risk, with broadest government, societal, economic and/or legal implications.

Critical thinking involves extensive strategic analysis, including the development of new frameworks and new interpretations that frame the direction of the law. Not applicable.

At degree 1 of critical thinking and analysis, the issues at this degree are generally of low risk, impact and scope.  While the issues are not basic or straightforward, they have typically been encountered before in some fashion and have established thinking processes and solution paths to follow. At this level, analytical activities are generally assigned and guided by management or more senior counsel. 

At degree 2 of critical thinking and analysis, the issues increase in variety and challenge and have broader impacts beyond the specificity of the legal issue at hand. Correspondingly, the analysis requires digging beyond the legal issue presented to uncover any underlying issues and assumptions, as well as cascading implications on other areas of law or business – in essence, the issue presented may not represent "the whole story". There is also an element of balance at this level, whereby the legal solution options may not be in harmony with business or policy directions or objectives, thereby requiring a broader approach to thinking through risks and impacts in determining solution options that consider all perspectives.

This is a fully independent level where the duties of the job require working through issues autonomously. That said, the professional nature of the practice of the law is often characterized by a collaborative work style and culture, i.e., using colleagues and managers as sounding boards for ideas and approaches to dealing with issues and files. In this context, where guidance was more directed at degree 1, guidance at this independent level takes the form of strategic and tactical support from colleagues and management when required.

At degree 3 of critical thinking and analysis, the issues increase in scope, risk and impact making them significantly more complex. Issues at this level also have a longer line of sight with broader and longer term implications and a requirement to think even more broadly in areas of impact that would not typically be obvious. Solutions and analysis approaches are ill-defined requiring the development of a "thinking strategy" first, in order to work through these issues versus getting directly to solution options.  Guidance at this level is similar to that of degree 2; however, the greater ambiguity in analytical approach and possible solution paths pushes the available guidance out even further to only broad legal frameworks.

At degree 4 of critical thinking and analysis, the issues become highly complex and multi-dimensional, typically characterized by a network of integrated multiple perspectives, often competing priorities, and significant legal, political and business risk. There is a horizontal perspective at this degree that reaches more broadly again across government as a whole and its positions and interests. The level of critical thinking increases at this degree to an assessment of fundamental questions of law and policy at a pan-government level and impacts these issues may have at this level.

The guidance becomes much less at this degree. There may be some broad guiding principles; however, precedent is elusive and frameworks need to be adapted in order to address these highly complex matters.

At degree 5 of critical thinking and analysis, the issues are new and emerging and of the highest complexity, profile and risk. The breadth and significance of impact grows again to include the broadest government, societal, economic and/or legal implications. These issues will have no precedent and will require extensive strategic analysis, including the development of new frameworks and new interpretations that can shift and reframe the direction of the law.

Element 2 : Knowledge

Guidelines

Every job in the Law Practitioner group requires knowledge in order to complete the assigned responsibilities. In the LP group, this knowledge is captured in the element as follows: subject-matter knowledge of the law and its practice, i.e., the knowledge required to be a lawyer and practice the law in the assigned area of work, as well as contextual knowledge required related to practicing the law within the complex context and organization of the CPA, notably, its machinery and interests, and its legal, policy, operational and socio-political environment. Contextual knowledge also includes any other area of the law and context beyond the assigned area of work.

It is important to note that in this element, all areas of the law are valued equally. The focus is on the overall level of knowledge required to perform the work, regardless of the area of law or practice. In seeking to understand the degree or level of knowledge required in LP jobs, one would naturally look toward the practical application of the knowledge in the work as the key indicator to guide the rating i.e.,

Requires 'abc' knowledge in order to do 'xyz' 

To understand knowledge as it is applied in LP work, we suggest evaluators look at the Critical Thinking and Analysis, Communications and Interaction, and Leadership elements first. With this fuller understanding, raters can then rate the most appropriate corresponding knowledge required to execute on these other key components of work.

The knowledge requirements of the job within the assigned area of work should be considered and not the knowledge that the incumbent happens to possess.

The knowledge requirements of the job being evaluated in the context of all law practitioner jobs across government should be considered and not simply within the context of the specific organization and its own legal unit and structure.

Element Framework

You will note that the design of this element is more generic than the previous element and relies on an increasing scale of adjectives to describe the continuum of knowledge from low to high. These dimensions describe the subject matter knowledge of the law, the processes around the practice of the law, and the breadth and context knowledge within which the job functions.

This element is a cumulative progression or "pyramid" style element. A rating at a higher degree assumes that the skill described in the lower degrees is already included. All components work together to provide an integrated view of the overall level of knowledge required in the work at each degree in the continuum.

Degree Knowledge of the Law and Practice Breadth and Context
1

Knowledge of the law related to assigned work and general understanding of the legal process and practices and their application.

General understanding of the programs, policies and environment of departments and agencies relevant to work assignments

2

Sound working-level knowledge of the law related to assigned work and sound understanding of the legal process and practices and their application.

Sound understanding of clients' businesses, justice partners, and the legal and broader government environments within which the job operates.

3

Advanced knowledge of the law related to assigned work and strong understanding of the legal process and practices and their application.

Strong knowledge of clients' businesses, justice partners, and the legal and broader government environments within which the job operates.

4

Extensive knowledge of the law, particularly with respect to assigned work; knowledge is such that the job is recognized as an expert and authority on issues related to its field of law or practice.

Deep and comprehensive understanding of clients, partners, the government and its interests.
5

Expert knowledge of the law at the strategic level; expertise is such that the job is recognized as a national resource and a pre-eminent authority on issues related to the field of law or practice.

In-depth understanding of the role of law and its comprehensive impacts across government and society.

At degree 1 of knowledge, the work tends to be at a developing level and as such would require general knowledge of the law as it pertains to the assigned area of work, as well as how to practice the law within that area of work.  In addition, the work is performed within an organizational context and business that again sits within a broader context of the CPA.  At this developing level, there is a requirement for a general understanding of how this context works and impacts the area of work.

At degree 2 of knowledge, the work is at the fully functioning working level. In order to deal with the challenges of legal work at this level, knowledge of the law and its practice grow in depth and breadth to a level of sound competence. At this level, there is a requirement for a firm understanding of the legal role, as well as the organizational environment within which it operates, and how its area of work "fits" with others.

At degree 3 of knowledge,the work is typically at an experienced working level and increases in complexity from degree 2 to a requirement to deal with legal issues of significant scope, risk and impact.   As such, there is a corresponding requirement for increased depth and breadth of knowledge of the law and its practice to an advanced level.  In addition, given the longer line of sight and broader implications of issues inherent in the work at this level, contextual knowledge of business, stakeholders, and the legal and broader government environment also increases to a stronger level.

At degree 4 of knowledge,the work requires extensive knowledge of the law and its practice and coincides with the complexity inherent in the work at this level. Correspondingly, the context knowledge grows significantly to a deep and comprehensive degree and includes needing to understand and consider the overall position and interest of the government at large in the execution of work. Critical to rating at this degree is that jobs must be recognized as an expert and authority on issues related to its field of law or practice. 

Note: the knowledge of the job should be considered in the context of all law practitioner jobs across government not simply within the context of one's own organization and its legal unit; i.e. a job may be recognized as a legal expert within a smaller scope organization; however, when gauged against the expertise that resides more broadly across the LP group, that expertise may not meet the test of this degree descriptor.

At degree 5 of knowledge, the work requires expert knowledge of the law at the strategic level. Work at this level of knowledge is limited across government, and deals with the most complex, high risk and impact legal issues. The knowledge of the law must be at a degree of authoritative expertise, and must also include the strategic implications in a very broad societal and government context. Knowledge at this degree is such that the job is recognized as a national resource and a pre-eminent authority on issues related to the field of law or practice. In essence, the issues that have not been encountered before, that may reshape the law or its interpretation in some fashion, that may have implications on the government position or big "P" policy, are found in work at this level and must encompass corresponding knowledge.

Element 3 : Communication and Interaction

Guidelines

An integral part of law practitioner work centers on communication skill and the application of that skill in the management of interactions. This element measures the nature and complexity of interactions that typify the spectrum of LP work and the corresponding level of communication skill required in order to manage these interactions.

It is critical in this element to focus on the job requirements and not the person. There can often be cases where individuals may possess communications skills beyond the requirements of their assigned job; however it is critical to assess only what the job requires, and not the skill that an incumbent happens to possess. To facilitate rating this element, evaluators should first assess the typical interactions required of the job and then assess the level of communication skill required in these interactions.

In addition, this element does not value the level or importance of the person(s) with whom the interaction occurs or the audience / subject of communication. For example, if there is a requirement to prepare a written legal opinion on a straightforward legal issue for a Deputy Minister, the fact that the recipient of the information is the DM has no bearing on the assessment of the level of interaction and communication skill. The fact that the legal issue and opinion are straightforward is what determines the level of complexity of the interaction and therefore the required communication skill in preparing the opinion.

Due to the overall nature of LP work, the level of communications and interaction is at a high level for the group at large. It is important to consider therefore, that even the entry level degree in this element represents a relatively high degree of communication and interaction.

Element Framework

The element is structured against three dimensions that grow together: i) purpose of interaction; ii) scope and complexity of typical interactions; and, iii) nature and level of communication skill. These dimensions are described throughout the degrees of the element, and progress to describe an overall level of skill and responsibility at each degree. The overall statement must be representative of the job.

This element is a cumulative progression or "pyramid" style element. A rating at a higher degree assumes that the skill described in the lower degrees is already included. All components work together to provide an integrated view of the overall level of communication and interaction required in the work at each degree in the continuum.

In degrees 1 through 3, the design repeats the following "purpose of interaction" statement "to draft and present a variety of legal products, advocate positions and… provide legal advice…"  In essence, all lawyers perform these communications and interaction activities as part of practicing the law; however, it is the scope and complexity that surround these activities that lead to increasing degrees in this element.

Degree Purpose of Interaction Scope and Complexity of Interaction Nature and Level of Skill
1

To draft and present a variety of legal products, advocate positions and collaborate and consult with colleagues and clients – in order to provide legal advice on a range of legal matters.

Issues of limited scope, risk or impact with defined solution options.

Developed communication skills.
2

To draft and present a variety of legal products, advocate positions and provide legal advice and to lead, facilitate and contribute expertise to discussions with clients, colleagues, investigative agencies, and stakeholders within and outside government  in order to develop consistent and coordinated positions and approaches, resolve conflicts, and broker solutions on specific issues.

A range of challenging and comprehensive legal matters with a variety of broad-reaching impacts on other areas of law, policy, process, clients or business results.

Well-developed communication skills.
3

To draft and present a variety of legal products, advocate positions, provide legal advice and work with a variety and diversity of stakeholders in order to influence broader policy and legal direction in related program or operational areas, as well as associated longer-term approaches.

Issues of significant complexity, scope, risk and impact.

Advanced communication skills, persuasion and diplomacy skills.
4

To provide strategic and expert level advice, opinions and representation and influence strategic decision making at the highest levels of contact on matters of law, policy and the overall government agenda.

Highly complex, high-profile or cross-cutting issues with significant implications for the Government of Canada. Extensive communication skills and the highest degree of persuasion and diplomacy.

At degree 1 of communications and interaction, the key at this degree is that both the issues and the context of the interactions are of relatively low complexity resulting in the requirement for relatively lower level of communications skill. By this, we mean that this degree represents a fulsome level of communications and interaction; however, relative to more senior levels of work, it is the entry level degree.

The nature of interaction is typified by the production and presentation of a variety of legal products, advocating positions and collaborating and consulting with colleagues and clients.  At this level, in order to deliver on assigned work, there is a requirement to communicate orally and in writing to relevant parties for research and preparation of these materials or arguments. There is also a need to validate and discuss approaches with senior counsel and management, hence the "collaboration with colleagues" part of the degree descriptor.

At degree 2 of communications and interaction, while the production of legal products remains, the key change lies in the scope and complexity of the interactions that drive a requirement in the work for a higher level of communications skill. This degree is typified by the fully functioning working level of LP. With this level of independence, the interactions with clients, colleagues and stakeholders increases in complexity, requiring higher level communications skills to lead discussions, contribute expertise, and work with parties to come together on positions and approaches to a host of legal matters.

At degree 3 of communications and interaction, the interactions are characterized by significant complexity, scope and impact. Along with this complexity, the number and multiplicity of stakeholders will also increase requiring a correspondingly higher level of communications skills to include higher level influencing, persuasion and diplomacy skills in order to bring all perspectives together to solution.

At degree 4 of communications and interaction, the context surroundinginteractions is at the highest scope, impact and complexity. At this level, there is a requirement to provide strategic and expert advice, opinions and representation in order to influence strategic decision making at the highest levels. The communications skill is also therefore at the highest level. The scope and complexity of issues subject to these interactions is at the highest level typified by high-profile or cross-cutting issues with significant implications for the Government of Canada.

Element 4 : Leadership

Guidelines

The Leadership element captures the responsibility of working with and through others to accomplish objectives. It recognizes that while autonomous, as professional practitioners, the nature of legal work is such that it is delivered in conjunction with others, at times formally in work teams, or informally through collaboration and consultation with a variety of stakeholders. Work involves bringing people and ideas together to accomplish results and includes activities such as planning and leading work, and being accountable for work products.

A generic way to think about this element is to think about the concept of "project management".  When a project increases in complexity, it is usually characterized by a number of intertwined major themes or issues that spark the need for a series of sub-projects within the larger project. In addition, there is often a need for various resources, internal and external to the team and organization. There will be a requirement to lead and facilitate intellectual brainstorming and to integrate a variety of perspectives and opinions and work products into a cohesive approach, etc.

Building on this analogy, the increasing scope and complexity of legal work from junior to senior levels of practitioner will be characterized similarly, whereby a complex legal case or file will encompass a variety of people, resources, ideas, logistics, strategy, work product, etc. All of this requires leadership in order to plan and execute the work and deliver results. In this element leadership responsibility typically increases with the complexity of the issues and initiatives, and the multiplicity of interests/stakeholders involved.

Element Framework

This element is structured along two dimensions: the nature of the leadership role and responsibility, and the scope of responsibility. Within the scope dimension, the element includes some examples of the types of activities that might be involved at each level of work. This is intended to provide evaluators with a practical idea of the activity involved at each degree. These examples are not intended to be an exhaustive representation of leadership activities and should be considered as representative examples only.

This element is a cumulative progression or "pyramid" style element. A rating at a higher degree assumes that the skill described in the lower degrees is already included. All components work together to provide an integrated view of the overall level of leadership required in the work at each degree in the continuum.

Degree Nature of Leadership Role/Responsibility Scope of Role/Responsibility and Activities
1

Planning and resolution of own job's assigned casework and participation in broader work team as required.

Coordinating with clients, colleagues, and management in the delivery of work and may oversee the relevant assigned tasks of paralegals and other business support staff.

2

Independent planning, management and delivery of a comprehensive legal workload and independent management of client relationships and issues.

Assigning tasks to junior counsel, paralegals and other business support staff where required, including ensuring quality and consistency of the work through review and feedback, and coaching of more junior counsel and sharing knowledge and experience from relevant areas of expertise with team members on larger files.

3

Function, file or issue leadership on comprehensive, complex matters that are defined and related to primary areas of responsibility, specialization or practice and contributing in a leadership role as part of a larger file.

Planning, coordinating and leading work activities of team members toward achieving results; assigning team tasks to other counsel where required; ensuring quality and consistency of the work through monitoring and feedback, coaching and advice; and sharing knowledge and experience relating to an area of expertise.

4

Function, file or issue leadership on matters of national scope, significant complexity and legal risk, or high profile in nature.

Conceiving the overall approach to addressing an issue or file, planning and leading complex multidisciplinary work teams; negotiating the involvement of required human resources; assigning work deliverables; establishing and monitoring objectives and results; and proactively transferring knowledge and best practices throughout the organization as a key national resource.

At degree 1 of leadership, the leadership role is limited. While there is a requirement to coordinate with clients, colleagues, and management in the delivery of work, as well as work through and with paralegals and other business support staff, the nature of work tends to be specific in nature and of limited scope and complexity. Because of this limited complexity, the need to plan, manage and work with and through others is limited.

At degree 2 of leadership, the leadership role is at the fully functioning level with a requirement to work independently and autonomously. This leadership role requires planning and management of a comprehensive workload in order to balance the various files, cases and issues. Leadership also extends to assigning tasks and ensuring quality of work of other lawyers, paralegals, external agents and business support staff.  At this level, there may be a requirement to participate on a work team for a larger scope initiative.

At degree 3 of leadership, the "how" of getting the work accomplished will include broader teams of people working on the deliverables due to the increase in the scope and complexity of files, cases and issues. As such, the leadership role requires more comprehensive work planning, and moves from task assignment and review in degree 2 to broader component deliverables involving leading people and their work product, and bringing ideas and expertise together in the delivery of the broader file. Files at this level are still within the scope of primary area of work and practice.

As with degree 2, there may also be a requirement to participate on larger more complex initiatives; however, the difference at this degree is that this work would be operating in a leadership rather than participant role

As we move to degree 4 of leadership, files reach a level of complexity whereby matters are of national scope, and the highest complexity and legal risk, or profile in nature. As with the top degrees of the other three main elements, these issues are typically of significant interest and implication to the Government of Canada and likely comprise a strategic level horizontality involving many interests and parties. The scope and complexity is accompanied by the need to lead multidisciplinary work teams to perform the work and requires significant planning and negotiation for resources and specific people involvement.

The leadership responsibility that accompanies such substantial complexity and scope increases significantly in that the "what and who" that need to be brought together (strategic information, parties and interests) and the "how" of bringing the ideas together (the planning and management of people, ideas, prongs of approach, etc.) into a cohesive strategy is immense.

The descriptor "of national scope" is of particular interest within the Department of Justice environment, where work that encompasses this high level of complex leadership is specifically designed in the work and labeled as formal national responsibility in particular areas.

It is important to note Federal Law is by definition "national in scope", and as such, this statement within the degree descriptor could be seen to capture all practice of all law regardless of level.  This IS NOT the design intent in the usage of this term in this degree descriptor.  As with all elements and their degree descriptors, this phrase cannot be interpreted in isolation of its fuller context.

Element 5 : Physical and Sensory Effort

Guidelines

This element measures the physical and sensory effort required in the performance of Law Practitioner work. It measures the physical effort and the energy involved in exerting force, either while moving or while staying still, or in performing a sequence of apparently small movements. It also recognizes the strain associated with intense sensory focus, e.g., visual, tactile or auditory. This element considers how long the effort is being exerted and how often the effort is required.

The element's rating scale includes some generic examples of effort in three broad categories. These are intended to provide illustration of the nature and intensity of physical and sensory effort to be captured by this element; however, they are not exhaustive. Other effort of equivalent intensity should also be considered and rated similarly. Each category of effort (A, B and C) must be rated separately.

When evaluating this element the following frequency scale must be applied:

  1. Rarely/Occasionally: the requirement to exert physical or sensory effort at the sustained level described is rare or infrequent and for short periods of time.
  2. Regularly: to be evaluated at this degree, the effort must be a common and integral requirement of the work and consist of a significant portion of total time.

Evaluators should consider this frequency scale with a degree of reasonability. The standard does not require a precise calculation of time for these efforts in order to make an appropriate rating assessment.

Evaluators should consider the frequency of activity throughout the period of a year, and should assess daily effort in the work, as well as a job whose effort requirements may occur only in a given peak period, but is sustained nonetheless.

There is a separate element that evaluates the environmental conditions within which the duties of the job are to be performed.

Element 6 : Work Environment

Guidelines

This element measures the physical and psychological surroundings or conditions within which the work must be performed and the extent to which they make the job unpleasant. The psychological surroundings include the exposure to aspects of work that result in psychological discomfort, whereas the physical surroundings include the exposure to aspects of work that result in physical discomfort.

There is no frequency or duration scale in this element. The rationale for this is that exposure to unpleasant conditions, even if only occasional, is still disagreeable and warrants recognition in the value of work. When evaluating the psychological and physical work environments select the highest normal level that applies to the work, excluding rare or chance occurrences that are not an integral part of the work requirements.

The underpinning assumption for all work in the core public administration is that it is compliant with all relevant legislation and standards governing work environment and conditions. Do not consider the inefficiencies of heating, cooling and ventilation systems, or incumbent specific issues.

It is important to keep in mind that this element is designed to capture the conditions under which the work is normally performed as opposed to the effort required to deal with the conditions. The examples provided in this element are not exhaustive, but rather, are intended to represent the "type" of environment that may be encountered when performing the duties of a job.

For the most part, as high-level professional knowledge work, LP jobs are generally performed in a typical office environment with relatively few challenging physical or psychological working conditions beyond the norm. That being said, there could be jobs that may have more challenging work environments.

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