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Legal Counsel

  • Posted:Mar 02, 2021
  • Apply by:Mar 19, 2021
  • Job Type
  • Contract / Full Time
  • Job Level
  • Other
  • Location
  • Toronto, ON
  • Impact Area
  • Other
  • Impact Category
  • Other
  • Company Type
  • Other

About this position

Greenpeace Canada

Job Vacancy: Staff Legal Counsel (Parental Leave Cover)

Location: Toronto. All Greenpeace Canada staff are currently working from home due to the pandemic.

Salary: $82,689 CAD per year (prorated for partial years of service)

Reports to: Executive Director

Contract length: One year (commencing May 2021) 

Closing date for applicants: March 19, 2021 


Greenpeace Canada is an independently funded, non-profit organization that works towards a greener, more peaceful world, and to confront the systems that threaten environmental justice. We challenge government and industry to halt harmful practices by negotiating solutions, conducting scientific research, introducing clean alternatives, carrying out peaceful acts of civil disobedience and engaging the public. To maintain independence Greenpeace does not accept donations from corporations or governments. Greenpeace relies on individual donors and creative partnerships to fund our environmental campaigns.

Greenpeace Canada is committed to a workplace that is enriched by the people, needs and desires of Canada’s diverse communities. We believe in having representation from many communities to effect change and will prioritize applicants from equity-seeking groups.

As an organization, Greenpeace Canada recognizes and supports the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and is committed to collaboration and consultation with Indigenous Peoples to ensure our campaigns and positions respect their rights.


Are you a highly creative lawyer with a track record in promoting environmental justice and human rights law? Are you able to operate within a fast-paced work environment with a clear understanding of how NGOs function? Greenpeace Canada is seeking Staff Legal Counsel to provide integrated campaign-related legal advice and support. This may be one of the most challenging and most fulfilling positions in the legal field. In this job, you will conduct and review legal risk assessments, coordinate litigation with external lawyers, promote best practices throughout the organization’s offices in Canada, and develop proactive legal strategies. 


1. Campaign Legal Advice and Support

Provide integrated campaign-related legal advice and support, in order to inform and enhance campaign project strategies and develop proactive, strategic defense legal strategies as an element of campaign strategy and implementation. 

2. Legal Risk Management

Conduct legal risk assessments of campaign activities that pose potential legal risks. Support by advising on legal risk and advising on how to eliminate or reduce risk, without compromising effectiveness of campaigning and in accordance with the right to peaceful protest. 

Ensure that potentially contentious reports, briefings and other communications material produced by Greenpeace Canada, are legally reviewed as necessary prior to publication or broadcast in order to reduce legal risks. Provide legal advice to staff members engaged in research and investigations and to the campaigns, communications, and actions and offline mobilization departments. 

3. Litigation management

In the event of threatened or ongoing legal proceedings, develop legal strategies that support individuals and organization, while creating synergies with campaigns and building on relevant national and international laws, including environmental and human rights law. Coordinate with and ensure external lawyers are provided adequate instruction and information. Staff counsel must have the foresight of when to involve external counsel or when to refer complex issues to external counsel for legal assistance. 

4. Proactive Legal Campaigning and Litigation

Develop legal strategies that stop environmental and climate destruction, expose wrongdoing, force transparency and compel solutions, and create systemic change. Collaborate and consult appropriately with legal practitioners, academics and civil society organizations in campaigns and legal strategy. 

5. Legal Network and Training

Develop and maintain relationships with the global legal network of Greenpeace lawyers and with legal practitioners, academics and NGOs within Canada and internationally. Train staff and volunteers and facilitate skill-sharing in Canada on the use of standard legal tactics and practices. 

6. Canadian and International Law

Develop and maintain knowledge of Canadian and International environmental, climate and human rights law in order to provide proactive guidance and advice. 

Skills and experience:

  • University and/or a postgraduate degree in law.

  • Licensed to practice law in Ontario or called to the bar in another Canadian province or territory and can transfer easily to the bar of Ontario.

  • Minimum 4 years work experience as a professional lawyer in Canada.

  • Experience in civil litigation, administrative law and/or criminal law (required)

  • Demonstrable knowledge of and/or experience in human rights law, movement lawyering, media/defamation law, environmental law, climate law, Indigenous law, non-profit/charity law (preferred)

  • Ability to review straightforward contractual and licensing agreements (preferred)

  • Experience of using law in a campaigning context (preferred)

  • Ability to communicate complex legal issues tailored to targeted audiences

  • Demonstrated abilities in strategic planning and public relations

  • Demonstrable commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and ability to collaborate across different teams

  • Fluent in English, both written and spoken; knowledge of French and other languages is an asset.

You will work with colleagues across Canada and collaborate with other Greenpeace offices around the world. Candidates should understand and support the Greenpeace campaign tactics, including the use of peaceful civil disobedience.  All applicants must be legally entitled to work in Canada.


Our benefits package includes generous holidays, dental and extended medical insurance. Greenpeace Canada is currently piloting a 4-day (28 hour) workweek.

Application Process

In your application’s cover letter please include a description of your interest or experience in movement lawyering (which can be described as taking direction from directly impacted communities and from organizers and building the power of the people rather than the power of the law) and how you will contribute to this perspective at Greenpeace Canada.

If you require assistance applying to this opportunity, please email crecruit@greenpeace.org for support. We thank all applicants, but only those invited for interviews will be contacted.

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