–The application period for this position has ended. Thank you to all who applied.–
The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) is a national non-profit organization with a long history of advancing the equality rights of all women, girls, and people who experience gender-based discrimination through litigation, law reform, and education. Our National Office is located in what is now known as Toronto, Ontario, in the Dish with One Spoon Territory.
LEAF is committed to actively and systematically furthering reconciliation with Indigenous peoples throughout the territory known as Canada and within our own organization. Prioritizing reconciliation and working to reduce the harm caused by Canada’s colonial legal and social systems is the first priority identified in LEAF’s Strategic Plan, 2021-2026.
As part of our work to advance this priority, LEAF is creating an Indigenous Summer Scholar Program. The inaugural Indigenous Summer Scholar program will run from May to August 2022 (16 weeks total).
LEAF’s Indigenous Summer Scholar Program will provide an Indigenous law student studying in the territory known as Canada with the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in feminist advocacy, receive valuable on-the-job training and mentorship, and learn more about advancing substantive equality rights through litigation, law reform, and education.
The student will also be connected with an Indigenous legal scholar and/or practitioner as a mentor to assist with building the student’s confidence and capacity as a future member of the legal profession and/or advocate for Indigenous communities.
If the public health situation permits, the student will have the option of either working out of LEAF’s National Office in Toronto, or working remotely. Otherwise, the position will be carried out remotely.
Duties and responsibilities
Working with LEAF’s legal team, the Indigenous Summer Scholar will have the following duties and responsibilities:
- active involvement in all areas of LEAF’s legal work (litigation, law reform, and public legal education) through legal and academic research, case monitoring, and preparing legal memos and advocacy statements;
- if opportunity permits, the student may be involved in drafting court documents including facta, and may have the opportunity to attend court with LEAF’s legal team;
- identify, research, and assist with developing a position for LEAF on key Indigenous legal issues (for example, issues raised by Indigenous legal traditions and issues related to the impacts of colonial law on Indigenous peoples);
- assist with administrative legal tasks, including preparing meeting minutes, and communicating LEAF’s legal work to the public; and
- assist with identifying opportunities to integrate Indigenous legal traditions into LEAF’s work.
Qualifications and experience
- The student must be a first- or second-year law student enrolled in an accredited law school
- The student must be Indigenous, First Nation, Métis, and/or Inuit
- Strong legal research and writing skills
- Prior knowledge of constitutional law and feminist legal theory is desirable
- Time-management and organizational skills
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Self-motivated individual who works well with others
- Good written and oral language skills
- Demonstrated knowledge of LEAF’s mandate and legal activities
- Demonstrated commitment to feminism and social justice
- Proficiency in both English and French is an asset
The Indigenous Summer Scholar will receive a salary of $16,000 plus 4% pay in lieu of vacation, paid in bi-weekly instalments.
This program is open to law students who are Indigenous, First Nation, Métis, and/or Inuit.
LEAF welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities for all available positions. Where possible, accommodations will be made available upon request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.
Applications will be accepted by email only. In the subject line of your email application, reference “LEAF Summer Law Student – Indigenous Summer Scholar” and your name. Send applications to [email protected].
Please submit the following as a single PDF attachment:
- Your cover letter
- Your curriculum vitae
- A brief community connection statement (no longer than one page) describing:
- Your connection to an Indigenous, First Nation, Métis, and/or Inuit community or communities;
- Your lived experience as someone who is Indigenous, First Nation, Métis, and/or Inuit; and/or
- The ways in which colonialism has disrupted your connection to community.
- A list of up to three academic and/or employment references (contact name, phone number, and email address)
- A list of the courses in which you are currently enrolled
- Your law school transcript (or for first year students, your mid-term grades)
In your cover letter, please ensure that you explain why you would like to work at LEAF in particular, and why you are qualified for the position as tied to the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and experience listed above.
Please do not submit multiple applications or send additional documents.
Applications for this position will be accepted until 11:59 pm EST on February 11, 2022.
Applicants selected for interviews will be notified on or before February 21, 2022.
Interviews will be held between February 22 and March 1, 2022.
We thank all applicants for their interest, but only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.
Download a PDF of this job posting here.