Professional Development and Policy Lawyer

Ontario Bar Association
Posting Date:
Apr 01, 2021
Ontario Bar Association
5 years


Position Summary

The Professional Development and Policy Lawyer is responsible for working with a portfolio of OBA practice sections and committees to develop and advance the association’s member services, including professional development programming, public affairs initiatives, advocacy, and practice-area information services.

The position reports to the Associate Director of Career & Business Development Services and the Director of Policy, Outreach and Leadership.

Working closely with OBA members and staff, the PD & P Lawyer will be responsible for the successful development of the highest quality continuing professional development programming, including assessing member and market needs, conceiving, and drafting programs, selecting program chairs and speakers and with CPD staff to ensure appropriate marketing, project coordination and quality control.

The PD & P Lawyer will also be responsible for every aspect of successful advocacy and public affairs initiatives within their portfolio, including working with sections and committees on identifying issues of importance to members and the profession, devising appropriate consultation and outreach opportunities, developing effective advocacy strategies and submissions, seeking related Board approvals, liaising with key decision makers, and communicating legislative and policy developments to the membership.

Job Responsibilities


  • Maintain and build working relationships with OBA volunteers, members, practitioners, government and stakeholders of the organization and other legal community representatives.
  • Monitor legal trends and engage in continuous gathering and analysis of information on (a) current legislative, judicial and practice developments in a range of practice areas, (b) current and emerging issues important to members and to profession (c) competitive offerings from other CPD providers and (d) adult education techniques and learning strategies.
  • Conduct legal and other research for the development of policy positions and submissions and for professional development programming.
  • Participate in relevant Section Executive and Committee meetings to work with volunteers on planning and coordination of CPD and policy activities.
  • Provides support to volunteers, speakers, and program chairs.
  • Provides practice-area information services support to members.

Policy and Public Affairs

  • Assisting Sections and Committees in advancing policy submissions, including establishing and co-ordinating working groups and task forces to develop and draft submissions responsive to practice and professionalism issues.
  • Facilitating and participating in advocacy related meetings between OBA representatives and key decision makers.
  • Assisting with processes for member involvement in the Department of Policy and Public Affairs.
  • Assisting the Manager of Communications and Information Services and Media and Communications Specialist to highlight departmental roles and successes.
  • Liaising with Section and Committee Chairs and Public Affairs Liaisons, providing advice and assistance with the communication of approved briefs, submissions, and other "messages", to achieve maximum government and political exposure where appropriate, including writing news releases.
  • Working with other PD & P Lawyers to write and distribute weekly legislative policy updates to update membership segments on key developments with major decision makers, and opportunities for participating in consultations and preparing submissions.
  • Overseeing communications on policy matters between the OBA and government officials or other key decision makers.
  • Contributing to MPP liaison activities to build constructive relationships and support OBA advocacy.
  • Spearheading planning and writing submissions to key decision makers in furtherance of policy development and advocacy interests of the members.
  • Assisting in the developing of written remarks and other products for the OBA members for a variety of events.

Professional Development

  • Works with the Associate Director of Career & Business Development Services to supervise the development of programs to ensure that they contribute appropriately to the attainment of CPD’s goals, budgetary and otherwise.
  • Surveys and evaluates the current CPD climate; identifies appropriate programs taking into consideration need, marketability, and financial viability, and participates with other Professional Development staff in developing the CPD curriculum and annual program schedule.
  • Facilitates meetings with leading members of the Bar and Bench to identify program content, determine the target audience, design agendas, and propose speakers, providing advice and guidance as appropriate.
  • Working both independently and in collaboration with volunteers and staff, drafts brochures, calendar content, advertising releases, website information, e-mail promotions and news articles; reviews, proofs, and approves promotional materials.
  • Oversees the preparation of programs in consultation with the volunteers and CPD program coordinator, troubleshooting as required to resolve problems and ensure course content and materials meet their objectives.
  • Working with the Associate Director of Career & Business Development Services and marketing department to develop a marketing/advertising plan for each program to ensure optimal registration.
  • Ensures that OBA programs are accredited where possible and that this is reflected in the overall marketing strategy.  Liaise with LSO to ensure accreditation is correct when necessary.
  • Works with Coordinators on the implementation and administration of each program, liaising with Publications, CPD program co-ordinators, support staff and faculty as required to ensure success.
  • Evaluates programs following delivery, identifying appropriate changes in program design and content for future use.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.


  • Lawyer in good standing with the Law Society of Ontario, with five or more years of experience in practice, government, trade association, professional development and/or consulting
  • Excellent communication, facilitation, interpersonal and conflict management skills
  • Attentive to detail with excellent writing and editing skills.
  • Strong organizational and project management skills.
  • Ability to interface effectively with peers and clients in the legal community. Demonstrated research, decision-making, problem-solving, analytical, and conceptual abilities.
  • Self-motivated with the ability to multi-task and complete initiatives within short timelines.
  • Ability to recruit and motivate volunteers and to generate topic ideas. 
  • Available to attend early morning, evening or occasional weekend meetings as needed.  Experience in meeting planning and distance learning an asset. 
  • Bilingualism (English/French) is an asset.
  • Staff management experience is an asset.
  • Adult education and legal marketing experience highly desirable. 

Interested candidates can apply by sending your cover letter and resume to; Tracy L. Dallas, Director of Human Resources & LCI by e-mail at



Contact Name Tracy Dallas, Director of Human Resources & LCI

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