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The Law Foundation of BC

Director, Policy and Programs

Program Team · Vancouver, British Columbia
Department Program Team
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Experienced

About the Law Foundation:
The Law Foundation of British Columbia (the Foundation) has a mission to advance and promote a just society governed by the rule of law, through leadership, innovation and collaboration. It has been doing this since 1969, using funds arising from interest paid on lawyers’ pooled trust accounts and other sources to make the law and justice system accessible, particularly to those segments of the public who face the greatest barriers to access.

Through its funding, the Foundation supports:

  • a network of 50 poverty law advocacy programs assisting people with their poverty law problems in communities around the province;
  • a network of 25 family law advocacy programs;
  • clinical legal education programs at all three law schools;
  • a variety of public interest law programs;
  • public legal education programs;
  • support for the provision of legal aid and public law libraries;
  • important work in law reform; and
  • a number of other programs and projects that contribute to enhancing the rule of law and access to justice in British Columbia.

The Law Foundation is committed to ensuring equity, diversity, and inclusion in our work.

We strongly encourage applications from members of communities that are marginalized or that experience structural discrimination including those identifying as Indigenous, people of colour, members of non-dominant ethnic, religious, linguistic, and/or cultural groups, women, (im)migrants/newcomers, people with (dis)abilities, and LGBTQ2S+ people, and we strongly encourage applicants to self-identify in their application if they feel comfortable in doing so. In order to achieve a representative team, preference may be given to applicants self-declaring as being a member of one or more of the groups identified above. The Foundation believes that a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve strengthens our ability to achieve our mission.

About the position:

Position Description and Purpose:

The Law Foundation of British Columbia seeks a creative, collaborative and strategic leader to be the first to assume a new role as its Director of Policy and Programs. The Director will support the Executive Director in designing and overseeing the execution of the Foundation’s program initiatives. The Director will lead the Foundation’s Program Team, consisting of six Program Directors and a Legal Advocate Training Manager, to implement strategies that harness grantmaking and other activities to achieve the Foundation’s goals.

The ideal candidate will have strong experience growing programs or organizations and successfully implementing initiatives that produce meaningful outcomes, especially in a philanthropic foundation or non-profit environment.

Working closely with the Executive Director, the Director will shape the Foundation’s strategy to enhance access to justice in British Columbia. The Foundation has recently expanded its work, and supports more programs than ever before, including a new network of poverty law and specialized legal clinics. The Foundation is embarking on a process to create a new strategic plan. It is also in a period of transition following a change in leadership, and is pursuing structural and operational change to respond to the new challenges it faces. The Director will play a key role in developing and in ensuring the success of these initiatives.

To succeed in this role, the Director must be a strategic thinker who is capable of leading projects from vision through to execution—perceiving emerging opportunities for impact, building a goal-oriented strategy, aligning internal and external stakeholders around a shared vision, and ensuring implementation.

The Director will report to the Executive Director, and will be part of the Foundation’s leadership team, alongside the Executive Director, the Director of Operations, and the Finance Director.

The Director will support and manage relationships with grantees and other funders, develop and implement funding activities that enhance access to justice within the Law Foundation’s objects, and provide leadership to other staff. 

Primary job responsibilities include the following, and other duties as assigned:

  • Provide strategic support to the Executive Director and the Board of Governors in relation to the granting program, including in the development and execution of grantmaking and related strategies and the renewal of our strategic plan;
  • Ensure that equity and inclusion are integral considerations in the Program Team’s work and its recommendations for decisions by the Foundation;
  • Ensure that the Foundation’s grantmaking work, in a sensitive and appropriate way, assists to advance the process of meaningful reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples as it relates to the justice system. Along with the Executive Director, the Director will work to ensure that our commitments in this regard are informed by and resonate with Indigenous communities, and reflect changing legal and social circumstances.

Leadership in grantmaking and support for grantees

  • Working with the Executive Director, oversee development and execution of program plans and projects to deliver on the Foundation's priorities;
  • Lead the Program Team and manage the Foundation’s grant portfolio, including the solicitation, review and analysis of grant applications, the preparation of grant agreements and reporting and evaluation requirements, the ongoing evaluation of programs, and the coordination of complementary grant and non-grant programs;
  • Work with the Program Team to determine where grants should be complemented by other initiatives, training, capacity-building or other assistance, to enhance impact;
  • Work with the Program Team, manage ongoing relationships with grantees and potential grantees, and act as a resource for grantees in relation to issues arising in their program delivery;
  • Work with the Legal Advocate Training Manager and the rest of the Program Team to develop and maintain appropriate training and support for family and poverty law advocates;
  • In line with the direction from the Board of Governors to review our grant administration practices, work with our team to recommend changes to the Foundation’s practices and policies that take into account the Foundation’s strategic plan, the financial situation of the Foundation, and the legal needs of the people of British Columbia;
  • Oversee the development and implementation of the Foundation’s outreach and communications work;
  • Think creatively about grant and non-grant tools to support the access to justice sector in BC, including how the Foundation can support human resource and training needs in our grantee community;
  • Develop and maintain an awareness of current thinking and new developments in philanthropy, in order to formulate strategy and advise on granting possibilities and practices;
  • Help build philanthropic partnerships, particularly with a view to strengthening philanthropic practices, and creating collaborative initiatives;
  • Conduct and/or oversee research on issues of importance to the Foundation and grantees (such as governance, evaluation, human resources management, fundraising) and disseminate information as desirable;
  • Work with our Operations and Finance teams to ensure that our grantmaking systems are responsive to the Foundation’s needs.

Leadership in Access to Justice

  • In collaboration with the Executive Director and Board, develop and execute strategies to expand the Foundation’s impact;
  • Create innovative, focused, and nimble strategies across the Law Foundation’s programs in partnership with the Executive Director, Board, and Program Team, aligned with the available funding;
  • Work with our team to ensure that the Foundation’s strategic priorities reflect community needs in access to justice;
  • Maintain strong awareness of access to justice issues throughout BC and beyond;
  • Lead regular reviews of the Foundation’s grantmaking strategy with a view to ensuring the greatest positive impact on access to justice;
  • Work collaboratively with the Executive Director and Program Team to build and manage relationships with government entities, NGOs, leaders in the access to justice field, and other stakeholders to better understand the shifting landscape of opportunities and challenges, and to advance the Foundation’s vision and strategies;

Manage for excellent results

  • Serve as a partner to the Executive Director, Director of Operations and Finance in shaping the organization’s plans and trajectory, and catalyze efforts to put those plans into effect through the Foundation’s programs;
  • Work with the Executive Director to establish this new role, and to ensure that internal structural changes at the Foundation are a success;
  • Ensure that key program accomplishments are evaluated and can be leveraged and modified as needed for maximum impact, recognizing that how impact and outcomes are measured requires careful thinking and will not be the same for every project and project;
  • Ensure cohesion among the Foundation’s programs, including maintaining a high level of communication and collaboration across programs, Program Team staff, and between the Program Team and other staff;
  • Support the Executive Director in providing oversight over the Foundation’s grant budget;
  • Assist the Executive Director on a range of policy and administrative issues and special projects, as required;
  • Collaborate with the Executive Director and the Directors of Operations and Finance to set and maintain strong organizational culture and direction for the Foundation, including supporting staff during periods of transition and growth;
  • Provide leadership by assisting, coaching and mentoring the Program Team, and supervise and support any other contractors assisting on projects;
  • Supervise the Program Team and help them to develop and carry out feasible workplans, and manage workloads across the team;
  • Ensure the successful onboarding of new program team staff and conduct exit process with departing staff;
  • Lead the performance management of the Program Team staff, establishing performance goals for the team as a whole and individual direct reports, and setting professional development goals;
  • Supporting the work of the Legal Advocate Training Manager, and overseeing the Foundation’s program of workshops and training for grantees and legal advocates;
  • Ensure effective evaluation and iterative improvement of the program team’s work and contribute to efforts to evaluate and improve the Foundation’s overall work.

Candidate qualifications

Please don't be discouraged from applying if you do not possess the precise combination of all of the skills, attributes, qualifications and experience listed below. Furthermore, if your lived experience provides you with a foundation that is equivalent to the work/volunteer experience listed, you are encouraged to describe that in your application.


Skills and attributes - the following skills and attributes will be beneficial in this position:

  • Understanding of the justice system, and the barriers to accessing justice;
  • Understanding of the legal, policy and socioeconomic realities that impact our work;
  • Understanding of Indigenous justice issues;
  • Indigenous relations cultural competencies, including:
    • Showing courage and conviction in advocating for change within institutions for the betterment of Indigenous peoples, including stepping forward, from a place of humility, respect and knowledge, to name needed change and to advocate for it.
    • Cultural agility - the ability to work respectfully, knowledgeably and effectively with Indigenous people. It is noticing and readily adapting to cultural uniqueness to create a sense of safety for all. It is openness to unfamiliar experiences, transforming feelings of nervousness or anxiety into curiosity and appreciation. It is examining one's one culture and worldview and the culture of the legal and justice sector, and to notice the commonalities and the distinctions with Indigenous cultures and worldviews. It is recognition of the ways that personal and professional values, the justice sector and the philanthropic sector's values and practices may conflict or align with those of Indigenous people. It is the capacity to relate to or allow for differing cultural perspectives and being willing to experience a personal shift in perspective.
    • Empathy is the ability to recognize, understand and directly experience the emotion of another. It involves listening with heart, accepting their message, and staying focused on their experience rather than reacting. It means understanding that the behaviour may be connected to something outside of the immediate situation.
    • Sustained learning and development means continually increasing your ability to build and maintain respectful and effective relationships with Indigenous people. Central to this competency is appreciating that there are many cultural understandings of knowledge and ways of working that have legitimacy and deserve respect – and therefore require our continual learning and development, including direct exposure to cultural and community ways.
  • Demonstrated commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, including an intersectional understanding of disadvantage;
  • Effective at building trusting relationships internally and externally;
  • Self-reflective, critical thinker about their work and the team's work, with an aim to improve systems and outcomes;
  • Decisive insight - ability to draw on one's experience, knowledge and training, data, and the knowledge of others, to analyze and solve problems in difficult and complex situations to support making the best decision possible at the most appropriate time, taking into account risks and benefits;
  • Ability to be a productive member of and leader of a community of people at work, respecting differences while working toward shared goals, comfort with periods of ambiguity, constructive participation in on-going organizational development;
  • Excellent and sensitive interpersonal skills, including an ability to listen to others and learn from their best ideas, share best practices and experiences, and contribute to a learning environment;
  • Exceptional people management and team management skills, including the ability to build teams, constructively lead and coach staff and instill them with a sense of shared commitment, purpose and ownership in their work;
  • Commitment to creating and reinforcing a transparent, accountable, mutually respectful, collaborative work environment;
  • Commitment and ability to proactively manage your own and your direct reports’ workload, recognizing both the reality of external events beyond our control and the Foundation’s desire and commitment to fostering a healthy workplace which supports employees with a range of family structures and personal commitments;
  • Fluency and comfort with software used in our work, including Microsoft Office suite; strong aptitude to master grant database software and other communications and workplace software;
  • Skills in facilitation, conflict resolution, and/or process leadership;
  • Discretion and ability to handle confidential issues;
  • Commitment to the Foundation’s mandate and the core values of equity, trust, collaboration and accountability;
  • Intellectual agility and ability to analyze evidence, think critically, and understand research and studies that are directly relevant to programmatic funding areas;
  • Administrative skills, in particular an appreciation for the importance of strong fiscal management and experience managing budgets;
  • Strong work ethic, integrity, initiative, follow-through, and good judgment.

Experience and qualifications - the following experience and qualifications would contribute to the success of the person in this role:

  • 10+ years of relevant experience in community organizations, philanthropy, Indigenous organizations, or non-profits;
  • Advanced degree in a related discipline or equivalent relevant experience, including lived experience; Qualification as a lawyer is useful but is not a requirement – the ability to deeply understand access to justice issues is what is required;
  • Leadership experience developing and implementing a strategic vision – strong internal and external leadership skills;
  • Experience in managing the work of a skilled team with a varied workload, including planning, triaging, and prioritizing both proactive and reactive areas of work;
  • Proven track record of achieving change through creative thinking, and ability to manage change including planning, building support, communication, and handling resistance to change in a way that promotes successful implementation;
  • Experience in work related to the justice system or legal education, and significant experience working in or with non-profit organizations;
  • Experience in inspiring and managing a collaborative, successful team;
  • Experience in community outreach, preferably including direct work with marginalized communities;
  • Experience working in an environment that works to affirm the rights of disadvantaged and marginalized groups such as: Indigenous peoples, LGBTQ2S+; persons with disabilities; ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities; and/or women and children;
  • Experience working with grants;
  • Experience in coalition building and a nuanced understanding of the links between the justice system, socio-economic issues, poverty, and the situation of Indigenous people and equity-seeking groups in the justice system;
  • Familiarity and experience working with grassroots organizations assisting communities, NGOs, academic bodies and governmental institutions involved in the broader justice sector;
  • Experience working with boards of directors and an understanding of board governance.

Salary range exceeds $90,000, and will depend on experience.

Benefits include:

  • generous, extended health and dental plan for the employee, spouse and dependents;
  • a life insurance plan;
  • 3 weeks’ annual vacation to start (this may vary depending on a candidate’s current vacation entitlement) and late-December/early-January office closure;
  • generous sick leave policy;
  • RRSP contribution of 6% of salary without matching requirement;
  • relevant professional fees and memberships covered, including Law Society fees if the candidate is a lawyer;
  • training and professional development funding;
  • Parental leave benefits.

Our workplace environment also includes the possibility for flexible work arrangements. The Foundation is committed to the professional development of its staff an provides a range of training opportunities.

Application and selection process:

Please submit the following through this application portal:

  1. Resume or CV (upload as PDF).
  2. Cover letter (upload as PDF).
  3. Contact information for three references who can speak to your skills, attributes and experience as they relate to this position (whether paid or unpaid) (enter these directly into the provided fields in this portal). The Law Foundation may request that a candidate provide supplemental references if required.

When submitting your application please name and save your attachments with your first and last name in the title, such as: “FirstnameLastname Resume.pdf” and “FirstnameLastname Cover Letter.pdf”. 


Please note that the content and/or format of your cover letter, resume/CV and other materials may be evaluated as part of the assessment process.

Closing date: We will begin our formal review of applications after January 30th. We will accept applications on a rolling basis until we have found the successful candidate.

Interviews will be conducted by Foundation staff at our office in Vancouver or by video for candidates who live outside of the south coast of BC and southern Vancouver Island. The Foundation will make appropriate accommodations if needed for candidates that we interview. There may be a requirement for a second interview, and a request for writing samples to be provided. Please note, the successful applicant requires a police record check.


Strong candidates who are not selected for this position may be included on an eligibility list for future positions.


By submitting your application, you certify that all information submitted is true, complete and correct. Any information provided in your application, any assessment documents or processes and/or an interview that is found to be false or misrepresented in any respect, may eliminate you from further consideration for employment or may result in dismissal.


We acknowledge that the Foundation’s main office is located in Vancouver on the shared lands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, and conducts its work throughout the homelands of Indigenous Peoples across the place we now call British Columbia. The Law Foundation is committed to supporting a just and meaningful reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and others in these lands.

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  • Location
    Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Department
    Program Team
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience