Income security lawyer

Parkdale Community Legal Services (PCLS)

Community Lawyer, Income Security, Anti-Violence, and Health Focus / Clinical Instructor Position
Seven-Month Contract

Parkdale Community Legal Services (PCLS) one of Legal Aid Ontario’s network of community legal clinics providing poverty law services. PCLS is also a teaching clinic for Osgoode Hall Law School and law students are our primary caseworkers, supervised by PCLS staff. We serve low-income clients in a culturally diverse community on the west side, particularly in the areas of housing and homelessness, immigration and migrant rights law, workers’ rights issues, and social assistance, violence and health issues, in conjunction with community development work to address systemic issues of poverty and social exclusion.

PCLS seeks a skilled and experienced community lawyer to supervise students in primarily income security (e.g. social assistance), anti-violence, and health casework and to work for positive legal and social change in areas related to income security, anti-violence, and health. We welcome applicants with at least three years of experience in the above areas of law. Working in a team to supervise students and advance social justice, the lawyer will also be actively involved in community outreach, public legal education and law reform initiatives. The position is a seven-month, full-time contract position, with possibility of renewal. The anticipated start date is May 31, 2021.

For more information contact Parkdale Community Legal Services at:


  • A lawyer in good standing with the Law Society of Ontario.
  • At least three years of legal experience in the areas of social assistance (e.g. ODSP and Ontario Works), anti-violence and health related issues that target disproportionately affect low-income or marginalized communities.
  • Substantial experience representing community members before the Social Benefits Tribunal.
  • Familiarity with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board and the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
  • Demonstrated commitment to working from an anti-oppression and social justice framework.
  • Experience working with a diverse range of clients from low income and marginalized groups, in particular clients with mental health challenges
  • Demonstrated skills in mentoring and/or teaching.
  • Experience or ability to supervise students with full caseloads, meeting tight deadlines.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a quick-paced environment requiring quick and appropriate judgment calls while supervising students with full caseloads. Ability to work under little supervision managing and serving sensitive community needs.
  • Strong legal and advocacy skills, written and oral communications.
  • Appreciation of the nature and role of community organizing and systemic community work.
  • Ability to identify legal issues and community legal needs relating to the income security, anti-violence and health related activities and to express and explain these to others.
  • Ability to diffuse tense situations and to assist people in crisis in a calming and helpful manner.


  • Familiarity with resources in the community.
  • Understanding of the Osgoode Intensive Program in Poverty Law Program
  • Advanced online casefile management skills and related IT skills.
  • Familiarity with the Legal Aid Ontario Clinic Information Management System (CIMS).
  • Knowledge of a second language pertinent to serving the Parkdale-Swansea community.
  • Three years or more call to the Bar.
  • Experience or knowledge in other clinic areas of law (i.e. immigration, housing, and employment), or with Provincial and municipal powers that target or disproportionately affect low-income or marginalized people.


Salary range: pro-rated annual salary of $80,000-$90,000 plus RRSP and health benefits package. Salary will be determined based on year of call, qualifications and experience.


Please send your application by email, with “Community Lawyer Application” in the subject line, to the hiring committee at:

Please apply with a CV and cover letter by 5:00 PM on Tuesday April 13, 2021. We regret that only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

As an employer, PCLS is dedicated to building an organization that reflects the diversity of our clients and the communities we serve. This includes diversity in languages spoken, culture, race, sexual orientation and gender identity. We encourage applications from individuals from diverse, marginalized and racialized communities and backgrounds. PCLS promotes the principles of anti-oppression and adheres to the tenets of Ontario’s Human Rights Code. Please advise if you have any accommodation needs regarding the submission of your application.