University of Waterloo

Legal Counsel, Privacy

Requisition ID 2023-11307
Legal and Immigration Services
Employment Type
Time Type
Hiring Range
$129,009 - $161,262
Job Category
Job Location : Location


The Legal Counsel represents the Mission and Values of Legal & Immigration Services (LIS).  Reporting to General Counsel, the Legal Counsel will provide a full range of legal services and strategic legal guidance to senior leaders, faculties, schools, and administrative units across the institution, in order to manage legal risks, support, and enhance the University of Waterloo’s (University) mission.


For this position, the successful incumbent will have expertise in privacy law and it will be among their key responsibilities and accountabilities to ensure that the University meets its obligations under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).


  • Maintains independent carriage of files with oversight of the General Counsel
  • Researches, identifies, and provides updates on case law, legislative requirements and legal trends affecting the University, including drafting memoranda for senior University leadership
  • Identifies legal issues, risks, and develops strategies to mitigate legal risks
  • Consults with the General Counsel on all complex matters prior to giving advice to client departments
  • Drafts and negotiates a variety of partnership agreements between the University and other educational institutions, related to a complex range of University activities (e.g., student placement agreements, student practicum agreements, strategic partnership agreements, and non-binding memoranda of understanding, etc.)
  • Provides legal advice on commercial issues, including contract negotiation, drafting, and review (including advising on legal risks and liabilities associated with different commercial arrangements)
  • Provides legal advice on administrative law principles related to internal administrative decision-making and processes, including internal tribunals
  • Offers consultation and advice on intellectual property law to a variety of academic and administrative stakeholders, including advice regarding non-disclosure agreements, licensing agreements, information technology, and trademark and copyright issues
  • Provides legal advice on privacy-related matters:
    • Privacy leadership and strategic development
    • Privacy compliance and legal guidance
    • Develops and maintains processes, systems and strategic direction for FIPPA responsibilities
    • Privacy review and response to complaints and privacy breaches
    • Risk identification, assessment and training
    • Operations and systems management
  • Provides legal advice and opinions on all manner of labour and employment matters at the University, including workplace accommodation, occupational health and safety, employment contracts, collective agreement interpretation, discipline, and overall employee and labour relations (including collective bargaining).  Issues are often complex with the potential for significant legal, financial, and/or reputational risk

  • Maintains extensive knowledge of the University’s operations which allows for proactive advice to further the University’s Strategic Plan, and to protect the University’s legal and reputational interests

  • Exercises excellent judgement and discretion in dealing with highly sensitive issues

  • Advises on investigations related to investigations under University Policies and/or arising due to statutory obligations

  • Provides legal advice on University Policies and Policy drafting

  • Supports the development of precedents and workflow practices for routine matters to ensure efficient use of LIS office resources

  • Advises on student accommodation issues, including responsibilities arising under the Human Rights Code

  • In collaboration with external counsel, provides advice to the University related to foreign laws which impact the University’s operations and international partnerships

  • Provides oversight and direction to LIS administrative staff, including managing internal LIS projects

  • Keep up to date with new legislation and regulations as well as caselaw impacting the post-secondary sector

  • Provides updates and advice on government and ministry directives impacting universities

  • Act as the General Counsel’s delegate as necessary

  • Performs other duties as assigned by the General Counsel


  • Bachelor of Laws (L.L.B) or Juris Doctor (J.D.) or equivalent law degree is required
  • Licensed to practice law in Ontario and must be a member in good standing of the Law Society of Ontario

  • Relevant professional designation from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) or other recognized professional body is an asset

  • Minimum five (5) years of experience practicing law and providing legal advice to complex organizations.

  • 3+ years’ experience working with access to information and protection privacy responding to access requests, privacy complaints, information breaches, and inquiries from the community

  • Strong working knowledge of provincial and federal information and privacy laws

  • Higher education or other public sector experience is an asset
  • Knowledge of legal issues and laws affecting universities

  • Advocacy and negotiation skills, including litigation experience

  • Significant breadth of knowledge related to University operations, including knowledge of University policies, procedures, and guidelines, in order to provide practical legal advice tailored to the University’s operational needs and risk appetite

  • Strong working knowledge of provincial and federal information and privacy laws

  • Extensive knowledge and interpretation of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), and the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, including regulations and legislation, and their interplay between them and other relevant legislation

  • Strong critical thinking skills to understand complex fact patterns, identify legal issues and risks, and provide timely advice

  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and resourcefully

  • Proven ability as a strong communicator to deliver advice that is clear and practical, both orally and in writing

  • Ability to collaborate across internal and external boundaries to meet common objectives, improve outcomes, and provide exceptional advice

  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and treat sensitive information with discretion

  • Intermediate computer skills in Microsoft Office Suite


Equity Statement

The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is co-ordinated within our Office of Indigenous Relations.


The University values the diverse and intersectional identities of its students, faculty, and staff. The University regards equity and diversity as an integral part of academic excellence and is committed to accessibility for all employees. The University of Waterloo seeks applicants who embrace our values of equity, anti-racism and inclusion.  As such, we encourage applications from candidates who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuk (Inuit), Black, racialized, a person with a disability, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+.


Positions are open to qualified candidates who are legally entitled to work in Canada. 


The University of Waterloo is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. If you have any application, interview, or workplace accommodation requests, please contact Human Resources at  or 519-888-4567, ext. 45935.


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