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Dean, Faculty of Law (Common Law Section)

Website University of Ottawa

Opportunities and challenges

As the largest and one of the leading law schools in Canada, the Faculty of Law (Common Law Section) will welcome its next Dean as a dynamic and transformation leader who will work collaboratively within the Faculty and the University to achieve the ambitious goals of the Common Law Section’s strategic plan, Excellence, Leadership and Community:  Strategic Plan 2019-2024, in alignment with the University’s plan, Transformation 2030, to enhance its reputation as a world-class destination for legal education and research.

As the only law school to offer a Common Law degree in both English and French, its bilingual character is a foundational feature of the Common Law Section. With the Calls to Action arising from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Faculty is compelled to lead in the area of tri-juridical legal research and teaching. As restrictions are lifted, the COVID-19 pandemic presents a singular opportunity for the new Dean to lead the Faculty to innovate and enhance in the areas of academic programming, student experience and research.


Reporting directly to the Provost and Vice-President, Academic Affairs, the Dean is an integral member of the University’s senior leadership team. The Dean has oversight responsibility for all aspects of the internal administration of the Faculty and represents the Faculty both nationally and internationally. The Dean provides inspirational leadership to enhance the Faculty’s regional, national and international standing and works with the Faculty’s leadership team to set the strategic vision and priorities for the next phase of its development. As the head and ambassador of the Faculty, the Dean also represents and promotes it to outside stakeholders including the legal profession, alumni and supporters, and is expected to take an active role in raising funds in support of the Faculty’s activities and projects.

The Faculty of Law at uOttawa is known for its influence on policy and legislation at both provincial and federal levels, and professors regularly appear before parliamentary committees and as counsel at appellate and Supreme Court of Canada hearings. The Dean must be committed to public outreach and engagement with the community, expanding the reach of the Faculty through public service, knowledge mobilisation and dynamic engagement with local and global communities.

The successful candidate will motivate the University community to strive for outstanding achievements in teaching and research, to recruit and retain exceptional professors and students, and to attract funding from a variety of sources, thereby enabling the Faculty to increase its standing on the national and international stage.


The Dean will have an impressive record of scholarly accomplishments combined with significant experience in administration and demonstrated effectiveness as a leader. The Dean will possess strong interpersonal and communication skills and have experience with interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary academic programs and research.

Key experience and competencies

Knowledge and experience

  • An advanced degree in common law or a cognate discipline, or relevant experience in the legal profession
  • Knowledge and understanding of research-intensive universities and the unique mission of common law faculties, and legal education as a professional program, within such institutions
  • Interdisciplinary vision and perspective to collaborate with other units of the University in developing innovative programs and projects
  • Strategic vision and inspirational leadership, coupled with a proven ability to nurture solid relationships, foster collaboration, and mobilize stakeholders and colleagues through innovation and community engagement
  • Knowledge and experience of the legal profession and how best to align and promote the compatibility of educational objectives of the Faculty and the profession
  • A proven commitment to:
    • the specific Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that pertain to law faculties and legal education
    • all aspects of equity, diversity and inclusion, including the ongoing work of antiracism within the Faculty of Law
    • bilingualism and support for the Common Law programs in both English and French
    • mental health and wellness as foundational values within the Faculty
  • An experienced manager with a proven track record in change management, innovative and entrepreneurial initiatives and large-scale projects
  • An understanding and appreciation of the responsibility for budget management and fiscal sustainability
  • Relevant experience of fundraising and interacting with the philanthropic community

Skills and personal qualities

  • Dynamic and transformational leadership capacity
  • Empathetic, collaborative, unifying and inclusive leadership style in interacting with students, faculty, staff, alumni and all stakeholders of the Faculty
  • Strong commitment to higher education and its importance to social, cultural and economic development
  • Excellent teamwork, team-building and negotiating skills
  • Entrepreneurial and decisive mindset
  • Imagination, tact, diplomacy and political savvy
  • Humility and an eagerness to support staff and faculty in furthering their own aspirations to achieve success
  • Strong skills for organizing, planning and managing priorities
  • Capacity to focus on strategic objectives, to innovate and mobilize resources and to promote change
  • Capability to develop productive partnerships with other Faculties and external stakeholders
  • Keen interest in the students and a strong will to engage in campus life and to enhance the student experience
  • Proven skills in communicating clearly and cogently to different audiences
  • Demonstrable commitment to fostering a work environment based on inclusion, respect, and recognition
  • Bilingualism in English and French at a professional level is a requirement for this position.

University of Ottawa

Located on the unceded ancestral territory of the Algonquin Nation, the University of Ottawa is a major research university offering a full range of academic programs. Founded in 1848, it is now the largest French-English bilingual university in the world, with nine faculties and 45,000 students enrolled in its undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral programs. It is among the top 10 research universities in Canada, and ranks 145th in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

To learn more about the University of Ottawa, visit our website.

Faculty of Law (Common Law Section)

With over 1,100 students, the University of Ottawa’s Common Law Section is the largest law school in Canada, and the only school in the world that provides Common Law programs in English and French (JD English, JD French and the JD – National Program, and a variety of combined programs).  The Faculty is situated within walking distance of the Parliament of Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada, and a number of courts and tribunals, the Faculty has access to policy makers and legal experts that make the uOttawa student experience unique. The faculty in the Common Law Section includes many nationally and internationally recognized scholars, including two Canada Research Chairs focused on technology and law, six University Research Chairs, and five Endowed Chairs and Distinguished Professorships, including the Hyman Soloway Chair in Business and Trade Law, the Neuberger-Jesin International Conflict Resolution Professorship and the Shirley Greenberg Professor of Women and the Legal Profession.

The Common Law Section offers specialisations-in-Law and Technology, International Law, Health Law, Environmental Law, Public Law, Indigenous Legal Studies, Law and Social Justice, and Dispute Resolution, and is recognized globally for the teaching and research of these specialties. The Common Law Section is particularly known for its success in international mooting competitions and “hands on” legal clinics for students, including the University of Ottawa Legal Clinic, uOttawa-Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic, Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, uOttawa Business Law Clinic, Human Rights Research and Education Centre, and the Ian G. Scott Courtroom. The result is a vibrant Law Faculty offering programs and practicums that are unique in Canada, and particularly relevant to the issues faced by society today.

Graduate studies in the Faculty of law (Common Law Section) are offered jointly with the Faculty of Law (Civil Law Section) and offer rich opportunities for comparative legal research in both of Canada’s official languages.


If you believe you fit the profile we are seeking, please complete the Application form and attach your CV and a cover letter. We treat all information received in strictest confidence. We thank in advance all those who apply. Consideration of nominations, applications and expressions of interest will begin immediately and continue until an appointment is made.

The University of Ottawa is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage applications from women, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities. In keeping with Citizenship, Refugees and Immigration Canada requirements, all qualified persons are invited to apply. However, preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

The University of Ottawa is proud of its over 160-year tradition of bilingualism. At the time of their appointment, members of senior management are expected to have the ability to function in a bilingual (French and English) setting.

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