Apply Now


Job ID52454-5272
CompanyMcMaster University
Date Posted2023-02-01
Job TypeFull-time
Job CategoryEducation

Jointly reporting to the University Counsel and the Chief Risk Officer, the Executive Assistant supports the broad mandate of both the Office of Legal Services and the Enterprise Risk Management Office and, understands that performance of all duties related to this role must be conducted in a manner that fosters a culture of openness, respect, fairness and inclusion. The Executive Assistant will provide overall office management, financial management and administrative support to the Office of Legal Services (OLS) and the Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Office. 


This includes supporting OLS lawyers by providing professional administrative, drafting and research support with respect to University legal risk management and legal matters.  The Executive Assistant deals with legal counsel, senior administration, outside counsel, internal clients, external parties and court / tribunal representatives and, therefore, must personify professional courtesy, maintain current knowledge of the work of the OLS, and observe utmost confidentiality concerning discussions, correspondence and all written materials. Administratively supporting the ERM Office staff in effective development and delivery of the ERM, Insurance, Crisis Management and Legislative Compliance Reporting Programs and related work plans.  Also liaising with stakeholders in information/data captures, analysis, reports development and pan-University communication initiatives.


The Executive Assistant’s work assignments are complex in nature, requiring considerable initiative, resourcefulness, judgement, confidentiality, tact and discretion.


Specific Duties in support of the Office of Legal Services

Contract Support

  • Prepare, negotiate within established limits and structure, format, arrange for proper execution and distribute template legal documents, such as contracts (non-disclosure agreements, liability waivers, facility use agreements, independent contractor agreements)
  • Establish and maintain working relationships with internal and external parties to facilitate negotiations and obtain final executed contracts
  • Maintain the legal document database; uploading and curating documents as needed, including executed contracts

Litigation Support

  • Draft and file legal documents and forms under the instruction of Legal Counsel
  • Research and summarize case law for internal counsel to assist with preparation of litigation materials
  • Assist in the production and organization of materials for administrative tribunals including the preparation of document books, exhibits, witness statements and required forms.
  • Provide support for document searches and productions
  • Manage discovery requests and deadlines
  • Assist in the compilation and organization of evidence
  • Schedule interviews and hearings
  • Prepare retainer agreements for external counsel and investigators
  • Co-ordinate electronic data rooms in MacDrive
  • Provide tracking of progress, status and deadlines related to all legal matters with accuracy, ensuring legal deadlines are not missed
  • Provides updates on legal matters and projects (including preparation of legal claims report)

Legal Office Support

  • Independently manages legal filing for all matters in accordance with legal requirements and University policy and retention schedules, with a high degree of accuracy, confidentiality and organization
  • Is a primary point of contact for the OLS, providing initial assistance where appropriate; conducting intake interviews; and identifying urgent issues that require immediate attention
  • Handles highly confidential, legally privileged materials with discretion
  • Transmit legal correspondence to internal clients, witnesses, investigators, external counsel and regulatory/court officials
  • Manage and update the OLS website with details/ templates provided by internal counsel


Specific Duties in support of the Enterprise Risk Management Office

Office Programs (ERM, Insurance, Crisis Management and Legislative Compliance) Support

  • The ERM Office is a newly configured department focused on developing and delivering a refreshed more robust approach to the University’s Enterprise Risk Management Program.  This role will be providing support to the development and implementation of the revamped components of each of the programs highlighted. 
  • Independently manages program processes in accordance University policy, procedures, practices and retention schedules, with a high degree of accuracy, confidentiality and organization
  • Is a primary point of contact for the ERM Office, providing initial assistance where appropriate; identifying urgent issues and requests that require immediate attention (I.e. insurance claims, crisis response, risk management concerns)
  • Handles materials identified as confidential or privileged materials with discretion
  • Prepare, negotiate within established limits and structure, format, arrange for proper execution and distribute documents for identified programs, such as risk profiles, insurance claims, crisis management reports and related documents
  • Establish and maintain working relationships with internal and external parties to facilitate development, updating and completion of various program documents
  • Maintain databases for ERM, insurance, legislative compliance and crisis management; uploading and curating documents as needed, including - ERM reports and committee documentation; insurance program documentation; legislative compliance submissions, reports and follow up; and crisis management group committee and documentation requirements.
  • Work in collaboration with ERM team to manage and update the new ERM Office website with details/ templates provided by Chief Risk Officer


Office and Finance administration duties (duties done in both Office of Legal Services and the Enterprise Risk Management Office)

  • Provides general office and finance administration including:
  • Assisting the both offices with preparation and monitoring of departmental budgets;
  •  Updating and reporting on financial/budget information;
  • Maintaining monthly reconciliation of financial accounts, maintenance of tracking spread sheets and providing requested reporting;
  • Confirming invoices are accurate and liaising with external third parties (i.e. external law firms, ERM consultants, insurance brokers) to correct invoices as needed, manage invoice payment and
  • Preparing cheque requisitions, travel advances, travel expense forms, journal entries and other required forms;
  • Managing MPDA and expense reimbursement requests for both Offices’ team members
  • Participates in yearly budget preparation for the departments as required, monitoring and reporting on any issues
  • Uses Hyperion and MOSAIC to produce financial reports, labour distribution reports throughout the fiscal year
  • Participates in quarterly finance meetings with the management team, provides updates and reports on each program within the department, identifying issues throughout the year and comparing expenditures to submitted budget
  • Reports on all programs within the department, monitoring fiscal year expenditures to inform budget preparing for the next fiscal year
  • Attends management meetings in relation to financial planning for the departments as appropriate
  • Serves as the first point of contact for the Office of Legal Services and Enterprise Risk Management Offices, providing front-line reception duties, receiving and triaging inquiries and scheduling appointments with both Offices’ staff; handles sensitive, confidential material strictly in accordance with University policy and instructions
  • Coordinates logistics of committee meetings, general meetings and other special events as necessary, including planning and securing locations, inviting and scheduling participants
  • Assist legal counsel and others with administrative tasks such as calendar maintenance, meeting attendances, travel arrangements, and other duties as assigned
  • Communicates with the appropriate team members after triaging inquiries, follows up as needed with individuals and other departments as needed or directed
  • Independently manages and, where appropriate, responds to inquiries and requests requiring in-depth knowledge of the Offices and general knowledge of the university, its policies and procedures; prioritizes responses, ensuring appropriate deadlines for responses are met; corresponding on behalf of the University Counsel or Chief Risk Officer when appropriate, or ensuring tasks are delegated to appropriate designees
  • Provides overall office management and administrative support, including: minute-taking; managing correspondence; purchasing office supplies; tracking vacation information; trouble-shooting technology-related issues; assisting in the development and implementation of office operating policies, procedures and guidelines; and performing other related administrative duties to coordinate the day to day operations of the Office of Legal Services and the Enterprise Risk Management Office
  • Submits work order with facility services as required on behalf of the Offices’ teams and related office needs
  • Communicates and coordinates with Offices’ teams to minimize disruption of work space.
  • Acts as the person of contact for the respective Offices’ teams in regards to work orders, outside departments
  • Conducts research, collects data from both internal and external sources, compiles and synthesizes data and interprets results in order to prepare reports, as requested
  • Performs other related administrative duties as required

Leadership Capabilities:

  • Takes a Strategic Approach
  • Communicates and Collaboration
  • Drives Results
  • Cahmapions Change and innovation
  • Develops People
  • Invests in Relationships



  • Post-secondary education or equivalent experience
  • Office administration and financial management training
  • Diploma in Legal Administration an asset.


  • 5 -7 years experience in providing a full range of executive support to senior leader or administrator (preferably in a post-secondary educational setting)
  • Project management
  • Financial management
  • Legal office management experience an asset
  • Risk management and insurance experience an asset


  •  Understanding and knowledge of legislation impacting the university and higher education sector
  • Demonstrated capacity to foster a respectful and inclusive environment
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills (both written and oral) skills
  • Ability to interact with a diversity of individuals at every level of the institution
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to manage multiple demands and competing priorities
  • Exceptional attention to detail and analytical skills
  • Self-motivated, self-directed, strong initiative and able to work independently and in a team environment
  • Excellent capability to make decisions independently with authority and confidence, referring only the most complex problems to supervisors
  • Thorough knowledge and understanding of the University organizational structure and functional responsibilities
  • Proven skills in project management and ability to establish priorities and meet deadlines
  • Exceptional time management and organizational skills
  • Experience conducting research and drafting reports
  • Proven ability to exercise sound judgement and to operative with the utmost of professionalism, integrity and confidentiality
  • Political acumen, tact and diplomacy
  • Advanced computer skills for word processing, spread sheets and databases; knowledge of Microsoft Office
  • Knowledge of webpage design and management
  • In-depth familiarity with MOSAIC (PeopleSoft), Hyperion (Oracle) and Phone (CMS)


    For more information, visit McMaster University for EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT