Legal Counsel, Employment (Remote, Americas)

Legal Counsel, Employment (Remote, Americas)

It takes a whole team of dedicated legal professionals working behind the scenes to help Shopify create a platform that makes commerce better for everyone. We must be able to apply our knowledge and experience in order to protect Shopify’s interests in a way that allows our business to stay agile and competitive.  Every person on our team is committed to Shopify’s mission, and it truly shows.

About the Team
Shopify’s Employment Legal Team focuses on legal issues that affect Shopify as a global employer. Our core goal is to ensure that Shopify remains a trusted employer that can strike a balance between compliance with legal requirements and maintaining our amazing, mission-driven work environment.

With thousands of employees spread across the globe, we can guarantee that there will never be a dull moment. Shopify marches to the beat of its own drum, and you’ll be faced with nuanced and exciting issues you couldn’t dream up if you tried. Working with other members of our Legal Team and providing support to our global Talent Team, you’ll apply your knowledge and experience to new scenarios while skilfully providing business-oriented advice in an efficient, succinct, and easy-to-understand way. No legal memos or law school lectures here! 

From hiring, to employee relations, to exits - this work is varied and constantly evolving.  Real talk: being a member of a fast-moving team that’s doing cutting edge legal work is not always easy. We find fulfilment practicing at the top of our games with our amazing team and coming up with creative solutions to complex problems!  

About You
We’re looking for a curious, passionate, and dedicated employment lawyer with at least a few years of post-qualification experience dealing with employment standards, occupational health and safety, human rights, and litigation matters.  You must be able to juggle competing priorities, directly manage high pressure situations, and be equally adept at playing a lead role on some projects and a supporting role on others. Effective, confident communication skills and the ability to provide user-friendly legal advice is paramount to the success of this role. You will also need to leverage a combination of your existing knowledge, great instincts, and strong research skills to extrapolate into new areas of law, new geographies, and areas of ambiguity. 

Success on the Shopify legal team requires intellect, humility and a sense of humour. You need to take the work seriously, but not take yourself too seriously. You also need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, able to work with many different types of personalities, and be ready to navigate uncharted waters and frequent change. 


  • Providing frontline advice to members of the Talent Team relating to issues like conflicts of interest and/or business side hustles, policy violations, workplace accommodations, employee compensation, employee mobility, employment standards and employee terminations

  • Reviewing and updating internal policies, practices and documents to ensure compliance with applicable laws as they evolve

  • Drafting responses to demand letters, internal policies/communications, and key employment documents 

  • Working on cross-functional projects as the employment law expert 

  • Advising on workplace investigations and employee grievances 

  • Providing employment law support for M&A 

  • Conducting legal research and contributing to knowledge management and systems building within the Talent and Legal teams

  • Providing employment support with entity set up in new international jurisdictions

  • Assisting with some employment litigation matters and negotiations with opposing counsel as needed

  • A J.D. or LL.B
  • A license to practice law in any Canadian province or U.S. state - note, you do not need to live in a major urban centre! For Shopify, home is where the Internet is

  • 3-6 years of relevant experience advising in all aspects of employment law, having honed your skills as a practicing employment lawyer at a law firm and, ideally, in-house 

  • Strong writing skills, with the ability to match your tone to your audience and write plainly and concisely - no Latin or legal citations, ever!   

  • A desire to work on an agile & lean team. You will get asked to help with issues that have no clear answer, that may be in locations you are unfamiliar with, and you should feel comfortable working through these issues and learning on the job 

  • The ability to be a self-starter who thrives without regular oversight, as you (and your lead!) will be working remotely

  • Comfort navigating and making decisions in the midst of ambiguity and frequent change  

  • The knowledge and confidence to provide quick, pragmatic advice on a variety of employment law issues, and develop actionable solutions to complex problems while mitigating risk

  • A strong desire to understand Shopify as a business and its workplace culture

  • A willingness to learn about employment law in new jurisdictions and lean in to support, particularly in APAC 

Bonus If You Have:

  • Experience with employment law in multiple jurisdictions 

  • Experience working at a global company 

  • Experience working in tech and/or start-up environments

  • Experience managing external legal counsel 

  • Fluency in French

We know that applying to a new role takes a lot of work and we truly value your time. Allison Di Cesare, Associate General Counsel, is looking forward to reading your application. 

In your cover letter, without breaching confidentiality, please tell us about the most difficult employment issue you’ve encountered, and how you dealt with it (or how you would have dealt with it if your client didn’t end up taking your advice). Please limit your answer to a few paragraphs, at maximum. Please submit your application materials in PDF format.

Closing date: Wednesday, August 17, 2022 at 11:59PM EDT. Successful candidates can expect to hear back from us by Monday, August 29, 2022.

Our belief is that a strong commitment to diversity & inclusion enables us to truly make commerce better for everyone. We encourage applications from Indigenous peoples, racialized people, people with disabilities, people from gender and sexually diverse communities, and/or people with intersectional identities. Please take a look at our Sustainability Reports to learn more about Shopify’s commitments to our communities, and our planet.

At Shopify, we understand that experience comes in many forms. We’re dedicated to adding new perspectives to the team - so if your experience is this close to what we’re looking for, please consider applying.