Legal Counsel, Litigation

Job post summary
Location Americas
Team Legal and Finance

About the role

About the team
Shopify’s Privacy, Intellectual Property & Litigation Team works closely with internal and external stakeholders to help ensure that Shopify continues to be able to make commerce better for merchants and consumers around the world. More specifically, the team is responsible for helping Shopify respond to litigation and disputes globally.  

About You
Shopify is looking for a Legal Counsel, Litigation to help us manage our litigation caseload, and to help us manage disputes so that they don’t turn into litigation. We are looking for a mid-level lawyer with complex commercial litigation experience either at a law firm, or managing such litigation in-house. Your role will primarily involve strategically managing outside counsel on a range of litigation matters, whether ensuring thematic consistency across our cases, helping to answer factual questions or identify relevant records or witnesses, and managing budgets, amongst other tasks.  You will also regularly manage pre-litigation disputes, where you will be communicating directly with counsel or a counterparty. While our team includes the Privacy and IP teams, our litigation matters are not just privacy or IP matters - think complex, cross-functional commercial, tech, and data privacy issues. 

This isn’t a biglaw litigation role. We’re not looking for a smarmy trial lawyer or someone who is going  to raze the other side to the ground in every instance. You should be thoughtful and level-headed, and able to engage with empathy. Many disputes may stem from a misunderstanding, and you will need to be able to explain and de-escalate when dealing with emotional and sometimes irrational counterparties.  At the same time, you’ll need to hold your ground in tough disputes when needed.

We’re looking for​ ​an​ ​independent​ ​go-getter​ ​who​ ​thrives​ ​without​ ​someone standing​ ​over​ ​their​ ​shoulder.​ You must be an excellent communicator who can speak comfortably with anyone ranging from the average person with basic questions to a biglaw firm, armed with 10 lawyers, making unreasonable demands. We’re a tech company, and a lot of our disputes revolve around our products and services, so experience representing tech companies, or otherwise litigating cases that relate to complex technology or data would be helpful. You should also be a creative thinker: many of our disputes involve novel or difficult questions of law relating to cross-border jurisdiction, conflicts of laws, and intermediary liability. 


  • Managing outside counsel on a wide range of litigation matters, primarily in the United States. Work will include strategically reviewing briefing and legal arguments, helping with ediscovery, identifying and prepping internal witnesses, and managing engagements and budgets

  • Engaging with parties that are threatening litigation, with an eye to de-escalating the situation or preparing for active litigation

  • Helping other parts of the legal team anticipate and prepare for potential disputes



  • A J.D. or LL.M.

  • Based in the United States, and licensed to practice law in your state

  • Complex commercial litigation experience

  • Experience managing ediscovery, and knowledge of ediscovery process and tools

  • Strong writing skills, with the ability to match your tone to your audience

  • The ability to write plainly and concisely (e.g., in bullet points), and to never, ever, ever use Latin in your work product. Ever.

  • Big-picture thinking. You will need the ability to think strategically about how a given issue may impact Shopify beyond specific matters, and even more importantly, how the issue may affect the businesses that use Shopify and their end customers 

  • A​ ​desire​ ​to​ ​work​ ​on​ ​an​ ​agile & lean​ ​team.​ ​​​You will get asked to help with strange, one-off disputes in areas of law you know nothing about, and you should feel comfortable working through these types of unique matters

  • The​ ​ability​ ​to​ stay level headed and litigate with empathy, while digging in to defend your ground when needed 

Bonus experience:

  • Experience dealing with complex commercial litigation matters relating to technology or data

  • Experience litigating issues around intermediary liability

  • Some experience with IP law

  • Experience negotiating or managing litigation budgets

  • Experience talking about highly technical products and services with technical experts, and, on the other hand, explaining those products to courts or lawyers with no technical background

  • Working knowledge of personal jurisdiction jurisprudence, Rule 23, and Spokeo

  • An appreciation for Halloween, Karaoke and Trivia night (The Legal Team takes our Halloween costume contest very seriously)

If this role sounds like it’s right up your alley, please consider applying! Ryan Hubbard, Senior Legal Counsel, is looking forward to reading your cover letter. In your cover letter, please tell us about an interesting lawsuit you’ve read about, and what you think it might mean for Shopify.

This posting will close on Wednesday, April 21 at 4 PM PST.

At Shopify, we are committed to building and fostering an environment where our employees feel included, valued, and heard. Our belief is that a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion enables us to truly make commerce better for everyone. We strongly 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 2019 Sustainability Report to learn more about Shopify's commitments.

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