Schulich Scool of Law


The James S. Palmer Chair in Public Policy and Law, named after James S. Palmer, Q.C. (LL.B. 1952) and established in 2015, was created through the generous support of James S. Palmer and the Palmer Family.  The Palmer Family wishes to encourage James Palmer’s passionate interest in the importance of informed public policy and his belief that education in the field of Public Policy would directly contribute to good governance throughout Canada through their support of the James S. Palmer Chair in Public Policy and Law at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University.

We invite applications for a tenure-stream appointment to the Palmer Chair in Public Policy and Law at the rank of Assistant, Associate or Full Professor with a desired start date of January 1, 2022.  The term for the chair is five years and is eligible for renewal. 

The Faculty seeks applications from exceptional candidates in the field of public policy and law.  The chair holder will provide intellectual leadership in the field of public policy and initiate and advance policy-related projects that bring together faculty, students, alumni, and policy-makers to further the law’s school’s reputation as a public policy leader.  The chair holder will be supported by funding and infrastructure to celebrate and share the impacts of policy work taking place within the law school, deepen links with other policy-oriented schools and faculties, provide expanded opportunities for student learning connected to public policy, and advance local, national, and international public policy research and advocacy.  The chair holder is expected to contribute to teaching and supervision at both the J.D. and graduate levels. 

The ideal candidate will have an established record of scholarly engagement spanning research and teaching and reflective of the multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary nature of public policy scholarship and work.  Candidates who have policy experience and who demonstrate outstanding promise to develop such a record will also be considered.  The ideal candidate will also have a strong record of scholarly application and engagement appropriate for their career stage, reflecting the power of law and policy to bring change to real world issues and serve the public interest.  The ideal candidate will come to the chair role with a high degree of professional integrity and courage and a record of respectful relationship-building that honours difference, collegiality, reconciliation, and diversity.  At the time of appointment, the successful candidate will hold an LL.B. or J.D. degree, and is expected to have a relevant Master’s degree or doctorate.

About the Schulich School of Law and Dalhousie University

The chair holder will serve as an integral member of the Schulich School of Law and of Dalhousie University, home to the MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance.  The James Palmer Chair in Public Policy and Law is expected to contribute actively to the Institute. Schulich Law is also home to three institutes with a public policy focus:  the Health Law Institute, the Marine and Environmental Law Institute, and the Law and Technology Institute.

The Schulich School of Law plays an extraordinary role in the fabric of Canadian legal education.  We are a national law school, with our students coming from and returning to every region.  We graduate leaders.  Our alumni hold every form of government office, teach in Canadian law schools, innovate in the provision of private and public sector legal services and in business, advance policy in the executive branch of government, render decisions on courts across the country, and offer service to non-governmental bodies and non-profit and community organizations.  We have always been known for, and proud of, our commitment to unselfish public service, in the Weldon tradition.

We embrace the interdisciplinary opportunity of working in a university, we value the creation and dissemination of new knowledge, and we are firmly committed to students and to teaching and learning excellence. We are conscious of the difference we make to law reform, adjudication, legal service, and community engagement at home and around the world.   We value the contributions of the founding communities in this province, the Mi’kmaq Nation, Acadians, African Nova Scotians, and British, and we open our doors to the world.

For more information, see the Schulich School of Law Strategic Plan at

Application Instructions

Please apply for this position at the following online link:

Review of applications will begin July 5, 2021 and candidates are strongly encouraged to submit prior to that date.  However, the position will remain open until filled.  A complete application includes a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, a five-year vision statement for the Chair (of no more than 5 pages), and the names of three referees, at least one of whom should, if possible, be an academic referee.

Dalhousie University recognizes its obligation to accommodate candidates in order to ensure full, fair, and equitable participation in the hiring process.  Our complete Accommodation Policy can be viewed online at:

For further information about this position, or to request accommodation at any stage of the hiring process, please contact Laura Godsoe at

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.  Dalhousie University is committed to fostering a collegial culture grounded in diversity and inclusiveness.  The university encourages applications from Indigenous persons (especially Mi’kmaq), racially visible persons (especially historic African Nova Scotians), persons with a disability, women, and persons of a minority sexual orientation and/or gender identity, and all candidates who would contribute to the diversity of our community. For more information, please visit