We have an exciting opportunity, funded by the Legal Education Foundation, for an individual dedicated to working in social welfare law to join Citizens Advice Plymouth as a trainee solicitor as part of our Legal Advice Centre in Plymouth.
This post is designed to increase our in house legal capacity so that we can provide further assistance to the people of Plymouth with the legal problems that they face. The focus of the project is to provide further help in Family, Housing, Employment and Welfare Benefits but there is potential to evolve this scope depending on local needs. As well as be charged with a diverse caseload the successful candidate will also have a hand in shaping the overall strategy of our center working with the project lead to deliver the best service possible.
Working with partner organizations, the trainee solicitor will have the opportunity to be placed on multiple secondments to develop their legal knowledge in our key target areas.
The Legal Advice Centre is in development at the moment so the successful candidate will need to be enthusiastic about our overall goals and visions for the future
You will need to have previous experience of administrative work, good communication skills, and be well organised. Excellent IT and decision-making skills are essential, and you should enjoy working as part of a busy and motivated team. In addition, it would be beneficial (but not essential) to understand enquiry areas Citizens Advice assist clients with on a day to day basis
Legal Advice & Representation
To assist the supervising solicitor or specialist caseworker to maintain an active caseload, including the preparation of any legal documents required for any relevant hearings or appeals
Taking instructions from and giving advice to clients when asked by supervisor
Taking statements from witnesses
Drafting letters, statements, representations and other documents
Conducting legal research
Liaising, instructing and negotiating with third parties, including opponents, experts and counsel
Attending court with counsel
Court Duty Scheme representation and providing advocacy
Other fee earning tasks as required
Other tasks as agreed with the supervising solicitor
Actively promote the legal service and identify referrals from internal and external sources
Keep informed and up-to-date of changes in legislation, case law and other areas
Comply with the requirements of the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority in ensuring that training records are kept
Comply with the requirements of the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority in attending the Professional Skills Course by prior arrangement with the training principal
Be aware of own learning needs
Be aware of own behaviors and conduct
Engage with and develop networks locally and nationally
Other duties and responsibilities
Carry out any other tasks that may be within the scope of the post to ensure the effective delivery and development of the service
Demonstrate commitment to the aims and policies of the Citizens Advice service
Abide by health and safety guidelines and share responsibility for own safety and that of colleagues
Comply with all Citizens Advice information assurance guidelines.
Excellent communication skills with the ability to write clearly and accurately, communicate effectively face to face and on the phone.
Good interpersonal skills with the ability to relate to a wide range of people and manage difficult conversations
Have excellent attention to detail and ability to interpret information.
Ability to systematically manage a varied workload, prioritise and meet deadlines under pressure.
Have completed the Legal Practise Course and not be disentitled by way of criminal record or otherwise from becoming a solicitor.
Excellent IT skills with good working knowledge of Microsoft Office 365, including Word, Excel, Outlook and Google Drive.
Able to work on own initiative and as part of a team.
Understanding of and commitment to the aims, principles, values and behavior framework of Citizens Advice Plymouth.
Up to date knowledge on barriers preventing access to justice and legal aid
Familiarity with Welfare Benefits and the processes required to challenge a decision made by the DWP
Experience delivering advice in relation to Family Law
Knowledge of the processes involved in making a claim through an Employment Tribunal