|Job Title||Trainee Solicitor (Justice First Fellow)|
|Department||Social Care (community care and housing)|
|Reports to||Head of Legal Aid Practice|
|Grade/Salary||£22,541 per annum|
|Hours||35 hours per week (9.30 – 5.30, one hour lunch break)|
Did you know that over half the people living in poverty in the UK are either a disabled person or living with a disabled person? It is shocking, isn’t it? And given the high costs of legal advice and the curtailment of legal aid, these people who need the ability to access justice the most find this so difficult to achieve.
We are a small but growing charity that provides free legal advice to disabled people and their carers. Established in 1975, we provide advice covering employment, discrimination, welfare benefits, community care, housing and debt. Our advice service is why we are here and is at the heart of what we do. But it is not all that we do.
Our practical experience with our clients together with our legal expertise means that we are well placed to be involved in advocating for changes in laws and policies, whether at our own initiative or in support of other disability charities. Our policy work is supported in Parliament by our patron, Rt. Hon. Sir Ed Davey MP, and we have academic support from another patron, Professor Luke Clements, Cerebra Professor of Law and Social Justice at the School of Law, Leeds University.
We are also involved in the development of technology to improve access to justice, and have received a grant from the Legal Education Foundation to develop an online automated legal advice platform in the area of reasonable adjustments for disabled people under the 2010 Equality Act.
Last, but certainly not least, we are a friendly and sociable team and are excited to welcome a Justice First Fellow in January next year.
For further information, visit our website.
Any questions regarding this organisation or the position should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
To provide the Justice First Fellow (JFF) with the opportunity to develop, practise and gain experience in:
To gain training and experience in housing and community care law, covering both contentious and non-contentious work.
For the Trainee Solicitor to work efficiently and effectively in the conduct of their responsibilities and duties.
Report to the Head of the Legal Aid Practice (a senior solicitor).
To develop and maintain good client relation skills, gaining clients’ confidence and that of other professionals.
To work and behave in a professional manner and within the highest standards of the profession.
Comply with procedures set out in the office manual and all professional standards.
Carry out duties faithfully and diligently and follow all reasonable instructions.
Treat all information about DLS and its client as wholly confidential.
To anticipate and where appropriate respond to clients’ needs and demands.
To participate in the growth and development of DLS.
To keep up to date with developments in law and practice so that standards of work are not compromised.
Keep a proper record of all work done and training received.
Comply with all SRA requirements for trainee solicitors.
Contribute to DLS delivery of training to other service providers and agencies and assist in preparing training materials.
Represent DLS at relevant external forums. Contribute to DLS responses to public policy consultations as required.
Work within the provisions of DLS policies, including abiding by and implementing DLS’ equal opportunities, file management, Data Protection and health & safety policies.
Ensure effective management of allocated casework.
Ensure that all client contacts are recorded on the DLS AdvicePro client database.
Produce reports, as required to show the level, nature and volume of client contacts
Develop and maintain professional and supportive relationships with all DLS colleagues and any external stakeholders as required.
Carry out any other reasonable duties commensurate with the post as required from time.
Legal Aid Agency
Ensure that the requirements of the Legal Aid Agency Specialist Quality Mark, the requirements of contractual arrangements with the Legal Aid Agency and DLS internal policy are followed in all work conducted.
Maintain up to date time recording at all times, using the agreed systems.
Assist with Legal Aid billing.
To attend events organised by the Justice First Fellowship.
In consultation with us, and with our support, to devise and execute a project aimed at increasing access to justice in order to gain programme development experience and potentially to provide a future income stream for us.
We do have an idea for a possible project – although it is not a requirement that this be taken on by the JFF. The idea relates to our proprietary software for an online automated legal advice service. With funding from the Legal Education Foundation, we are working on using this software to produce a platform for advice on reasonable adjustments in the workplace under the Equality Act.
We wish to use the software to cover other areas of law. The JFF project could be to work with the software to produce a platform for another area of law. The software is easy to use and does not require specialist computing knowledge. If you would like to find out more you are encouraged to contact David Laurence at email@example.com in order to set up a call to discuss.
This job description does not contain an exhaustive list of all job functions and tasks may change from time to time as requested by the Chief Executive, Head of Legal Aid Practice and/or Board of Trustees.
We are seeking a talented Graduate with a Qualifying Law Degree or GDL who has already completed their LPC or is due to complete the course by the end of 2020.
You should have: a passion for the law and be motivated by success; a high intellectual ability and a willingness to learn new areas of law.
The ability to give clear, accurate and jargon-free legal advice.
Able to communicate effectively with others, face to face, on the telephone and able to produce high quality, accurate written notes and letters.
The ability to work effectively and efficiently under pressure and able to prioritise workloads.
The ability to provide an efficient, professional and friendly service to clients and colleagues.
The ability to show initiative – proactively searching for solutions or presenting proposals / ideas for the benefit of the client.
You should be approachable with good listening and people skills, and an ability to demonstrate empathy. You need to be able to deal with a wide range of people including distressed people, people of all ages, people for whom English is not their first language and people with varied spoken language skills.
You need to be able to work consistently to a high standard, ensuring that all risk and compliance procedures are followed.
You will need to be able to work as part of a team in a friendly but efficient atmosphere.
You will need to be proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel (or have a willingness to learn).
Being a disabled person or a person with experience of caring for or working with disabled people.
Experience of computerised case management systems.
Experience working in the third sector.
Experience working in a legal environment.
An understanding of the social model of disability and why this model compared with others (such as the medical model) is the correct approach.
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